January - April
Miami weather is generally comfortable this time of year, with very little rain and temperatures averaging in the 70s. Because excellent accommodations are now available in most parts of town (not just South Beach), there are more Miami hotel rooms available than ever before. That said, you should still book your accommodations as far in advance as possible. Rather than the crowds being off-putting, the buzz in the air and the continuous string of events and parties make the city a magical place to spend this time of the year. If you come, bring swimwear, shorts, comfortable walking shoes, “resort casual” clothing to wear to dinner, and a light sweater or two just in case the temp dips unexpectedly at night—or the AC is blasting inside the shops or restaurants.
May - September
Simply put, Miami summers are scorching. Ten years ago, the city was a ghost town during these months, as those who could afford to would flee for less brutal climes. Now, businesses remain open longer, perhaps closing for a two-week vacation in August, but this is peak season for tourists from Latin America. Restaurants and hotels both offer discounts (August is Miami Spice Month, with fabulous, often pricey eateries offering excellent prix fixe deals to get locals in the door) during this period. If your intention is to swim, boat or shop (summer sales start in July), prices are lowest in summer. Pack swimwear, plenty of sunscreen, a good sun hat, lightweight sundresses, gauze tops and lightweight pants and shorts for evening.
October - December
This is the time of year when the electricity of the coming holiday season starts to crackle in the air. The Miami weather becomes much more pleasant, with temperatures hovering between 75 and 83 degrees on average, making for excellent beach and watersports weather. The Broadway Series show season launches in October, the outstanding Book Fair International takes place in November, and Art Basel—the most important fine art show in the U.S.—makes December a frenzy of visual splendor and extraordinary events for art lovers from around the world. Book well in advance if you plan to be in Miami during this period.