In between summer and tourist season, when the rest of the country is distracted from Miami by thoughts of apple orchards and hygge-inducing sweaters, Miamians get the chance to appreciate the best of their city with festivals, food and entertainment that celebrates local culture and history. Whether you’re an avid reader, eater, dancer, basketball fan, or art lover, there’s an autumnal shindig waiting for you. Here are the best things to do in the fall in Miami.
Stock your shelves at the Miami Book Fair
Miami Dade College launched the international book fair back in 1984, and the literary event has been growing and attracting major authors ever since. Street vendors set up for blocks peddling books of all kinds, from classics to kids books to comics to vintage publications. Check out the roster of speakers headed to Miami to read and discuss their works, along with publishers and other industry professionals for a jam packed week of events.
600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
Devour crustaceans at Joe’s Stone Crab
They might as well rename fall “stone crab season.” The season for Florida stone crabs opens October 15, and Joe’s is right there every year supplying Miamians and tourists with a bounty of crab claws (along with fried chicken and signature sides). Wait times drag on for hours, but that’ll just help you build an appetite to take on a heap of claw meat, potatoes, fried green tomatoes, and creamed spinach.
11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Take an art deco walking tour
While crowds remain manageable through the fall, take the relatively empty streets as a chance to explore Miami’s famed historic architecture. Whether you opt for a self-guided tour or a substantial guided option led by the HistoryMiami Museum, you’ll learn to love and appreciate the Magic City all over again.
Don your best feathers for Carnival
Every October the already colorful streets of Miami overflow with a particularly extravagant rainbow of costumes, parade floats and confetti, as celebrators from across the Caribbean descend on Miami for Carnival. Mas bands parade the streets, soca music blares from countless DJs, rum drinks flow freely, and platoons of costumed marchers rep their homelands in the ultimate battle of glittery, feathery supremacy.
Miami Broward Carnival
Heat up with the first NBA game of the season
As the rest of the country cools down in the fall, Miami heats up with the start of the regular NBA season. Catch the very first tip-off of a (fingers crossed) successful season for the Heat at American Airlines Arena.
Pick pumpkins among the palms
Miami may not experience the typical fall chill, but that doesn’t mean the little ones should miss out on the quintessential seasonal experience of picking pumpkins. Peacock Park in Coconut Grove plays host to a yearly fete of the rotund orange squash, giving families a chance to pick out pumpkins, explore a carnival, get lost in a corn maze, and load up on edible inspiration at a pumpkin food court.
2820 McFarlane Rd, Miami, FL 33133
Get cultured at Art Basel
Attending Art Basel isn’t really a choice in Miami, since the art festival lands squarely on the town each December, seeping out from Miami Beach into events and pop-ups all over the city. But you might as well take advantage of living in the heart of the art action by attending a few galleries, drinking a little free wine, and doing your best not to complain about the traffic nightmare.
Art Basel Miami Beach
Gorge on the ocean’s riches at the South Beach Seafood Festival
In other American cities, fall means pumpkin pie, corn on the cob, and pumpkin spice lattes. But in Miami it means seafood. Along with the aforementioned stone crabs, sea critters flood plates in the last months of the year, as top chefs from around town whip up meals with shrimp, oysters, lobster, fish tacos, and ceviche.
1400 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Drink all the craft beer at Grovetoberfest
Beer nerds, assseeeemmmmmmbbbbaaaalllll. Each October, Grovetoberfest brings together hundreds of craft breweries pouring hundreds more selections to create one of the biggest craft beer festivals in the country right here in Peacock Park. An affordable general admission ticket buys you access to unlimited tastings of a range of brews from some of the top local and national producers. In other words, it’s an ideal way to spend an afternoon.
2820 McFarlane Rd, Miami, FL 33133
Attend a Halloween party on the beach
Bring your A-game if you plan to attend the annual Nightmare on the Beach Halloween bash. Partiers go all out on their costumes for the themed event, and the annual party, which benefits the Little Lighthouse Foundation, offers one of the best holiday celebrations in Miami. There’s even a children’s Halloween parade, where kids can get their faces painted and show off their own dashing, devilish outfits.
Nightmare on the Beach