16 best reasons to travel in Florida in May

Susan B. Barnes
Published: April 27, 2022

The weather’s heating up, which means so are events throughout the Sunshine State. Here we take a look at 16 of the best reasons to travel in Florida in May, from seafood and songwriter festivals to MEGACON and orchids, and plenty more.


The inaugural Savor SOFLO Festival is taking place the weekend of April 30 and May 1 in Hollywood. This food festival features bites from local restaurants, boutique hot spots and world class hotels, along with international wines, and local and national craft beers.

Key West

More than 200 performers will take to stages in a variety of Key West venues May 4-8 during the Key West Songwriters Festival. You may recognize songs performed by popular performers, or even see songwriters who have broken onto the performing scene themselves.


At 50 years, Mayfaire By-the-Lake is one of Central Florida’s largest and oldest free outdoor art festivals, and it’s returning to Lakeland May 7-8. Peruse more than 140 artists’ booths along the shores of Lake Morton with works of art like paintings, sculptures, etchings, blown glass, photography and more.

Fort Lauderdale

You’re never too old to compete, and you can see that for yourself at the National Senior Games being held May 10-23 at various locations in Fort Lauderdale and around Broward County. Competitions for the 50-plus set include archery, badminton, basketball, cornhole, cycling, golf, pickleball, power walk, race walking, racquetball, road racing, shuffleboard, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis track & field, a mini triathlon and volley ball.

Punta Gorda

If you like seafood, you’ll want to make plans to go to the Punta Gorda Seafood & Music Festival May 13-15 in Southwest Florida. While seafood is the main attraction — natch — the days will also feature meat and vegetarian dishes, sides and desserts, as well as live music.


A weekend of diverse, inclusive and accessible programming showcasing creators, guests and fans of queer-related movies, TV shows, books, video games and other media is on tap at QFX East, a LGBTQ+ event May 13-15 in downtown Tampa. Can’t make it in person? There are virtual events, too.


Flower lovers, rejoice! The Tamiami International Orchid Festival (previously known as the Redland International Orchid Festival) returns to Miami May 13-15 and this year will be held at the Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Center. This is the largest orchid show in the U.S. Lectures about orchids, including how to grow and keep insects off of them, will be offered, and there will be plenty of plants for sale.


Strawberry season may have ended here in Florida, but that means it’s blueberry season! The World Equestrian Center Blueberry Festival in Ocala will be May 14, starting off with the Blueberry Festival 5k. Afterwards, enjoy an all-you-can-eat blueberry pancake breakfast and spend the day enjoying live music, games, a farmer’s market and plenty of other blueberry goodness.


Is there a better place for a comic gathering than Orlando? We think not! MEGACON Orlando returns to Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center May 19-22. This is one of the largest comic, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming events in North America and is a chance to meet other enthusiasts as well as some of your favorite stars.


Another seafood festival to hit up this month in Florida, this time in Southwest Florida. is the Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival May 20-22. In addition to some of Florida’s best grouper, shrimp, maki, crab and other seafood dishes, the free festival features live music, an arts & crafts marketplace and more.


For a sweet time, check out the Tupelo Honey Festival on May 21 at Lake Alice Park in Wewahitchka, southwest of Tallahassee in Gulf County. This “real” Florida, one-stoplight town is known for its liquid gold – Tupelo honey. Locally-made products will be for sale, along with food and crafts, and you can enjoy live music, too.



For more than three decades the Orlando Carnival Downtown has descended, well, on downtown Orlando, and this year is no different: dates are May 27-29. The vibrant and joyous family-friendly celebration of Caribbean life includes music and dancing, food and drinks, a clothing and jewelry showcase, masquerade bands and more

Betty Ford-Smith, left, demonstrates the making of pinecone quilts for Libbie Smith, right, in the Folklife area during the Florida Folk Festival at Stephen Foster State Park. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

White Springs

After two years the Florida Folk Festival is back over Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-29) in White Springs, between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. The three-day festival features music, dance, stories, crafts and food that are unique to the Sunshine State’s cultural history. Workshops like basketmaking will also be available.


The Tampa Margarita and Music Festival returns to downtown Tampa on May 28 for a day filled with live music, arts & crafts, tacos and other delicious food and, of course, margaritas! Salud!


The The Hyundai Air & Sea Show returns to Miami over Memorial Day Weekend (May 28 & 29) for the Greatest Show Above the Earth®. The two days will be filled with offshore powerboat racing, extreme water sports and more, not to mention an exhilarating airshow overhead.

Cape Coral

Bring your appetite to the Seafood Festival & Caribbean Market in Cape Coral May 28-30. Choose from more than 50 seafood dishes, and browse arts & crafts, enjoy live music and much more.

Where will your Florida travels take you in May? Be sure to share with us on social by tagging #FloridaBeyondMay!

Next up: Explore Miami’s enchanting Coconut Grove

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