The Best Festivals and Fairs in Miami & Miami Beach

by Paul Joseph  |  Updated January 29, 2024

Miami’s reputation for entertainment is renowned across the globe. Little surprise, therefore, that the city boasts a superb calendar of festivals and fairs throughout the year.

A visitor at the Tamiami International Orchid Festival poses for a photo (Photo: Tamiami International Orchid Festival)

An enticing climate, ocean setting, dazzling nightspots and pumping music scene help attract huge numbers of visitors to Miami every year. For anyone coming to the city, the scope and scale of events that take place here on an almost-weekly basis ensures there’s always something to suit every taste, whatever time of year. We’ve created a comprehensive list of the best annual festivals and fairs that the city has to offer.

Tamiami International Orchid Festival

A mainstay of Miami’s festival scene for over two decades, this internationally recognised show is dedicated to the colourful and fragrant orchid flower. The event has grown bigger and better by the year, offering green-fingered visitors the chance to marvel at a diverse collection of rare orchids assembled into beautiful exhibits – and to purchase some to take away with them if they wish, too. There’s also a busy programme of free classes for those keen to learn more about orchids.

Dade County Youth Fairgrounds, Miami-Dade / January 

Beaux Arts Festival

A juried fine arts show featuring art, crafts and multi-media from hundreds of exhibitors, Beaux Arts Festival is one of Miami’s biggest cultural events. Whatever your favoured art form, be it wood, watercolours, photography, oil and acrylics, graphics, glass, ceramics or 3D sculpture, there’s something to please every artistic taste. Furthermore, with live music, kids’ art experiences, and free entertainment on offer, it’s a real family friendly occasion too, while food lovers will enjoy the array of top class dining options.

University of Miami / January 

An artist poses in front of her works at the Beaux Arts Festival (Photo: Beaux Arts Festival)

Vibra Urbana 

Founded by Miami natives, Vibra Urbana has grown to become the biggest reggaeton music festival anywhere in the United States since its inaugural edition back in 2020, lighting up Miami each winter with a stellar line-up of Latin performances. Festival-goers can expect more than 40 artists to hit the outdoor stage across two days, including award-winning acts from Colombia, Puerto Rico, Cuba and beyond. Among the acts to have appeared at the festival are the likes of Anuel AA, Rauw Alejandro, Arcangel and Farruko.

Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition / February

GroundUP Music Festival

The brainchild of artistic director Michael League, 5x grammy winner and bandleader of Snarky Puppy, and Miami arts veteran CEO Paul Lehr, the GroundUP Music Festival prides itself on offering revellers a more intimate and accessible festival experience than is typical. As opposed to many festivals, where attendees have to battle to get a glimpse of an artist, at GroundUP you might find yourself on a hammock in a palm grove next to a musician, or dancing on the beach at an impromptu jam session by a renowned band. As well as featuring an array of acts from all genres, there are also artist masterclasses, meet & greets, and dozens of onsite bars and food by local chefs.

Miami Beach / February

A live stage performance at GroundUP (Photo: GroundUP Music Festival)

Brew Miami

Local bites, live music and as much craft beer as you can guzzle is just some of what guests can look forward to at Brew Miami, which acts as a showcase for the area’s burgeoning craft beer industry. Beer lovers can sample lashings of locally produced amber nectar by purchasing either General Admission or VIP tickets (the latter including a variety of speciality pours), and for spirits fans there are also Jack Daniels Experience tickets which provide access to an exclusive area with specialty samplings of Jack Daniels Rye, Ford’s Gin, Old Forester Bourbon and Jack Daniels Country Cocktails, plus foodie samples.

FIU Football Stadium / February 

A bustling scene at Brew Miami (Photo: Brew Miami)

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

Each year, the winding streets of Coconut Grove, considered by many to be Miami’s original art district, plays host to a hugely popular outdoor arts festival that attracts tens of thousands of visitors hailing from far and wide. Originally a small clothesline fair, the event has grown dramatically over the years and today showcases a remarkable assortment of visual and performing art by more than 280 internationally recognised, jury-selected artists spanning multiple mediums.

