For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.
Discover Orange Bowl (tel. 305/341-4700; www.orangebowl.org), Miami. Football fanatics flock to the big Orange Bowl game (now held at Sun Life Stadium, which is much nicer than the recently razed Orange Bowl) on New Year's Day, featuring what seems to be a different corporate sponsor every year and two of the year's best college football teams. Call early if you want tickets; they sell out quickly. First week of January.
Key West Literary Seminar (tel. 888/293-9291; www.kwls.org), Key West. Literary types have a good reason to put down their books and head to Key West. This 3-day event features a different theme every year, along with a roster of incredible authors, writers, and other literary types. The event is so popular it sells out well in advance, so call early for tickets. Second week of January.
Everglades City Seafood Festival (tel. 239/695-2561; www.evergladesseafoodfestival.com), Everglades City. What seems like schools of fish-loving people flock down to Everglades City for a 2-day feeding frenzy in which Florida delicacies from stone crab to gator tails are served from shacks and booths on the outskirts of this quaint Old Florida town. Free admission, but you pay for the food you eat, booth by booth. First full weekend in February.
Speedweeks (tel. 386/254-2700; www.daytonaintlspeedway.com), Daytona. Nineteen days of events, with a series of races that draw the top names in NASCAR stock car racing, culminate in the Daytona 500. All events take place at the Daytona International Speedway. Especially for the Daytona 500, tickets must be purchased as far as a year in advance; they go on sale January 1 of the prior year. First 3 weeks of February.
Miami International Boat Show (tel. 954/441-3231; www.miamiboatshow.com), Miami Beach. If you don't like crowds, beware, as this show draws a quarter of a million boat enthusiasts to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Some of the world's priciest megayachts, speedboats, sailboats, and schooners are displayed for purchase or for gawking. Mid-February.
South Beach Wine & Food Festival (tel. 877/762-3933; www.sobewineandfoodfest.com), South Beach. A 3-day celebration featuring some of the Food Network's best chefs, who do their thing in the kitchens of various restaurants and at events around town. In addition, there are tastings, lectures, seminars, and parties that are all open to the public -- for a price, of course. Last weekend in February.
Bike Week (tel. 800/854-1234; www.officialbikeweek.com), Daytona Beach. This international gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts draws a crowd of more than 200,000. In addition to major races held at Daytona International Speedway (featuring the world's best road racers, motocrossers, and dirt trackers), there are motorcycle shows, beach parties, and the Annual Motorcycle Parade, with thousands of riders. First week in March.
Winter Party (tel. 305/538-5908; www.winterparty.com), Miami Beach. Gays and lesbians from around the world book trips to Miami far in advance to attend this weekend-long series of parties and events benefiting the Dade Human Rights Foundation. Travel arrangements can be made through Different Roads Travel, the event's official travel company, by calling tel. 888/ROADS-55 (762-3755), ext. 510. Early March.
Spring Break, Daytona Beach, Miami Beach, Panama City Beach, Key West, and other beaches. College students from all over the United States and Canada flock to Florida for endless partying, wet-T-shirt and bikini contests, free concerts, volleyball tournaments, and more. Three weeks in March.
Calle Ocho Festival (tel. 305/644-8888; www.carnavalmiami.com), Little Havana. What Carnaval is to Rio, the Calle Ocho Festival is to Miami. This 10-day extravaganza, also called Carnival Miami, features a lengthy block party spanning 23 blocks, with live salsa music, parades, and, of course, tons of savory Cuban delicacies. Those afraid of mob scenes should avoid this party at all costs. Mid-March.
Conch Republic Independence Celebration (tel. 305/296-0213; www.conchrepublic.com), Key West. A 10-day party celebrating the day the Conch Republic seceded from the union. Events include a kooky bed race and drag queen race to mini-golf tournaments, cruiser car shows, and booze, lots of it. Mid-April.
Lower Keys Underwater Music Fest (tel. 800/872-3722), Looe Key. When you hear the phrase "the music and the madness," you may think of this amusing aural aquatic event in which boaters head out to the underwater reef at the Looe Key Marine Sanctuary, drop speakers into the water, and pipe in all sorts of music, creating a disco-diving spectacular. Considering the heat at this time of year, underwater is probably the coolest place for a concert. Early July.
Blue Angels Air Show (tel. 800/874-1234 or 850/434-1234; www.visitpensacola.com or www.blueangels.navy.mil), Pensacola. World-famous navy pilots do their aerial acrobatics just 33 feet off Pensacola Beach. Early July.
