By Paul Rubio
From late October to mid-November, Miami hosts an eclectic lineup of festivals and events, from the country’s premiere plant-based food and wine festival to one of the most prestigious car shows in the nation. Easily accessible from your beach hideaway at Acqualina Resort & Spa, here’s our guide to the five best celebrations to attend this fall.
South Beach Seafood Festival
Named the “Best Seafood Festival in the US” by the Travel Channel, this annual fête is anchored by a Saturday grand tasting featuring bites aplenty from Miami’s top seafood restaurants, along with 30 (yes, 30) bars, three live music stages, and a culinary showcase area. Leading up to the big day, anticipate four nights of seafood-centric soirées: a VIP, claw-cracking dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab on Tuesday (officially kicking off stone crab season); a six-course dinner hosted by celebrity Chef Sean Brasel (of Chopped fame) on Wednesday; the “Crabs, Slabs, and Cabs” surf-and-turf dinner-meets-wine party on Thursday; and a Top Chef-style competition between 14 chefs during Friday’s “VIP Chef Showdown.”
- When: October 22nd –26th, 2019
- Location: Various across South Beach
Miami International Auto Show
From BMW and Porsche to Lamborghini and Rolls Royce, the biggest names in the auto industry descend upon the Magic City in November to showcase their latest models over a million square feet of exhibition space at the Miami Beach Convention Center. As the first major auto show of the new car season, expect coveted first looks at the industry’s big-deal 2020 releases. What’s more? A number of the forty manufacturers in attendance will offer “ride and drive” experiences, allowing show-goers to actually take the wheel. Visitors can also anticipate museum-worthy displays of convertible cars, historic cars from 1950s Cuba, and other classic models.
- When: November 1st–10th, 2019
- Location: Miami Beach Convention Center
Seed Food and Wine Week Miami
A celebration of plant-based living, sustainability, and wellness, this highly anticipated annual food and wine festival attracts over 10,000 attendees for four exciting days of workshops, cooking demonstrations, speaking panels, cooking competitions, and food, beer, and wine tastings. Expect to feast on cuisine by a who’s-who lineup of vegan chefs, watch the battle for the “Best Veggie Burger in America” in real time, and connect with nationally renowned plant-based lifestyle experts. The event, which took the #3 spot in USA Today’s 2018 Best Wine Festivals rankings, peaks during Saturday’s Festival Day Tasting Village, a grand affair where guests can sample vegan food and products from over 150 exhibitors and attend talks by noted influencers, authors, and wellness experts. (Acqualina readers and guests can use code ACQUALINA20 to receive 20 percent off tickets to any of the Seed events.)
- When: November 7th-10th, 2019
- Location: Various across Wynwood and Design District
Music in the Isles
Formerly known as the Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest, this festival has been shortened from a five-day affair into a weekend and rebranded to reflect this year’s diverse musical line-up. The revelry kicks off on Friday, November 15th at Acqualina’s very own Il Mulino New York, featuring a special jazz performance paired with a decadent prix fixe menu including Grilled Octopus, Risotto Cacio e Pepe, and more ($65 per person). At 7pm on Saturday, November 16th at Gateway Park, noted jazz artist Ed Calle will perform, followed by Grammy-award winning headliner Jon Secada. Pre-purchase reserved seats ($30) or general admission tickets ($15).
- When: November 15th and 16th, 2019
- Location: Il Mulino New York and Gateway Park
Ford Championship Weekend
All three major NASCAR racing series reach their dramatic conclusions during this star-studded weekend, when the final championship races are held at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Friday evening, a champion will emerge in the Ford EcoBoost 200, the finale of the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series. On Saturday, a victor will be determined in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ford EcoBoost 300. The biggest adrenaline rush happens Sunday with the NASCAR Monster Cup Ford EcoBoost 400, when a winner is crowned in the be-all, end-all of NASCAR speed races after reaching the 400-mile finish line (that’s 267 laps!).
- When: November 15th-17th, 2019
- Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway