Miami Travel Guide


There are special events all the time in Miami, a city known for its partying, though during the summer months the pickings are slim. The biggest event of them all is the Carnaval Miami, a nine-day festival at the beginning of March, which includes a Miss Carnaval contest, Carnaval Night concerts at the Orange Bowl, an inline skating contest, jazz concerts, a Latin drag show, and a Calle Ocho cooking contest. The Calle Ocho Festival is the culmination of Carnaval Miami and a great time to be in Little Havana, since there are lots of concerts, giveaways and Cuban food.

The International Hispanic Theater Festival from late May to mid-June is one of the largest Hispanic theatre events in the US, featuring US, Latin America, Caribbean and European theatre companies at the El Carrusel Theater in Coral Gables. The Annual Miami Reggae Festival in early August is a huge celebration of the music, held at Bayfront park.

Literary types might want to make it to the Miami Book Fair, held during the second week of November. This international book fair is among the most well attended in the US, with hundreds of nationally known writers joining hundreds of publishers and hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Public Holidays include: New Year's Day (1 January), Robert E Lee's Birthday (19 January), Martin Luther King Jr Day (third Monday in January), Presidents' Day (third Monday in February), Confederate Memorial Day (Easter, 26 April), Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Independence Day (4 July), Colorado Day (first Monday in August), Labor Day (first Monday in September), Columbus Day (second Monday in October), Veterans' Day (11 November), Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Christmas Day.

11 Nov - Veterans Day
second Mon in Oct - Columbus Day
last Mon in May - Memorial Day
Mar/Apr - Easter
third Mon in Jan - Martin Luther King Jnr Day
third Mon in Feb - Presidents Day
1 Jan - New Year's Day
25 Dec - Christmas
4 Jul - Independence Day
first Mon in Sep - Labor Day
fourth Thu in Nov - Thanksgiving

When to Go

You can't get much further south in the US than Miami, so when it gets hot, its searing; consequently winter is the peak season. The city bulges at this time; most of the US squeezes in while the rest of the country freezes their Fanny-Maes off. The 'in-between' months, especially August through to November, see a range of enticing festivals so reservations come in handy at this time. The Calle Ocho Festival in March especially draws the crowds.

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