McFarlane Road, South Bayshore Drive & Pan American Drive / February 

Eye-catching public art on display at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival (Photo: Bob B. Brown via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Dedicated food lovers who visit Miami each February will not want to miss this star-studded, multiple-day gastronomic extravaganza, which turns the spotlight on some of the world’s most celebrated chefs and other culinary experts. Attracting more than 65,000 visitors each year, the event offers guests the chance to watch live demos, participate in a fun-packed programme of food-themed activities, and sample plenty of mouth-watering foodie treats along the way.

South Beach / February  

Speciality cocktails on sale at South Beach Wine & Food Festival (Photo: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Winter Party Festival

Featuring two huge weekend dance events, cocktail receptions, and the biggest pool party you’ll find anywhere in Miami, the Winter Party Festival is a major event on the LGBTQ calendar, raising much needed funds for this community. The week-long celebration has been running since 1994 and provides a platform for an impressive line-up of internationally acclaimed DJs, plus an array of other high-energy dance and social events in the idyllic environs of Miami Beach.

Miami Beach / February – March

Revellers at the Miami Winter Party Festival (Photo: Elvert Barnes via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Asian Culture Festival

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in a weekend packed full of exotic music and dance, Asian arts, crafts, plants and entertainment, as well as a mouth-watering selection of authentic Far Eastern cuisine. Cultural performance highlights include Thai classical and folk dance, martial arts demonstrations, fashion shows, Japanese origami, and Fusho Daiko drumming. There’s also a Global Kids Village where little ones can enjoy storytelling, puppet shows, games, song and dance from around the world.

Tropical Park / March 

Miami Music Week

One of the world’s most prestigious electronic events descends on Miami each March as part of the build up to the grand finale, the equally acclaimed Ultra Music Festival (see below). Every year, hundreds of thousands of music lovers from around the world flock to the city for a week-long marathon of fun-packed parties featuring almost every major artist in the electronic dance music scene. Venues include nightclubs, pools, boats, and pop-up spaces across the city.

Venues across Miami / March 

Ultra Music Festival

Boasting elite DJs and unparalleled production venues, the Ultra Music Festival has gained an almost mythical status in the minds of electronic music aficionados the world over. Bringing Miami Music Week to a close each year, the immersive event plays host to a diverse array of musical acts from across the electronic and dance genres, with a number of freshly produced tunes getting played in front of live audiences for the first time. Away from the music, there are also interactive art installations and live-painting displays dotted throughout the festival grounds.

Bayfront Park / March 

A performance is illuminated by strobe lighting at the Ultra Music Festival (Photo: Ines Hegedus-Garcia via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Miami Beach Pride

With the city home to a vast LGBTQ community, Miami’s contribution to the global phenomenon of Pride events is unsurprisingly one of the biggest and best you’ll find anywhere in the US or beyond. With action-packed parties and events lasting almost a full week, the hugely popular occasion culminates with a two-day weekend festival along the soft sands of Lummus Park and a colourful parade down Ocean Drive in the city’s vibrant South Beach neighbourhood.

Lummus Park / April 

Participants aboard a parade float at Miami Beach Pride (Photo: Phillip Pessar via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Outshine Film Festival

For more than two decades, Miami has been home to one of the most important LGBT Film festivals in the country. Designed to enable the LGBTQ community to come together to celebrate and support the films that tell the story of our lives, the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ rainbow is represented in more than 80 films from across the globe, including documentaries, short films, comedies, dramas and everything in between, with many of the films making their US premieres.

Venues across Miami / April

III Points Festival

Now in its eighth year, III Points Festival sees more than 100 gifted musical performers and sets running until the early hours. Both established and emerging artists are given a stage to present a variety of innovative and experimental music, and there’s also visual art, film and plenty of food to help make this one of Miami’s most eagerly awaited cultural events each year. Notable names to appear at previous editions include Herbie Hancock, Tyler, The Creator and James Blake.

Mana Wynwood Convention Center / May 

Miami Fashion Week

More than any other annual event in the city, Miami Fashion Week serves to cement Miami’s reputation as one of the most influential international fashion hubs. The world’s most renowned models, as well as a dazzling line-up of celebrities from across the entertainment, music, film, sport, and cultural industries, descend on the show to see the hottest, most cutting edge creations by acclaimed fashion designers being paraded up and down the catwalk to the delight of spectators.

