I think everyone dreams of Miami. With its warm weather, blue waters, and amazing cultural events, Miami is a city full of color and vibrancy all year long!

I love heading to Miami to get away from the cold weather and explore the vibrant festivals. Whether it’s an art show, music event, or food festival, Miami is popping off just about every day of the week. I swear it’s like no one works around there.

Miami is one of the most multicultural cities in the USA, with little Havana, little Argentina, and so many other communities all living side by side. You’ll be able to find your people, party all night long and enjoy some of the most delicious food and drinks!

Plus, Miami is home to some amazing annual festivals that you don’t want to miss. Let’s chek them out!

Festivals in Miami

Miami brings out the spice in all of us, with a lot of Latin roots and crazy money going around. The festivities here feel like a carnival.

When visiting Miami, expect bright colors, loud music, and lots of dancing!

Get down in Little Havana at the Calle Ocho Festival. Hear some of the best electronic music in the world at Ultra Music Festival. Or, you can even check out some of the smaller more unique festivals.

So let’s discover the best festivals in Miami!

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    Coconut Grove Arts Festival

    Coconut Grove Arts Festival
    Welcome to Coconut Grove!
    Photo: Bob B. Brown (Flickr)

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    • When: January
    • Where: Coconut Grove

    The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is a three-day outdoor art festival that showcases world-class art. In addition to the art, they also offer culinary displays, live performances, and family areas to keep the whole family engaged!

    The Arts Festival takes place every Presidents’ Day Weekend in the charming waterfront village of Coconut Grove. It’s one of Miami’s top arts festivals, and one of my favourite things to see in Miami.

    It features over 280 internationally recognized and jury-selected artists. All of whom are displaying their works against the backdrop of Biscayne Bay.

    The festival has been going strong for 60 years and is known for being one of the best outdoor art festivals in the country. It’s a great opportunity to explore Miami’s vibrant art scene!

    Along with seeing art from artists, you yourself can even get creative at one of their many events. You can try out your pottery skills, painting, photography, and many more.

    Tickets for general admission on the day of the event cost $25 plus service fees if purchased on-site. However, they can be pre-purchased online for $20 plus service fees. I am all about saving a few bucks so I love when places offer a discount for buying tickets in advance.

    Where to Stay:

    Views from the rooftop pool at Hotel Arya are insane. When you aren’t exploring art you can catch a tan and enjoy a cocktail.

    South Beach Jazz Festival

    Saxophone on stage
    • When: January
    • Where: South Beach, Miami

    The South Beach Jazz Festival is a four-day event that happens in January. It takes place in various locations throughout South Beach.

    The festival showcases a diverse range of jazz musicians, including traditional, contemporary, and Latin American acts, to promote disability awareness. This is one of the things that makes this festival so special and unique.

    The founder of the SBJF, David New, was diagnosed with a rare disease that left him deaf, blind, and paralyzed from the waist down two decades ago. Despite his doctors’ belief that he would not survive, David refused to give up and managed to walk again over time. While he was able to regain his hearing, he was unable to regain his sight.

    He is a multi-talented individual who founded multiple companies and non-profits. He’s still involved in the South Beach Jazz Festival. He has done an incredible job at ensuring the festival is inclusive and features great music from all genres.

    There are free outdoor jazz performances throughout the weekend that anyone can attend. These events support accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. The festival will be full of locals, tourists, and music lovers alike.

    Where to Stay:

    This South Beach Hotel is perfect for festival goers who want to stay close to the action.

    Located just a few blocks away from Ocean Drive and all of the great music venues. It also comes with a free breakfast. Yum!

    Calle Ocho Festival

    Calle Ocho Festival
    Photo: Bob B. Brown (Flickr)
    • When: March
    • Where: Little Havana, Miami

    The Calle Ocho Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Miami, taking place in Little Havana every March. This celebration features a vibrant and energetic atmosphere filled with Latin music, dancing, art, and delicious food.

    The Festival is a major event of Carnaval Miami and is known as the biggest Latin music festival in the United States. The festival is for one day only from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and it spans 15 street blocks in Little Havana.

    The event features multiple music stages, authentic international food, and cultural dance performances. You can bring out the whole family to enjoy this festival, as there is something for everyone.

    Each Avenue will have different sets of Latin music, from Salsa, Bachata, and Merengue to Reggaetón and Pop. So whether you want to listen to classic Latin tunes or experience a modern twist on them, get ready to shake your hips.

    The Calle Ocho Festival truly encapsulates the spirit of Miami – vibrant and alive with culture and tradition. This festival brings people from all walks of life together to celebrate the city’s unique heritage and cultural traditions. From Latin music to international food, you won’t want to miss the Calle Ocho Festival.

