Miami’s Fabulous Five

Mark your calendar and make your reservations, because these are the events you don’t want to miss


Sun-washed, cosmopolitan and infused with multi-cultural energy, Miami is a marvelous destination at any time of the year. But there are certain dates on the calendar that almost demand to be circled in red, signifying those times when art, fashion, food and fun come together in events not to be missed. Here are five of our favorite such happenings that deserve space on your calendar.

Art Basel

Art Basel is a glamour-filled art gathering that fuses contemporary collectors, entourages and global gallerists into one of the city’s coolest scenes each December. The convergence of 70,000-plus attendees evolves into one enormous party, and Miami Beach’s Convention Center is the hub for top talent and art devotees. Intriguing satellite fairs in boutique hotels dot Collins Avenue, while in Midtown in the Wynwood Arts District, there’s Art Miami’s 125,000 square-foot pavilion with video installations and a fab V.I.P spot for popping champagne corks between big-time deals.;

Stay the Night: The Sagamore Hotel at 16th and Collins is the art hotel; its gallery ambience runs inside and out.

Art Basel Miami

Patrons pause to relax on a faux-grass relaxation station set within the Miami Beach Convention Center during the annual Art Basel exhibition of modern and contemporary works. Photo: Art Basel

South Beach Wine & Food Festival

The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is one hot ticket. There are more than 50 ways for foodies to sample bites and sip wine across four days of culinary exposition and excitement, with Food Network stars, the likes of Bobby Flay, hosting events. In its 14th year, this February, the shindig draws crowds with an appetite, so buying tickets early is imperative. The most popular gatherings offer everything from swanky surroundings to hobnobbing with noteworthy chefs, and of course, chowing down. Don’t miss Moet Hennessy’s The Q, the Burger Bash and Best of the Best.

Stay the Night: Loews Miami Beach is the host hotel; it’s abuzz with a who’s who of chefdom.

South Beach, Miami Food and Wine Festival

The scene at Mix It Up with Morimoto & Friends at the Shelborne Hotel, one of the many such events that take place during the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/South Beach Wine & Food

Miami International Boat Show

When the Miami International Boat Show unfurls, there’s a wealth of goings-on for anyone longing to setting sail or simply discover the latest in nautical niceties that make boating more pleasurable. Mariners shod in docksiders traverse three land and water locales jammed with more than 3,000 boats. Over the course of five days in February, 2,000 companies show off the latest in luxury motor and sailing yachts, family cruisers, marine gear and more at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center and Miamiarina at Bayside.

Stay the Night: The JW Marriott Miami downtown with its stellar views of Biscayne Bay, is near to the action at Bayside and Miami Beach.

Miami Boat Show

During the Miami Beach International Boat Show, the marina at the Miami Biscayne Bay Marriott is filled with boats waiting to take potential buyers out for a cruise. Photo: Tim McAfee Photography/iStock

Miami Fashion Week

It’s a style bonanza. Miami Fashion Week is runway spectacular with four non-stop model-traipsing days of womenswear, menswear, resort wear, eveningwear, prêt-à-porter and more. For chic enthusiasts, this May happening lures global designers who showcase sizzling collections as jetsetters fill runway VIP seats by the dozens. Tickets are precious, as the fashion collective of beautiful people permeate Miami Beach. Live streaming of the shows is a new addition. Master classes pull in wanna-be fashionistas, as do pop-up boutiques with designs that are provocative, classic, and undeniably edgy. Late night afterglow parties at trendy hotspots are the places to be.

Stay the Night: The boutique Surfcomber Hotel is A-lister worthy. Its Social Club is beyond hip.

Miami Fashion Week

Swimwear chic takes to the runway during Miami’s 2014 Fashion Week. Other womenswear and menswear showings range from resort casual to eveningwear, and everything in between. Photo: Angel Valenti/Miami Fashion Week

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

President’s Day weekend is synonymous with the colorful Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Crowds of 120,000-plus meander what has become the granddaddy of all art shows, winding through the streets for more than a mile, from McFarlane Road to South Bayshore Drive. The first show in 1963 had only a handful of artists; today it garners international notoriety as more than 350 craftsman and fine artists show their work to a backdrop of shady banyan trees. When hunger strikes, traditional pushcart vendors follow the route; a culinary village in Myers Park offers plenty to satiate thirsty and hungry festivalgoers. The packed three-day festival includes tunes too, from smooth jazz to Latin fusion, performed adjacent to glistening Biscayne Bay on the lawn of Peacock Park.

Stay the Night: The Mayfair Hotel and Spa is in the heart of it all on Florida Avenue; walk to the art festival then bask later in the rooftop pool.

Coconut Grove Art Festival, Miami's Fabulous Five

From modest beginnings, the Coconut Grove Art Festival has grown to one of the nation’s premier outdoor art exhibitions, with the added enticement of music and food. Photo: Coconut Grove Art Festival