You know it’s Spring in Miami when you start getting text messages from your third cousin in Cincinnati who you haven’t seen since he was four, asking how far you live from the Palm Beach Airport, because A) dude lives in Cincinnati, and B) the 305 is home to some seriously sweet Springtime events. To make sure you make the most of the season in Miami, here are 12 things you must do, from getting sprung on brand-new beers, to dinner that's literally in paradise.
What: Miami International Boat Show
When: February 13th-17th
Where: Miami Beach Convention Center
Shop for your newest yacht... what, you can’t afford a yacht? Ok, well, then watch really, really rich dudes (and the women who “love” them) shop for THEIR newest yachts while you check out the latest floating toys/gadgets.
What: Coconut Grove Arts Festival
When: February 15th-17th
Where: Coconut Grove
Back when graffiti wasn't, like, completely legal apparently, Coconut Grove was the place to be for Miami art, and it still is this weekend, thanks to over 400 artists, plus three days of live music, eats at the Global Food Village, and live cooking demos from the likes of Giorgio Rapicavoli, Douglas Rodriguez, and other local big-shots.
What: South Beach Wine and Food Festival
When: February 20th-23rd
Where: South Beach
For at least one weekend, South Beach'll stop smelling like the worst parts of last night, and start smelling like freshly grilled meats from some of the world’s best chefs, who're lining the sand for sweet eats events like the The Q, The Burger Bash, and oh yeah, Thrillist’s BBQ and The Blues.
What: Norwegian Getaway Launch
When: Ongoing -- first voyage February 8th
Where: Norwegian Getaway Miami Port
Week-long trips from Miami to the US Virgin Islands on this 18-deck behemoth begin February 8th with onboard stuff like a water park, an ice bar, rappelling walls, driving ranges, Flywheel, a dozen restaurants including a Churrascaria, and nightly performances of…readyforthis….LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL.
What: Sprung Beer Festival
When: March 8th
Where: Peacock Park
The guys behind Grovetoberfest were throwing back beers, and pondered why they didn't host more beer festivals, especially ones that involve beer pong, corn hole, and human bowling. Then they drank more beer. And from that sprang Sprung, the Grove's spring beer fest packing 200 craft brews, all those aforementioned games, and -- to go beyond the standard (but fantastic!) little glasses of suds -- tents housing nothing but innovative and delicious beer-based cocktails.
What: Calle Ocho
When: March 9th
Where: Little Havana
The crowning event of Carnaval Miami makes NYC’s Puerto Rican Day Parade look like a family pig roast, and packs the streets of Little Havana for a day-long celebration of all things Latin American, including live music, street-side bars slinging mojitos, and more arepas than you can shake a stick-with-meat-of-indeterminate-origin-on-it at.
What: Dinner in Paradise
When: March 15th, March 23rd, April 6th, April 13th, April 27th
Where: Paradise Farms
If you haven’t taken the trip down to Homestead for the Dinner in Paradise series -- where you watch your dinner get picked from this wholly-organic farm, then sit under a gazebo as three of Miami’s top chefs prepare it -- then make sure it happens this Spring, 'cause Paradise Farms’ Gabriele Marewski is selling the farm, so this famed eats events may have bought the... uh, farm.
What: Delray Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade
When: March 15th
Where: Delray Beach
The only actual Irish in Miami might actually be the bartenders at Playwright (and we’re still not COMPLETELY sold on those accents), so for a real good ol' green beer-soaked St. Paddy’s Day parade you’re gonna have to cross the border to PBC and The Best Small Town in America, where all of South Florida crowds Atlantic Ave and sets up day-long parties on adjacent streets.
What: Winter Music Conference
When: March 21st-30th
Where: Miami Beach
For once you don't gotta go to places that have $2,500 table minimums/are full of 14yr-olds to see the world's biggest DJs, 'cause WMC means at least one of 'em will be playing, like, everywhere you go. Ok, maybe not everywhere, but don't be surprised when you hit 7-Eleven for a Big Gulp and Tiesto's playing a three-hour set next to the Slim Jims.
