When February comes, you will know why you moved to Miami. While the rest of the nation shivers, you are running around in skimpy clothing and wondering how you will ever fit a trip to the beach into your busy schedule.
Miami in February is busy, with some of the city's biggest events taking place. Among the largest are the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the Miami International Boat Show.
Most of the time the weather is glorious for all these events – warm, but not too hot, dry, maybe a little breeze if you are near the water. There are the occasional years where unseasonable rain or cold show up but it's rare enough that we don't worry about it.
Miami's many February events also bring many visitors, because who doesn't want to be in Florida in February? Anyone coming from out of town needs to make flight and hotel reservations early, especially for President's Day weekend, when many major events in Miami occur.
When you're looking for things to do in Miami in February, here are five don't-miss annual Miami events:
1. Miami International Map Fair
When: February 2-3
This event takes place at History Miami, the city's downtown history museum. It begins with a dealer's day and is open to the public on the weekend (and usually does NOT take place President's Day weekend). The fair is a chance to see antique maps, atlases and rare books about travel or geography. The event includes exhibits, items for sale and educational talks. Admission starts at $20.
2. Art Wynwood
When: February 14-18
Consider this a mini-Art Basel. This art fair takes place over four days that include President's Day weekend at the Midtown Miami venue that houses Art Miami during Miami Art Week in December. The event includes exhibits by more than 70 galleries as well as talks and special events. Admission starts at $25.
3. Miami International Boat Show
When: February 14-18
This is the place to come to buy a boat – or dream about buying a boat. The five-day President's Day weekend event at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, on an island east of downtown Miami, draws more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world, some of whom arrive by boat, of course. Sailboats are showcased at a second location, Bayside Miamarina downtown. The location allows some of the boats to be taken for a test drive. Admission is $25 for adults, with multi-day passes and packages with parking also available.
4. Coconut Grove Arts Festival
When: February 16-18
What began as a tiny homegrown event in 1963 has grown into South Florida's premiere arts and crafts festival. The event takes over the streets of Coconut Grove for three days during President's Day weekend, drawing more than 120,000 visitors. The juried art show includes more than 350 artists. Admission is $15 for adults.
5. South Beach Wine and Food Festival
When: February 20-24
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is another festival that had a small, local start. Back in 1997, the students from Florida International University's School of Hospitality & Tourism Management hosted the Florida Extravaganza, which showcased food from local chefs paired with wines from around the world. Now the event is sponsored by the Food Network and the Cooking Channel and draws more than 65,000 participants to more than 85 events spread over five days. It has even expanded into Fort Lauderdale. Celebrities abound, and not just from the food channels. Cost varies by event, and popular events often sell out.
If you think that all these events in and near downtown Miami on one weekend are going to cause major traffic headaches, you are correct. This is a good time to try the MetroRail, MetroMover, trolleys and water taxis.
Or, if you want to escape the urban madness and spend time in a more serene environment, February is a fabulous time to visit Everglades National Park. You can camp and stay there all weekend.