The Best Reasons To Visit South Florida This Winter

Laurence Kidd

Winter is without a doubt the best window of opportunity to visit South Florida. Take a leaf out of the snowbirds’ book and leave the cold for a temporary winter home in the beautiful temperate climate of Florida. There are plenty of reasons to visit Miami this season; here, Culture Trip has prepared a list of things to do and places to visit in the Sunshine State.

1. International Boat Show

International Boat Show

Fort Lauderdale, Miami’s northern neighbor, is home to the world’s largest boat show. If you’re traveling to Florida for the first week of November, then definitely make some time to visit Fort Lauderdale, where the world’s most impressive yachts will be docked and open for viewings. Apart from the impressive fleet of boats, there will be thousands of young yachties, captains, and international crowds, who’ll be eager to see Fort Lauderdale and have a great time before they head back out to sea.

Broward Convention Center. 1950 Einsenhower Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA,+1 954 764 7642

Impressive yachts at Fort Lauderdale’s International Boat Show | Courtesy of John Spade/flickr

2. Art Basel

Bansky Kate Moss at Art Basel Miami Beach 2011 | Courtesy of Rob Larsen/Flickr
Courtesy of Rob Larsen/Flickr

Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach is North America’s largest and most renowned art show of its kind. Taking place in the first week of December, you won’t want to miss this wonderful spectacle if you plan on being in Florida this fall. This festival has a great range of activities, viewing opportunities, and is always surrounded by an electric atmosphere of international art lovers, curators, and artists. For more information on Art Basel read our feature article on this historic art show.

Miami Beach Convention Center. 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL, USA, +1 305 674 1292

Bansky Kate Moss at Art Basel Miami Beach 2011 | Courtesy of Rob Larsen/Flickr

South Beach

South Beach is the perfect fall destination, because while your friends to the north are freezing, you’ll be in your beachwear basking in the South Florida sun. Once you’re done, you can spend the day browsing the neon strip, shop at designer stores or take advantage of the lively nightlife. This time of year is considered “in-season” for South Florida, meaning that the bars, clubs, and restaurants all have a fun, lively atmosphere. Take advantage of it!

The Clevelander Hotel is a South Beach landmark. Come here expecting a party atmosphere

Sports Season

Fall is sports season in Florida. If you’re an avid sports enthusiast and have never taken in an American sporting event, then now is the time. Here are a few options:

Miami Dolphins Football – Football is in mid-season right now and the Miami Dolphins are on the up and up. With a newly refurbished and renamed Hard Rock Stadium, and an impressive cast of fresh young talent, Miami finally has something to cheer about when it comes to football. Tailgating is a quintessential American activity which is best enjoyed in South Florida’s fall climate. If you’ve never tried it, now’s the time.
NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend – Taking place November 14 -16 in Homestead (near Miami), this NASCAR race draws in thousands of stock car racing fans from around the country. The Homestead Miami Speedway is the last stop on the nationwide, 11-race road to the 2016 Sprint Cup Championship.
Florida Panthers Hockey – The South Florida ice hockey team is called the Panthers and they play at the BB&T Arena in Sunrise Florida. Regarded as one of the best teams in the National Hockey League, Panthers games are especially fun to go to during the fall and winter months when the snowbirds, who come to watch their teams from up north, are there to give a little friendly rivalry.
Miami Heat Basketball – It’s the start of a new era; one without the legendary Dwayne Wade. However, there’s a lot of promise in the young new side, and the American Airlines Arena near downtown Miami is always a great venue with an electric atmosphere.

Homestead Miami Speedway Panoramic

3. Miami Harvest Festival

Miami Harvest Festival

Taking place on November 19 through the 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Harvest Festival features arts and crafts, hayrides, a model train village, bounce houses, pony rides, a classic car show, rock climbing wall, face painting, a petting zoo and much more. There has never been such a variety of activities to do and things to see all under one roof and extending outdoors. It seems like there are hundreds of vendors ready to entice your curiosity for one-of-a-kind items. Get a jump start on holiday shopping with some of the unique handmade creations.

Miami Dade Fair Expo. 10901 S.W. 24th St., Coral Way, Miami, FL, USA, +1 305 860 0092

http://instagram.com/p/-WcUdQx9sA/?tagged=miamiharvestfestival

4. Santa's Enchanted Forest

Forest, Park

4. Santas Enchanted Forest
Courtesy of Bob B. Brown/flickr

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

This is the grand daddy of holiday displays. The towering trees that line the midway at Tropical Park are covered in three million twinkling lights. Enjoy the beautiful light displays as well as carnival rides and a plethora of food choices, offering the eclectic tastes of Miami. Santa’s Enchanted Forest is open from 5 p.m. to midnight until January 3, 2017. Admission is $30.84 for adults (10-64), $21.49 for kids (3-9), and $21.49 for seniors (65+).

7900 SW 40th St, Miami, FL, USA, +1 305 559 9689

Santa’s Enchanted Forest is a breathtaking spectacle to behold | Courtesy of Bob B. Brown/flickr

5. Jungle Island

Jungle Island

Go wild with an assortment of family-friendly experiences during Wild Holidays at Jungle Island. Building upon a rich tradition that began in 1936, Jungle Island is home to some of the world’s rarest and most exotic animals. Your kids will love the holiday-themed animal shows, crafting station, and more. Enjoy Wild Holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., December 19, 2016 to January 3, 2017. Admission is $39.95 for adults and $32.95 for kids ages 3 to 10. Get a $6 discount on general park admission by visiting any participating Pet Supermarket.

1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL, USA +1 305 400 7000

http://instagram.com/p/BLYt3kBhD4Q/?taken-by=jungleisland
By Laurence Kidd

landscape with balloons floating in the air

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