Venues across Miami / June

A swimwear model parades down a catwalk at Miami Fashion Week (Photo: Ines Hegedus-Garcia via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Sizzle Miami 

Held on Memorial Day Weekend each year, Sizzle Miami gives dedicated gym buffs the chance to show off their muscles and/or skimpy swimwear at an array of buzzing pool and beach parties at locations across South Beach. Highlights include a pumping yacht party aboard a luxury charter vessel, and the hugely popular Sizzle Pool Party featuring a hot body contest and an equally hotly-contested fashion show. As for the dress code, the most accurate answer is “as little as possible”.

Marseilles Beachfront Hotel, Miami Beach / May 

Festival goers enjoy a dip at a pool party at the National Hotel in Miami Beach during Sizzle Miami (Photo: Sizzle Miami)

American Black Film Festival

The rich heritage of movies that explore black culture is celebrated at this annual Miami film festival, held over an immersive week of red carpet pageantry, films, workshops, panel discussions, director talks, and parties at various venues across the city. The event also features a prestigious Short Film Competition, with visitors invited to enjoy the works of finalists vying for academy approval and cash prizes.

Venues across Miami Beach / June 

International Mango Festival

Summertime in Miami wouldn’t be the same without the International Mango festival, which celebrates the globally popular fruit through cooking demonstrations, a display of the world’s largest mango collection, a mango auction, a kids’ culinary challenge, expert speakers discussing the latest research in the mango industry, and plenty more. Away from the mango-themed action, there’s also live music, a beer garden and food trucks to keep revellers well satiated.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden / July 

Miami Beach Kizomba Festival

Aiming to bridge the gap between the continent of Africa and the African diaspora by sharing the music, dance and culture of various African countries and encouraging cross-cultural understanding, this festival brings together thousands of people from across the globe. From pool parties with famed DJs, dance workshops, and music concerts to beachside fun in the sun, the event serves up a one-of-a-kind atmosphere, ocean vibes and a deep connection between all who attend.

Eden Roc Miami Beach / August 

A DJ spinning discs at Miami Beach Kizomba Festival (Photo: Miami Beach Kizomba Festival)

Spice Miami

Many of the city’s finest restaurants take part in Spice Miami each year, designed to encourage visitors and locals to try out new local eateries and visit old favourites by providing discounted three-course meals. Participating restaurants over the years have included notable favourites such as Ad Lib, Bakan, La Cerveceria de Barrio, La Estacion American Brasserie, La Placita, Swan & Bar Bevy, and the Jim and Neesie. The event also helps many dining spots get through Miami’s off-peak seasons when business tends to drop significantly.

Venues across Miami / August-September

Celebrate ORGULLO 

Celebrate ORGULLO honours the contributions of the area’s Hispanic LGBTQ community through two full weeks of art, fashion and culture-related events. Among the highlights are a Fashion Forum complete with a Q&A sessions with expert panellists and a Legends Fashion Gala showcasing a wide mix of both local upcoming and established fashion designers, all with the aim of celebrating the best of fashion and the LGBTQ community.

Venues across Miami / October

South Beach Seafood Festival

To celebrate the heralding of the annual stone crab season each year, South Beach Seafood Week throws an epic weeklong shindig packed full of VIP dinners and cocktail parties, and culminating with an all-day festival at Lummus Park featuring fabulous seafood by some of Miami’s top restaurants and chefs. The event grounds include a Live Zone featuring music performances and craft cocktails, as well as a Beach Club with a pool and cabanas and music from local bands. Go to www.sobeseafoodfest.com for more info.

Miami Beach / October 

Delectable food served up at South Beach Seafood Festival (Photo: South Beach Seafood Festival)

Art Basel Miami Beach

Widely considered North America’s most important international contemporary art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach plays host to over 268 galleries from dozens of countries showcasing works by more than 4,000 artists. Tens of thousands of art dealers, artists, collectors and aficionados descend on the city for the event, which has also spawned more than 20 satellite fairs in other cities around the globe. Away from the art shows, there are also parties galore, helping add glitz and glamour to the occasion.

Miami Beach Convention Center / December 

Wall and booth graphics designed by Zaha Hadid Architects at Art Basel Miami (Photo: Associated Fabricationvia Flickr / CC BY 2.0)