There are hundreds of great reasons to consider moving to Florida for retirement, but one that often goes overlooked is all of the fun and exciting festivals that happen across the Sunshine State each and every summer.
In an effort to highlight the festive side of our state, let's take a quick look at ten summer festivals you will want to put on your Florida bucket list!
Shark Week might be exciting for the rest of the country, but here in Florida, we know that a little TV programming can't hold a candle to the excitement you will find at Shark-Con, which is held at the Florida Fair Grounds in Tampa. This unique event combines the fun of a comic con with a love for all things ocean-related. And yes, there are plenty of sharks too!
Hukilau Polynesian Festival
Just about everyone who relocates to Florida has a soft spot for a good tiki bar, and there are always more than a few to choose from at The Hukilau Polynesian Festival in Fort Lauderdale. This popular event is focused around the world-famous Man-Kai restaurant and the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, but the fun spills over into the rest of town every year.
Silver Spurs Rodeo
Not everything here in Florida involves beaches and tiki bars, especially at the annual Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee. Known as “the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi,” this early June event attracts thousands of people from around the country to Osceola Heritage Park. If horses and lassos are what you are into, you won't want to miss this one.
The Key Lime Festival
As if anyone in Florida needed an excuse to head down to Key West for a weekend, The Annual Key Lime Festival sure is a good one. This is a fun community event that celebrates all things Key Lime-related through a wide range of events and activities packed into four wild days in Key West.
Another famous Key West festival is Hemingway Days, which has been held in honor of the island's favorite author in mid-July for almost half a century now. This event brings out all kinds of fans, writers, anglers, and even some Hemingway lookalikes that take part in a ridiculous contest at the iconic Sloppy Joe's.
Miami Salsa Congress
The middle of July is also a fun time to celebrate the Latin music scene that is thriving down in Miami with the Miami Salsa Congress. What's fun about this event is that you can purchase a ticket that includes access to three or five days of dance showcases, dance workshops, pool parties, gala events, and exciting concerts.
Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona
Everyone knows that Daytona International Speedway is where every NASCAR fan wants to be in early February, but the track also hosts a summertime race in July that you won't want to miss out on either. In addition to the race itself, the weekend of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 is one of the most exciting times to check out the Motorsports Hall of Fame and experience all the sights and sounds of Daytona during the summer months.
Pensacola Beach Air Show
The United States Navy's iconic Blue Angels are always the focal point of the Pensacola Beach Air Show, which is held in the middle of July each summer. Because the Blue Angels make their home in Pensacola, they always go out of their way to put on a truly exceptional show for everyone here.
Upper Keys Reef Crawl
Every August brings us the Upper Keys Reef Crawl, which is similar to a bar crawl, except the goal here is to explore the reefs, wrecks, and mangroves as you make your way from Key Largo down to Islamorada. You don't have to explore on your own though, because this event features lots of educational information along the crawl.
Summer of Rum Festival
While there might not be a lot of booze involved in the Upper Keys Reef Crawl, the Summer of Rum Festival in Tampa will more than make up the difference. This fun music festival is a great way to close out the summer with a weekend of frozen daiquiris, pina coladas, and rum runners.
From the Silver Spurs Rodeo to the Summer of Rum Festival, there is a never-ending amount of festivals happening across the state of Florida during the warm summer months. See you out there!