Set on the idyllic Virginia Key in the heart of Biscayne Bay, the Miami International Boat Show brings the pleasure to pleasure boating. Some 550 cruising boats, racing boats, sailing boats, catamarans, powerboats, and mega yachts line the three miles of quays and jetties – the largest temporary marina in the world - bringing together the engineering and innovation of the world’s top boat builders.
The five-day event is held over President’s Day Weekend and promises to be a fun, relaxed and informative celebration of boating aimed at everyone from total beginners to those in the know. For those serious about buying a boat, there are opportunities to do sea trials and water demonstrations, as well as a huge amount of maritime products for boat owners to peruse. Dine in the waterfront restaurants, let the kids try the simulation boats, treat yourself to some new sailing gear, or simply get swept up in the excitement and passion for the ocean.
The show takes over the huge Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin on Virginia Key - just across the Bay from downtown Miami - with the main entrance for all ticket holders on Rickenbacker Causeway. Free shuttle buses will drop visitors at the main entrance, whilst there is the designated water taxi drop off inside the show (tickets must be shown or purchased at water taxi stations beforehand). ???
Hottest New Boats this Year
From paddleboats to superyachts, the Miami Boat Show demonstrates just how far we’ve come in pleasure boating. The boats are the crowning glory of the show, and wandering the quays and jetties reveals the innovation, imagination, and prowess of the industry. There are too many incredible manufacturers and world debuts to name them all, but here are some to keep an eye out for:
GT60: The much-anticipated GT60 by Palm Beach Motor Yachts is set to make her global debut at the show, and she promises to be a head-turner. She is super fast, but also one of the most fuel-efficient yachts in the world – an innovative and eco-conscious combination.
Axopar 37: If you miss the world premiere of this 37 foot (11 metre) powerboat at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, then she will be on display in Miami in all her sleek glory. With a light-filled closed cabin and powerful yet efficient engines (combined with a huge fuel tank), she is impressively long-range for her size.
Yamaha 2020 WaveRunner: It’s not all boats at the show, and water toys are well represented. Be sure to look out for Yamaha’s latest jet ski models, with flashy new colours and bigger, quieter engines. The perfect way to cruise around Miami’s tropical waters.
The Miami International Boat Show delivers something for all kinds of boaters. Whether you are a seasoned boat owner, with a huge amount of experience, or just starting out in your boating journey there is plenty of information, things to look at, advice to be found, and seminars and workshops to attend. Be sure to walk the floating docks and see all the latest boats, from jaw-dropping mega yachts today sailboats. There is so much going on that you’ll be hard-pressed to do it all in one day, so we recommend checking out the official website and planning your day in advance so you don’t miss out. These are some of our highlights for this year:
Miss Geico Offshore Racing Boat: On display will be the canary yellow World Champion powerboat. Made of carbon/Kevlar, the 50 foot beast of a machine can reach of speeds of over 200 miles per hour thanks to her 3,300 horsepower engines. A truly impressive feat of engineering.
On-Water Training Courses: This is your chance to get out on the beautiful Miami waters under the guidance of Qualified ASA Instructors and try your hand a variety of boats. While there is an additional fee, it is modest for the comprehensive three-hour session you receive. Both motorboat and sailing boat courses are available. Check the official website for a full schedule and to reserve both on water and classroom courses.
Location: Miami Marine Stadium, Virginia Key, Miami
Dates: 13th to 17th February 2020
Opening times: Daily 10.00 am to 6.00 pm (closes at 5 pm on Monday 17th)
Tickets: General admittance tickets start from $30 for a day ticket or $55 for a two-day pass on 14th to 17th. Tickets for Premier Day on the 13th are $45. Children under the age of 12 enter for free. VIP Experience tickets cost $155-180 per day and include access to the luxury lounge with complimentary food, drink, and entertainment.
Where to Stay
Miami has got some serious style and nowhere is this more evident than its selection of hotels. Chic, funky, glamorous and sophisticated – sometimes all at the same time – Miami’s hotels exude artistry, Art Deco architecture and beachside fun. From the big name brands all putting on their best show to boutique hotels oozing personality you’ll find plenty to choose from. These are just some of the highlights:
Loews Miami Beach Hotel: There are so many reasons to love this Miami Beach hotel. While it’s a little further from the show than downtown hotels, it makes for a perfect holiday base for the whole family, with its lagoon-style pool, sumptuous spa and one of the best restaurants in the city, the Lure Fishbar.
Eurostars Langford: The epitome of Miami glamour, Langford is an exquisite independent boutique hotel offering equally exquisite food, Beaux-Arts architecture, and 1920s-inspired design. Enjoy sunset drinks by the rooftop bar for incredible views.
Villas and Apartments: From cute studio apartments to incredible condos with sea views, there is a huge selection of high-quality accommodation to be found on websites such as Airbnb.com and Vrbo.com.
Where to Eat
Miami has no shortage of places to eat. In fact, eating out is one of the highlights of a visit to this enigmatic, fun-loving city. From sand-in-your-toes rustic eateries on the beach to swanky restaurants helmed by the country’s finest chefs, there is something for every taste and budget. Hee, we have picked a couple of our favourites:
At the Show: The show offers a huge variety of places to eat, from the grab-on-the-go food trucks and café stands, to sit down restaurants. This year you’ll find the Latin Café and The Knife Steakhouse in the Center Court arena, as well as plenty of places offering views of the water and boats.
SALT Waterfront Restaurant: On the University of Miami’s RSMAS campus on Virginia Key, this relaxed lunch restaurant is popular both for its food and its staggering views of Biscayne Bay. Find everything from daily specials to light, crispy salads, paninis, and melt-in-the-mouth cookies.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio: For a sumptuous dinner with a view to be remembered, try this gem inside the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key. The food is a delightful surprise, a fusion of Asian and Peruvian flavours which showcases Miami’s fresh fish and seafood. Ceviche is most certainly on the menu.
The closest airport is Miami International Airport, which welcomes flights from all over the world. From downtown Miami, there are free shuttle buses and water taxis taking ticket holders directly to the show out on Virginia Key. See the official website for shuttle and water taxi pick up points.
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