What: Ultra Music Festival
When: March 28th-30th
Where: Bayfront Park
Sure, traffic downtown comes to an absolute standstill and you can hear thumping bass all the way to your aunt’s house in Kendall, but on the upside, you get these girls, plus every DJ who’s ever figured out how to use a USB stick converging on Bayfront Park to spin for hundreds of thousands of people who seem to get really, really excited about drinking water.
What: Miami Marlins Opening Day
When: March 31st
Where: Marlins Park
In most Major League Baseball markets, Opening Day is known as the dawning of an exciting new season. In Miami, it’s known as the one game a year where you won’t get an entire section to yourself. Be part of what’s probably the largest crowd the Fish get all season when they take on the Colorado Rockies at 7:05pm in that big, spaceship-looking building where the Orange Bowl used to be.
What: Miami Beac h Polo World Cup
When: April 25th-28th
Where: Polo Life
South Beach’s fine, upstanding working girls don't have to get hired by Richard Gere to attend the world’s most prestigious beach polo tournament. All they (and, we guess, you too) have to do is wander over from the lobby of the Delano to the sand and try to find a spot next to your cousin, who... *sigh* probably won't get off your couch 'til Memorial Day now.
1. Miami International Boat Show1901 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach
2. Coconut Grove Arts Festival2700 South Bayshore Dr, Miami
3. South Beach Wine and Food FestivalSouth Beach, Miami
4. Sprung Beer Festival2820 MacFarlane Rd, Miami
5. Calle Ocho1400 SW 1 St, Miami
6. Dinner in Paradise19801 SW 320th St, Homestead
7. Winter Music Conference1052 Ocean Drive, Miami
8. Ultra Music Festival301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami
9. Marlins Park501 Marlins Way, Miami
10. Miami Beach Polo World Cup2001 Collins Ave, Miami
With five days of con over three different venues hosting hundreds of water craft, the Miami Boat Show brings bow to stern realness this February 13th-17th.
The Grove might be one of Miami's oldest neighborhoods, but the Coconut Grove Art Festival is anything but stodgy. Highlighting new voices in every style and medium, it collects over 400 artists showcasing ready-to-take-home (if you've got the kwan) works from February 15th-17th.
For 13 years, SOBEWFF has taken over Miami with more food, chefs, and events than you can shake a fair trade artisanal chocolate sea salt carmel dipped pretzel stick at. This year, they're doing it all over again from February 20th to the 23rd and you're going. (We are too).
From the mind of the guys who brought you Grovetoberfest, Sprung adds the only things that could improve a selection of over 200 craft brews: beer pong, corn hole, and human bowling. Don't be a turkey -- it all goes down on March 8th, so get your ticket now.
On March 9th, Calle Ocho is going to set Little Havana aswimming with arepas and bumping with bass from live bands and DJ's for the greatest party you can't say "no" to (FYI that's Spanish for "no").
Dinner in Paradise serves up the work of master chefs let loose on the bounty of Paradise Farms' crop, and it's served outdoors under the stars. Their Spring series is putting the petal to the metal with an Edible Flower Festival featuring the ever-so-aptly named Jose Luis Flores on March 15th, with more surprises coming all season long.
Prepare for 10 days of partying starting March 21st at the largest EDM festival in the world, packed with 2,100 DJ's and 500 events, all kicked off with one hell of a party at Casa Ibiza at the Congress Hotel.
It's Ultra, the world class EDM festival that every Miamian can hear, feel, and -- in the case of beautiful scantily clad women -- see. Of course you're going to see Diplo, David Guetta, and dozens of other strangely named DJs from March 28th to the 30th.
If they're good enough to merit a reality television show, then they're good enough to watch, you know, play baseball. The new season kicks off on the 31st of March, so grab a dog and get yourself out to the ballgame.
They're not horsing around: from April 25th to April 28th, Miami Beach is being visited by the most prestigious beach polo (a real thing) championship in the world, and you can take in all the equine action for free.