Florida’s Fall Food Festivals Start The Season

I did my annual pilgrimage to Walt Disney World’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  It seemed a little calm after Irma, but a visitor can pile up a huge food and beverage bill shelling out almost ten dollars a booth.  I often wonder what Walt Disney would think about all the food and drinking clubs that visit this festival.

You don’t have to go to Orlando to enjoy some weekend activities related to Florida food and entertainment. There are lots of fun alternatives this fall for Florida residents and visitors and with the weather slowly getting cooler and the big winter crowds not here, it is a great time for a weekend trip.  Here are some of the better events.

Naples’ Stone Crab Festival – Naples, FL – Oct 27 to Oct 29, 2017
A weekend of food and fun with activities both on land and in & around the water starring the stone crab.  Despite the damage in Naples by Irma, one of Southwest Florida’s favorite food festivals is still on the books.

floridatraveler STONE CRABS naples

Floridians Just Love Them Stone Crabs

The opening of the stone crab season is something that Floridians who love seafood crave all year.  This big charity raising event features over twenty of the top restaurants in Naples, lots of bands, special hotel rates, and fun for the entire family.

Micanopy Fall Festival – Micanopy, FL – Oct 28 to Oct 29, 2017

One of Florida’s oldest and most unique towns is Micanopy where the film Doc Hollywood was filmed.  This is small town Florida at its best for the historic old downtown stores seems the perfect place for an old-fashioned arts and crafts festival under the oak trees.


There’s lots of good time music, regional foods, an old-fashioned auction, buggy rides, and strict rules that only original arts and crafts are on sale.

Cooter Festival – Inverness, FL – Oct 27 to Oct 29, 2017
I may have a bias for small town showcases which bring out the best of a community and this three day music festival with entertainment, carnival rides and vendors makes that category.

floridatraveler COOTER FEST

Liberty Park alongside Lake Henderson will be packed with 100+ vendors, fireworks, lot of food and kids events, and a long list of bands. And the festival has no admission charge.  By the way, a cooter is a turtle (or is it a tortoise?)

Native Rhythms Festival – Melbourne, FL – Nov 10 to Nov 12, 2017
For something very different, there is this three and a half day festival during Native American Heritage Month  which honors the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Americas through native music.

floridatraveler Native-Rhythms-Festival-Flyer

Located at Wickham Park the festival has its food and arts and crafts, but showcases some 16 flute maker vendors and jewelry vendors.  The Native American flute is the festival focus and visitors have been amazed ever since this festival started.

Downtown Festival & Art Show – Gainesville, FL – Nov 11 to Nov 12, 2017
This is a monster of a festival visited by over 100,000 people who fill the streets of historic downtown Gainesville from City Hall to the Hippodrome State Theatre.


Art Not Football Packs In This Gainesville Crowd

This is a major celebration of art and creativity with live music, performing arts and a diverse selection of drink and food. Four stages for music and over 240 selected artists make this a big family event.

Miami Harvest Festival – Miami, FL – Nov 18 to Nov 19, 2017

In its 43rd year is this large, urban arts and crafts and music festival that starts the Miami tourist season.  This festival has an admission charge for it had many indoor facilities, but is oriented for kids with free petting zoo, railroad and pony rides, and lots of games.

floridatraveler MIAMI ART FEST.jpg

Will be featuring all the major Florida winter festivals and events, including some that are not well advertised.  MCL




About floridatraveler

Historian and travel writer M. C. Bob Leonard makes the Sunshine State his home base. Besides serving as content editor for several textbook publishers and as an Emeritus college professor, he moderates the FHIC at www.floridahistory.org
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