advertisement

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.

January

FedEx Orange Bowl Championship (tel. 305/341-4700; www.orangebowl.org), Miami. Football fanatics flock down to the big Orange Bowl game (taking place not at the recently razed Orange Bowl in seedy downtown, but at the much more savory Dolphins Stadium) on New Year's Day, featuring two of the year's best college football teams. Call early if you want tickets; they sell out quickly. First week of January.

Polo Season (tel. 561/793-1440; www.palmbeachpolo.com), Palm Beach. Join the crisp and clean Ralph Lauren-clad polo fanatics (including stars and socialites) at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club for polo season. Begins in early January.

Key West Literary Seminar (tel. 888/293-9291; www.keywestliteraryseminar.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.

Art Deco Weekend (tel. 305/672-2014; www.mdpl.org), South Beach. Gain a newfound appreciation for the Necco-wafered Art Deco buildings, Deco furniture, history, and fashion at this weekend-long festival of street fairs, films, lectures, and other events. Mid- to late January.

February

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.

Coconut Grove Arts Festival (tel. 305/447-0401; www.coconutgroveartsfest.com), Coconut Grove. Florida's largest art festival features over 300 artists who are selected from thousands of entries. Possibly one of the most crowded street fairs in South Florida, the festival attracts art lovers, artists, and lots of college students who seem to think this event is the Mardi Gras of art fairs. Presidents' Day weekend.

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.

Miami International Film Festival (tel. 877/888-MIFF [6433]; www.miamifilmfestival.com), Miami. Though not exactly Cannes, the Miami Film Festival, sponsored by the Film Society of America, is an impressive 10-day celluloid celebration, featuring world premieres of Latin American, domestic, and other foreign and independent films. Actors, producers, and directors show up to plug their films and participate in Q&A sessions with the audiences. End of February to early March.

March

Winter Party (tel. 305/538-5908; www.winterparty.com), Miami Beach. Gays and lesbians from around the world book trips to Miami as far as a year in advance to attend this weekendlong 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.

Grand Prix of Miami (tel. 866/409-RACE [7223]; www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com), Homestead. A little bit of Daytona in Miami, the Grand Prix is a premier racing event, attracting celebrities, Indy Car drivers, and curious spectators who get a buzz off the smell of gasoline. Get tickets early, as this event sells out quickly. Early to mid-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 Carnaval 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.

Winter Music Conference (tel. 954/563-4444; www.wmcon.com), Miami. A massive dance, electronic and techno-music industry gathering featuring DJs, musicians, execs and artists from around the world all on a mission to promote their sounds. Rather than taking place in a convention hall, however, WMC takes over Miami's clubs, lounges, hotels and restaurants where spin doctors of all genres wheel, deal and perform. Sometimes live. Many events are open to the public. Mid-March.

Sony Ericsson Open (tel. 866/725-5472; www.sonyericssonopen.com), Key Biscayne. Roddick, Nadal, Federer, and the Williams sisters are only a few of the Grand Slammers who appear at this, one of the world's foremost tennis tournaments. Tickets for the semifinals and finals are hard to come by, so order early. End of March.

April

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 minigolf tournaments, cruiser car shows and booze, lots of it. Late-April.

World Cup Polo Tournament (tel. 305/538-3809; www.miamipolo.com), South Beach. The last tournament of the polo season, this event draws the diamond-studded mallet set who gather on the sands of South Beach one more time in the name of scene and sport. Mid-April.

Sunfest (tel. 561/659-5980; www.sunfest.com), West Palm Beach. Sleepy downtown West Palm comes alive at the end of April for this street fair and concert, featuring big-name entertainment, food stands, a youth fair, and hordes of people. Admission charges are reasonable, but, unless there's someone performing whom you must see, not always worth the price. Stick to the free nontented area on Clematis Street for excellent people-watching.

Air Lauderdale (tel. 954/241-0395; www.airlauderdale.com), Fort Lauderdale. A two-day spectacle featuring top military and civilian pilots showing off in the sky as spectators crane their necks along 4 miles of the city's beach. Previously known as the Air and Sea Show, the event has been known to attract millions of people, so air and space at this event is a premium. Late April.

Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (tel. 305/534-9924; www.mglff.com), Miami Beach. This 10-day event is the Sundance of festivals for gay and lesbian films and filmmakers. It features an impressive roster of independent and commercial films, plus appearances by some of the films' directors, actors, and writers. Late April, early May.

July

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.

Hemingway Days Festival (tel. 305/294-4440), Key West. The legendary author is alive and well -- many times over -- at this celebration of the literary world's most famous Papa, to which eerily accurate Hemingway clones flock in the hopes of winning the big look-alike contest. Late-July.

August/September

These months are possibly the most scorching, which is why event planners try to avoid it altogether. Your best bet? Try the beach, pool, or anywhere with air-conditioning.

October

Columbus Day Regatta, Miami. On the day that Columbus discovered America, the party-hearty discover their fellow Americans' birthday suits, as this bacchanalia encourages participants in the so-called regatta (there is a boat race at some point during the day, but most people are too preoccupied to notice) to strip down to their bare necessities and party at the sandbar in the middle of Biscayne Bay. You may not need a bathing suit, but you will need a boat to get out to where all the action is. Consider renting one on Key Biscayne, which is the closest to the sandbar. Second weekend of October.

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (tel. 954/764-7642), Fort Lauderdale. The world's largest boat show, this one's got boats of every size, shape, and status symbol displayed at the scenic Bahia Mar marina and four other locations in the area. Traffic-phobes beware. Mid-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 wildly 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.

November

South Florida International Auto Show (tel. 305/947-5950), Miami Beach. Cars are everywhere -- literally -- at this massive auto show, displaying the latest and most futuristic modes of transportation on the market. Try to take public transportation or call a cab to get to this gridlocked event. Early November.

Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship (tel. 866/409-RACE [7223] or 305/230-5200; www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com), Homestead. World-class racing takes place on Miami's world-class 344-acre motor sports complex. Rev your engines early for tickets to this event. Mid-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 downtown 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.

White Party Week, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. This weeklong series of parties to benefit AIDS research is built around the main event, the White Party, which takes place at Villa Vizcaya and sells out as early as a year in advance. Philanthropists and celebrities such as Calvin Klein and David Geffen join thousands of white-clad, mostly gay men (and some women) in what has become one of the world's hottest and hardest-to-score party tickets. Thanksgiving week.

December

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.

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.