The best times to visit Miami
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The seventh-largest city in the U.S., Miami is glitzy, gleaming and gaudy. Known for its Art Deco buildings, excellent nightlife and cruise port, this city also packs a serious cultural punch you shouldn't miss. Here are the best times to visit "Magic City."
When to find the best weather
Florida can be extremely warm and humid in summer. To avoid the steam bath every time you venture outside, visit Miami from November to April. Temperatures are moderate (highs around 80° and lows around 60°) and rain is minimal. The rains pick up from May to November; June to November is hurricane season.
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Best time to visit to avoid the crowds
Winter is high season for Miami. To avoid the crush of visitors, go during the shoulder season, from February to April. Except during spring break when the city fills with partygoers, you'll find the lowest prices and fewer visitors at this time. Of course, if you can stand the heat and humidity, there are even fewer visitors in summer.
When to visit for festivals and events
Miami is a vibrant city and there are always things going on, though you'll find some of the largest events during the cooler months.
Spring is an excellent time to visit, when daytime rain is still nearly nonexistent and the heat hasn't settled in yet. The outside activities include the massive Ultra Music Festival in March, which attracts thousands of attendees and big-name performers. If EDM isn't your style, the Winter Party (in March) is a weeklong extravaganza that raises funds for the LGBTQ community. In the same vein, Miami Beach Gay Pride takes place during May, a two-day extravaganza that has become one of the largest Pride events in the country. And then there's Miami Fashion Week from the end of May and into June.
Summer's warm waters and stifling weather mean you should spend as much time as possible at the beach or visiting natural areas like nearby Biscayne National Park. Away from the ocean, you'll find Florida Supercon, which draws comic book fans from across the state. Or there's the Bingo, Bango, That’s My Mango festival, which celebrates all things mango. And true to Miami's multicultural population, the Miami Salsa Congress hosts a full five days of hip-swinging moves in the middle of July.
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You'll need to be wary of hurricanes, but fall brings with it cooler temperatures and fewer folks. For food lovers, the season also brings Miami Spice, the annual prix fixe-menu bonanza at more than 200 local restaurants. Prices are a reasonable $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner. The festival runs until the end of September. In keeping with the food theme, the Vegan Block Party also takes place in September. For an added reason to visit, Florida's largest beer festival, Grovetoberfest, is held in October with more than 400 craft brews on tap.
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Winter is Miami's high season and there's almost too much to see and do. Take in Art Deco weekend, which celebrates Miami's famous architecture, or the Miami International Boat Show in February. Also in winter is the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, one of the largest food fests in Miami. If you're more into running than eating, the Miami Marathon winds through the city in late January.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is a large hub with many airlines flying in directly at reasonable rates. Award availability is common with any alliance, but if you're looking for the cheapest airfare, get tickets for February–March or June–September. For those with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, there's a Centurion Lounge in the airport (which offers free massages).
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As befits a big city, you'll find all kinds of hotels in Miami. For the cheapest rates, visit during the shoulder season (February to May, excluding spring break) or in summer. There are plenty of hotels redeemable with points or you can also use online travel agencies such as Orbitz to find cheap rates at hundreds of hotels.
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Looking to learn more about Miami? Here are some hotel reviews: