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Miami-Miami Beach EventsIn addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals and events that may coincide with your visit.

South Florida's guarantee of year-round warm, sunny days makes Miami a natural destination for festivals of all types. Football fanatics start the year off right (especially if their team wins!) at the Capital One Orange Bowl , a late December or early January clash between two of the nation's top-ranked collegiate teams. Being part of the Bowl Championship Series guarantees fans a top-notch match-up, in addition to a high-energy half-time spectacular. The contest's name is somewhat of a misnomer, though, as the game moved north from Miami's venerable Orange Bowl to Hard Rock Stadium (formerly Sun Life Stadium).

Fun Things to See in Miami-Miami Beach

South Beach's whimsical architecture is the focus of mid-January's Art Deco Weekend . Sponsored by the Miami Design Preservation League, the 3-day event promotes the culture and the unique design elements that constitute Miami Beach's historic Art Deco District. Ocean Drive between 5th and 15th streets is closed for the duration of the event, all the better to appreciate the pastel-hued 1930s gems lining the street. Walking tours; a film series; lectures; music, dance and theatrical performances; a parade; and vendors with era-appropriate antiques and collectibles help reinforce the theme.

If you're vacationing in Florida (or if you live here), chances are you came to be near the water or, better yet, on it. A boater's idea of heaven surely must include the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail . This 5-day event, held at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin in February, brings together more than 2,300 manufacturers of boats, engines and boat-related accessories and a quarter of a million aficionados—a match made in heaven, so to speak. Whether you're ready to buy or are just window shopping, you can find anything from personal watercraft to luxury yachts. If you prefer your boat to have sails, head to the show's Strictly-Sail Miami at Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace.

What to Do in Coconut Grove

Slightly later in the month, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival , held in the tropical, eclectic village of the same name, is one of the nation's leading outdoor art festivals. Known for its trendy shopping and entertainment district, the Grove is the perfect setting for this 3-day affair featuring the works of more than 380 of the country's premier artists and craftsmen. Art lovers can mingle with vendors while admiring their paintings; jewelry and metalwork; sculptures; photography; and glass, fiber, clay and wood works.

Things to do in Spring

Miami-bound foreign and independent film fans will enjoy the Miami International Film Festival , which takes place during March at several venues around the city.

It takes 2 weeks in March to celebrate Carnaval Miami , a Hispanic extravaganza drawing revelers from around the world. Held mostly in the Little Havana section of Miami, the colorful fiesta features Latin music and culinary delights; parades; fireworks; and sporting events, including a domino tournament. The festivities culminate with Calle Ocho, said to be the nation's largest street party. Twenty-three blocks of S.W. 8th Street in Little Havana are closed down to accommodate more than 30 stages from which salsa, merengue and Caribbean rhythms pulsate. Some estimates claim a million partygoers pack this gargantuan block party.

When spring arrives in Miami, the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition can't be far behind. Known simply as The Fair, the 25-day event from mid-March into April is a family favorite. The 80-acre Fair Expo Center at Coral Way and 112th Avenue is where fairgoers can whoop it up on midway rides, chow down on corn dogs and cotton candy, survey blue ribbon-winning cows and apple pies, and try to win the elusive teddy bear at games of chance.

Fall in Miami-Miami Beach

Cultural heritage comes to the forefront in the fall. Events include Miami Broward One Carnival , a celebration of Caribbean dance, cuisine and music.

The Homestead-Miami Speedway in nearby Homestead is the site of the Ford Championship Weekend in mid-November. Three season-ending NASCAR races, including the Ford EcoBoost 400 , draw the sport's biggest names and their legions of fans.

For a full week in late November bibliophiles gather at the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami to indulge their passion for the printed word. The Miami Book Fair International , one of the nation's largest such fairs and a booklover's delight, offers readings by authors from the United States and abroad, a rare book show and events for young readers.

December in Miami-Miami Dade

Art dealers, collectors and lovers have access to an international assemblage of museum-caliber artworks in early December at Art Basel Miami Beach , held at galleries throughout the Art Deco District.

Handmade arts and crafts, alligator wrestling, food and Native American music are all part of the festivities that take place over a period of several days in late December at the Miccosukee Indian Village during the Miccosukee Indian Arts Festival . In a zany spoof of the beloved King Orange Jamboree Parade, the King Mango Strut in late December features such wacky entries as the Marching Freds. The New Year's Eve Big Orange Ball Drop and Bayfront Park Fireworks kicks off a weekend of New Year's celebrations.

See all the AAA recommended events for this destination.

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Miami, FL

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Travel Information

Miami Population

399,457

Miami Elevation

20 ft.

Miami Beach Population

87,779

Miami Beach Elevation

4 ft.

Sales Tax

Miami-Dade County sales tax is 7 percent. An additional hotel room tax is 6 percent in Miami-Dade County, with the exception of Surfside and Bal Harbour, where the resort tax is 4 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(305) 476-5423 (Miami-Dade County) or (305) 579-6111 (Miami)

Fire (non-emergency)

(786) 331-5000 (Miami-Dade County) or (305) 416-5400 (Miami)

Time and Temperature

(305) 324-8811

Hospitals

Baptist Hospital of Miami, (786) 596-1960; Jackson South Community Hospital, (305) 251-2500; North Shore Medical Center, (305) 835-6000; University of Miami Hospital, (305) 689-5511; Westchester General Hospital, (305) 264-5252.

Visitor Information

701 Brickell Ave. Suite 2700 Miami, FL 33131. Phone:(305)539-3000 or (800)933-8448

Air Travel

Miami International Airport

Rental Cars

Miami and Miami Beach are served by many major car rental agencies. Hertz, (800) 654-3080, or (305) 871-0300 at Miami International Airport, and (305) 534-4661 inside the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

The Amtrak Station is at 8303 N.W. 37th Ave. For arrival information phone (305) 835-1221; for reservations and other information phone (800) 872-7245.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc. stations are at 3801 N.W. 21st St., (305) 871-1810, in Miami; at 16000 N.W. Seventh Ave., (305) 688-7277, in North Miami.

Taxis

Cabs are plentiful and operate on the meter system. Fares are $2.95 base fee plus $2.40 per mile and 40c for each minute of waiting. A $1 fuel surcharge and an airport surcharge may apply. The largest companies are Yellow Cab Co., (305) 444-4444, and Metro Taxi, (305) 888-8888.

Public Transportation

Transportation by elevated light rail, people mover and bus is available in Miami.

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