The fall is one of the best times to visit Miami. Where else can you find 70-degree temperatures, palm tree-lined beaches and warm waters in the middle of October (or November, for that matter)? The season is also packed with events galore. Whether you’re a foodie, beachgoer or art lover, there’s something for everyone to relish in the Magic City right now.
For the foodie
This year has been quite epic for Miami’s restaurant scene with a tons of new places to savor. And there’s plenty more to whet your palates. Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The Setai, Miami Beach’s latest concept, Jaya, is slated to open in November with executive chef Mathias Gervais (a recent winner on Food Network’s Chopped) at the helm. We hear the menu will highlight conscious Southeast Asian cuisine designed to share (Peking duck, naan bread, Indian curries, and sea bass and dumplings). Top Chef‘s Dale Talde is bringing his eponymous Brooklyn-based eatery, Talde, later this fall (make sure to order the fried chicken and dumplings when he does). Head to Restaurant Gianni’s at The Villa (formerly known as the Versace Mansion) for exceptional Italian-Mediterranean dishes. Sit on the patio to enjoy the verdant gardens and a gleaming pool bedecked with 24-kart gold and mosaics. For mouthwatering contemporary Asian street eats, check out Miami’s beloved chef Piyarat Arreeratn (“Chef Bee”) who will open NaiYaRa on Miami Beach in late October. And one of our favorite toques, Bradley Kilgore, formerly of Four-Star J&G Grill, is now heading Alter, an eatery focused on locally sourced foods with an approachable take on fine dining. You’ll find it in the up-and-coming Wynood neighborhood.
For the globetrotter
Now through January 2016, you can sample the best of Spain’s delicacies in South Florida. A landmark in Madrid since 1916, historic Spanish artisan food market La Feria del Mercado de San Miguel will make an extended appearance in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park. Set inside an impressive 9,000-square-foot indoor tent strung with twinkling lights, you can taste everything from tapas and wood-fired pizzas to meats from four dedicated “kiosks” and other delectable goodies (croquetas and gazpacho, for example) on smaller rolling carts. We’re already planning our next visit just to get seconds of that paella and jamon.
For the wine aficionado
You don’t have to wait for the next South Beach Wine & Food Festival to sample fine wines. Wine On Harvest Moon takes place on Saturday, October 24, at the historic bayfront Deering Estate at Cutler. Prepare for an intimate and enchanting epicurean evening under the soft glow of the harvest moon. Enjoy a coast-to-coast journey of U.S. wine and spirits by Crown Wine, Spirits & Gourmet and a stellar line-up of restaurants, including Four-Star The Biltmore, Bulla Gastrobar and Oceanaire Seafood Room. From November 9 through 13, Coral Gables Food Wine & Spirits Week and Festival commences, with events at various Coral Gables restaurants during the week and a street spirits, food and music festival on the weekend. For the ale imbiber, check out Coral Gables’ Beer Fest on Thursday, November 12.
For the beachgoer
With its moderate forecast and balmy weather, fall is an optimal time of year to head to the beach. It’s also primetime to sample the area’s best fresh catches, especially stone crabs. If you like surf, check out the South Beach Seafood Festival from October 21 to 24 at Lummus Park. A must-do for any sea-focused foodie, the multi-day culinary celebration marks the unofficial kick-off to Miami’s stone-crab season. The five-day affair features Miami’s best catches from 15 top area restaurants through multiple events. We highly suggest An Evening at Joe’s at world-famous Joe’s Stone Crab. It’s a splurge at $500, but the four-course dining experience paired with Hess Select wines is totally worth it.
For the art lover
Of course, one of the most-talked about events in December is Art Basel Miami Beach. Art dealers, artists, collectors and appreciators from all over the world will descend on the city from December 3 to 6 for what has become North America’s most comprehensive international contemporary art fair. (The 2014 edition drew over 260 galleries from 31 countries with works by more than 4,000 artists.) Now in its 14th year, Art Basel has also spawned over 20 pop-up satellite art fairs and a bevy of other events, exhibits and museum and gallery openings throughout the Magic City. You can purchase passes for individual days or for the entire weekend, as well as Art Basel/Design Miami combo day tickets, on Art Basel’s website or through each venue. We highly suggest booking ahead of time, though, as lines are always long.