    Where to Stay:

    Havana Suites is the best location for attending the festival. You’ll be able to walk to the festivities and enjoy a cool room after a day of partying in the streets.

    Ultra Music Festival

    Ultra Music Festival
    Welcome to ULTRA – EDM Heaven.
    • When: March
    • Where: Miami

    Ultra is one of the biggest names in music festivals and hundreds of thousands come to stay in Miami each year just to experience it. It’s the go-to for EDM fans looking to experience some of the best artists from around the world. From traditional dance records to experimental electronic sounds, Ultra is seriously a one-of-a-kind experience.

    Miami is where it all started in 1999, and since then it has grown to be an unforgettable experience. With 20 years in the game, Ultra Music Festival continues to bring the best of electronic music to the city every year. This Miami festival carries a heavy reputation and has become an iconic name — and its lineup never disappoints.

    Ultra Music Festival has been the top Miami destination for music lovers and partygoers alike. Featuring international superstars like The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, and more. With world-class production, this festival never ceases to amaze its guests.

    While Ultra has become a household name in multiple cities across the world, the Miami edition never fails to bring something special out of its attendees. Ultra Music Festival has become a staple and an absolute must-visit if you’re ever in South Florida.

    Where to Stay:

    Located just 400 meters from Bayfront Park where Ultra is held, the Yotel Miami is the perfect place to stay for a hassle-free visit. Walk to and from and avoid those crazy uber prices we all know are coming!

    Miami Film Festival

    Miami Film Festival
    Photo: Phillip Pessar (Flickr)
    • When: March
    • Where: Miami

    The Miami Film Festival is a prestigious event that has a wide range of films from around the world.

    The festival just wrapped up its 40th edition in March of 2023 and continues to thrive more and more every year. The event features both established and up-and-coming filmmakers and with over $100,000 in cash awards across its various competition categories.

    The Miami Film Festival has been drawing around 45,000 attendees annually. It has over 100 movies of various genres including narratives, documentaries, and short films.

    It features work from 40 countries, bringing together around 300 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry experts from different parts of the world.

    This is such a high-caliber event in Miami, that it even has an official selection process for screenings.

    It does have a higher ticket price than some of the other film festivals around the world. But, the Miami Film Festival is worth it if you’re looking to attend something that showcases an amazing selection of films from a diversity of cultures.

    In addition to multiple workshops, masterclasses, and industry happy hours, there will also be legendary parties. Get used to seeing some of the biggest names in the industry throwing back a cocktail and discussing up-and-coming projects.

    Where to Stay:

    CitizenM is a great stay in Miami, with a rooftop pool and lounge area. You’ll love relaxing here in between films.

    Winter Party Festival

    Winter Party Festival
    Winter Wonderland
    Photo: Elvert Barnes (Flickr)
    • When: March
    • Where: Miami Beach

    The Winter Party Festival is a celebration of love and diversity, with events ranging from beach parties to circuit parties. There are also seminars and panels about LGBTQIA+ rights and activism. As one of the biggest gay festivals in the US, it’s a great way for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to come together.

    Winter Party began in 1994 as a beach dance party and has since grown into a week-long festival that attracts thousands of people from around the world. It’s one of the most exciting things to do in Miami Beach!

    The festival features dozens of events, including international DJ talent, and takes place in beautiful venues in Miami Beach. This is everyone’s favorite way to escape the winter in the US.

    The Winter Party is not just a festival. It also serves as a way to raise funds for the National LGBTQIA+ Task Force and support its mission for progressive change at a local and national level.

    Honestly, I can’t think of anything better than partying while also supporting a great cause. This is what The Winter Party Festival in Miami stands for and why it’s one of the most popular festivals in the city!

    Where to Stay:

    Snag this cozy hostel in South Beach to save some money on accommodation while meeting other travelers. It’s for sure one of the best hostels in Miami.

    Have you sorted your accommodation yet?
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    Wynwood Pride

    Pride flags in the air
    The LGBTQIA+ community know how to party!
    • When: June
    • Where: Wynwood Miami

    Wynwood is just about everyone’s favorite neighborhood in Miami, and the only thing that can make it better is Pride Week!

    The Wynwood Pride Festival is a new addition to the festival roster, but it’s already becoming popularly known as one of the best.

    2023 is its 5th year and it’s quickly becoming a can’t-miss festival in Miami. Wynwood is known for its vibrant street art and unique shops. During pride week, the energy levels go up a few notches as locals and visitors come out to celebrate their identities.

    Wynwood Pride is a free event that offers live entertainment, vendors, food trucks, and more!

