Our Favorite Cultural Festivals in Miami
Miami is a cultural melting pot. Each weekend, various ethic groups gather to celebrate their heritage. Festivals vary by neighborhood, but always include ethnic music, native cuisine and cultural traditions. Miami is known for its rich culture, mostly Cubans who have come to Miami over the last 40 years. Little Havana is the primary neighborhood for Cuban Festivals. Be sure to stop at Calle Ocho for Cuban parties that last through the night.
212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL 33137, USA
This vibrant neighborhood is just north of Wynwood and the Miami Design District and is getting increasing attention from visitors for its independent galleries, street murals, hot restaurants, and cool bars. It’s also a great place to experience a strong Afro-Caribbean culture and tradition. On the third Friday of every month, the Little Haiti Cultural Complex puts on Big Night in Little Haiti, a concert series showcasing local bands, dance troupes, and some of the biggest names in Kreyol music. Although after-parties are held at neighboring establishments, things typically climax with a procession on nearby streets, picking up pedestrians as the night goes along.
7901 Southwest 88th Street
The Miami Greek festival is a cultural celebration by the Greek community of Miami, showcasing the highlights of their culture, cuisine and church. Food offerings will include mousaka (eggplant), pastitsio (Greek lasagna), spanokopita (spinach pie) and tyropita (cheese pie), lamb, gyros, souvlaki and Greek salads. Desserts will include Greek pastries such as baklava and honey-dipped loukoumades. The festival is by St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox located on in Kendall. Greek dancers, ages 5 -18, perform traditional folk dances. Arts and crafts will be available for sale, including clothing, homemade jewelry, religious art and devotional items. Guided tours of the Byzantine cathedral will be offered each day, and there will be a children’s area with rides, games and other activities.
455 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33130, USA
For ten days each spring (in early March), The Latino community of Miami celebrates culture, cuisine and entertainment with a vibrant array of beauty pageants, sports, concerts and international foods at Carnaval Miami. There are culinary competitions, galas and an upscale Latin jazz festival. The grand finale is Calle Ocho, a 23-block street festival in Little Havana, which is the largest block party in the world. Over a million watch live entertainment on 30 stages featuring salsa, merengue and Caribbean music. Carnival has been a cultural highlight in Miami for 35 years.
1637 Southwest 8th Street
Viernes Culturales is a local Miami event in Little Havana, where restaurants, galleries, clubs and street vendors get together on the last Friday of every month for a cultural art show. Local merchants and artists set up on the streets of Calle Ocho to turn it into what looks like a street fair. The City of Miami sets up an event area in the alley next to the Tower Theater to host DJs, performers, artists and sellers. Sponsors set up booths around here and offer free tastings and gifts. There are many live performances that occur throughout the day and night, but people dance throughout the streets during the entire festival. Many nightclubs serve drinks and vendors give out samples. Be sure to check out the expansive list of restaurants before choosing. I suggest going on a food crawl to really explore the Cuban American culture in Miami.
2212 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135, USA
When traveling to Miami, it’s important to get a taste of the Cuban culture that started this community decades ago. To immerse yourself in Latin music and Cuban tradition, head to Hoy Como Ayer, a high-end Cuban nightclub in Little Havana. The wood-paneled walls are adorned with portraits of music icons like Celia Cruz and Benny More, stained glass and picturesque old Cuban ads. On any given night you might see one of the best musicians and acts in the Latin Music scene. The most popular event Spam Allstars on Thursdays, where you’ll see the house band perform Latin-fusion music on a small stage at the front of the bar. You might even see a Latin celebrity or two hiding in the corners.
Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
Ocean Drive is classic South Beach: Art Deco hotels in candy colors, buzzy restaurants, luxury cars, and of course beautiful people. It’s great any time of day, when you can walk from 1st Street to 15th Street or just sit at an outdoor café with a foamy latte. Have sunset drinks on The Betsy hotel’s rooftop by the sky-high pool or dine at Gianni’s, the restaurant in the new luxury boutique hotel Villa Casa Casuarina, which was once the mansion where Gianni Versace lived and was killed. The over-the-top interiors have been preserved, as has the mosaic pool with 24-karat gold tiles.