NKF Labor Day Pro-Am Surfing Festival (tel. 321/459-2200; www.nkfsurf.com), Cocoa Beach. One of the largest surfing events on the East Coast draws pros and amateurs from around the country. There are also rock-'n'-roll bands and swimsuit contests. Labor Day weekend.
Biketoberfest (tel. 386/253-RACE [253-7223]; www.biketoberfest.org), Daytona. Road-racing stars compete at the CCS Motorcycle Championship at Daytona International Speedway. There are parties, parades, concerts, and more. Mid-October.
Clearwater Jazz Holiday (tel. 727/461-5200; www.clearwaterjazz.com), Clearwater. Top jazz musicians play for 4 days and nights at bayfront Coachman Park in this free musical extravaganza. Mid-October.
Halloween Horror Nights (tel. 800/837-2273 or 407/363-8000; www.universalorlando.com), Orlando. Universal Studios transforms its grounds for 19 nights into haunted attractions with live bands, a psychopath's maze, special shows, and hundreds of ghouls and goblins roaming the streets. The studio closes at dusk, reopening in a new macabre form at 7pm. Full admission is charged for the event, which is geared toward adults. Mid-October to Halloween.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (tel. 407/934-7639; www.disneyworld.com), Orlando. At Walt Disney World, guests are invited to trick-or-treat in the Magic Kingdom, starting at 7pm. The party includes parades, storytelling, live music, and a bewitching fireworks display. End of October.
Fantasy Fest (tel. 305/296-1817; www.fantasyfest.net), Key West. Mardi Gras takes a Floridian holiday as the streets of Key West are overtaken by costumed revelers who have no shame and no parental guidance. This weeklong, hedonistic, X-rated Halloween party is not for children 17 and under. Make reservations in Key West early, as hotels tend to book up quickly during this event. Last week of October.
American Sandsculpting Festival (tel. 239/454-7500; www.sandfestival.com), Fort Myers Beach. Some 50,000 gather to sculpt and to see the world's finest sand castles. First weekend in November.
Miami Book Fair International (tel. 305/237-3258), Miami. Bibliophiles, literati, and some of the world's most prestigious and prolific authors descend upon Miami for a weeklong homage to the written word, which also happens to be the largest book fair in the United States. The weekend street fair is the best attended of the entire event, in which regular folk mix with wordsmiths such as Tom Wolfe, Nora Ephron, Salman Rushdie, and Jane Smiley while indulging in snacks, antiquarian books, and literary gossip. All lectures are free but fill up quickly, so get there early. Mid-November.
Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show (tel. 800/874-1234 or 850/434-1234; www.visitpensacola.com or www.blueangels.navy.mil), Pensacola. World-famous Navy pilots do their aerial acrobatics just 33 feet off the beach. Second weekend in November.
Art Basel Miami Beach (www.artbaselmiamibeach.com), Miami Beach/Design District. Switzerland's most exclusive art fair and the world's most prominent collectors fly south for the winter and set up shop on South Beach and in the Design District with thousands of exhibitions, not to mention cocktail parties, concerts, and containers -- as in shipping -- that are set up on the beach and transformed into makeshift galleries. First or second weekend in December.
Edison & Ford Winter Homes Holiday House (tel. 239/334-7419; www.efwefla.org/home.asp), Fort Myers. Christmas music and thousands of lights hail the holiday season here. At the same time, candles create a spectacular Luminary Trail along the full length of Sanibel Island's Periwinkle Way. First week of December.
Christmas at Walt Disney World (www.disneyworld.com), Orlando. As you would imagine, all of the Disney properties get into the holiday spirit. In the Magic Kingdom, Main Street is lavishly decked out with lights and holly and an 80-foot glistening tree. Call tel. 407/824-4321 for holiday events, or 934-7639 for travel packages. Throughout December.
Seminole-Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade (tel. 954/767-0686; www.winterfestparade.com), Fort Lauderdale. People who complain that the holiday season just isn't as festive in South Florida as it is in colder parts of the world haven't been to this spectacular boat parade along the Intracoastal Waterway. Forget decking the halls. At this parade, the decks are decked out in magnificent holiday regalia as they gracefully -- and boastfully -- glide up and down the water. If you're not on a boat, the best views are from waterfront restaurants or anywhere you can squeeze in along the water. Mid-December.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.