    The purpose of initiating Wynwood Pride was to provide inclusive events that bring Miami’s LGBTQ+ community together. The aim is to create a worldwide platform that acknowledges, advocates and educates people about LGBTQ+ art, rights, visibility, activism, and culture. All with an emphasis on music and community.

    Drag shows, pool parties, art exhibitions, and more are all part of the festival lineup. Those who come out to Wynwood Pride can expect a safe and inclusive environment where everyone is welcomed.

    It’s an event that exemplifies the true spirit of Miami.

    Where to Stay:

    Stay right in the center of Wynwood at Arlo Wynwood Miami. The rooms are modern and clean and they give you free bikes to ride around town and an outdoor swimming pool!

    Rolling Loud

    Festival party goers
    • When: June
    • Where: Miami

    One of the biggest hip-hop festivals in the world is Rolling Loud. A three-day extravaganza that brings together some of rap and R&B’s biggest stars.

    It’s an experience that no music fan should miss. Expect performances from Travis Scott, Cardi B, Migos, Wiz Khalifa, Trippie Redd, and many more.

    Rolling Loud is a rap music festival that has quickly become one of the biggest in the industry. Despite being one of the newest festivals, it has attracted a large following. It has grown rapidly from a one-day event to a leading celebration of the genre.

    It’s dedicated solely to hip-hop and provides a stage for artists to receive the recognition they deserve without being overshadowed by other genres. I really think this is why it has been SO successful.

    Rolling Loud, which originated in Miami, has become a global brand. It now has successful editions of its 3-day festival held in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and Sydney. The festival will return to most of these locations, but Miami is still where it’s at!

    Where to Stay:

    This budget-friendly stay is the perfect place to explore all that Miami has to offer. Close to Hard Rock Stadium, getting in and out of the festival will be a breeze as well.

    Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
    Active Roots Security Belt

    Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

    It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

    Hide Yo’ Money!

    International Mango Festival

    International Mango Festival
    Who doesn’t love mangoes!?
    Photo: Squam256 (WikiCommons)
    • When: July
    • Where: Miami

    Mango is literally a gift from the Gods. The International Mango Festival in Miami brings together lovers of the fruit from all around.

    Taking place in July, tens of thousands of people come to celebrate mango’s versatility and enjoy heaps of delicious recipes made with mangoes.

    This is one of the most unique festivals in Miami, and for my foodies out there, it’s definitely the tastiest!

    The mango festival is a two-day event featuring many types of delicious mangoes and various activities. These include cooking demonstrations, tastings, lectures, live music, lawn games, and a signature mango brunch.

    This festival has been going on for 30 years so you know they’re doing something right… and really, who can go wrong with mangoes?

    Along with all of their activities, there is so much food! Everything is mango-inspired and it’s crazy all the different concoctions that can be made with this delicious fruit.

    You can sample sweet and savory mango dishes, sip on mango cocktails, and even buy some of the freshest mangoes around. And if you just can’t get enough, buy some mango seedlings and grow your own tree!

    Where to Stay:

    Right in the center of the city, Eurostars Langford is perfect for those who want to get out and explore all that Miami has to offer. With a vibrant atmosphere and historic architecture, it’s the perfect place to stay while enjoying the city’s festivals.

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    A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

    An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

    Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

    Grab an eSIM!

    What To Pack For Your Miami Trip

    A solid travel plan starts with a good packing list. Toss in these must-haves and save those bucks.

    Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
    Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

    Ear Plugs

    Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

    Keep your laundry organized and stink free
    Keep your laundry organized and stink free

    Hanging Laundry Bag

    Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

    Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
    Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

    Sea To Summit Micro Towel

    Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

    Make Some New Buddies…
    Make Some New Buddies…

    Monopoly Deal

    Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

    Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
    Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

    Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

    Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

    Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

    Before you let loose at one of these festivals, make sure you’re covered. Good travel insurance is ALWAYS a wise idea.

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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    Final Thoughts on Festivals in Miami

    Miami brings out a different side to all of us. Exploring the city’s art scene, sampling ALL of its delicious food, and dancing in the streets with other festival-goers, this is a place that dreams are made of.

    I love experiencing the culture of little Haiti or having a picnic on the beach in Little Havana. But taking part in these vibrant festivals is what truly brings me back to this amazing city over and over again.

    The colors, the music, the smells—I just can’t get enough of Miami. But it’s expensiiiiive so which festival is worth all of the money and travel time?

    After experiencing Calle Ocho, it has made a big jump to the top of my list. A closing festival to Carnival that celebrates and brings together various elements from Cuban culture.

    It will give you exactly what you came to Miami for. Food, music, and culture you can’t find anywhere else.