The arrival of cooler weather brings dreams of warmer climates. If you're considering Florida or the Caribbean for your next beach vacation, take a look at our roundup of upcoming events and hotel openings slated for the fall season.
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Seafood Festival Returns to South Beach
October marks the return of the South Beach Seafood Festival, to be held at 7th and Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m on the 22nd. The festival features pop-up cafes from dozens of area restaurants showcasing their best seafood dishes.
Expect to find goodies like stone crabs, oysters, shrimp tacos, mahi sliders, scallop BLTs and more. Participating restaurants include Joe's Stone Crabs, Naked Taco, CJ's Shack, A Fish Called Avalon and Papa's Raw Bar, to name just a few.
Tickets start at $35 and include a free open bar — food items will be offered in the $5-$8 range. VIP tickets ($150) include food vouchers, private samplings and access to the VIP Hospitality Village.
For more info, visit sobeseafoodfest.com.
New Adults-Only, All-Inclusive Boutique Resort Opens in Jamaica
Mango's Jamaica has opened its doors to guests looking for the adults-only, all-inclusive beach resort experience.
The 3.5-star resort boasts 96 guest rooms in low-rise, wooden buildings with beach, pool or garden views. Rooms have balconies, king-size beds and in-room stocked mini-bars.
The property, located just 30 minutes from Montego Bay, also offers a freeform swimming pool with a swim-up bar, two hot tubs, four restaurants and four bars serving premium brand drinks.
As if that doesn't sound good enough, rates are reduced by 15% for stays in September and October, plus a free airport transfer for stays of three nights or more.
Book at www.mangosjamaica.com.
Nobu Hotel in Miami Beach Now Taking Reservations Through New Site
A new hotel has been added to the mix along Miami Beach's oceanfront.
Nobu Hotel, to be soft launched this fall, offers 206 guest rooms and suites occupying their own space within the Eden Roc Miami Beach's Morris Lapidus tower, which is undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation. The property will have a "contemporary Japanese beach house" feel. Reservations can be made on the hotel's newly launched website, www.nobuedenroc.com.
At the heart of the experience is the world-renowned Nobu Miami Japanese restaurant, helmed by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Guests can treat themselves to 24-hour in-room dining from the restaurant. Malibu Farm, another on-site dining option, will unveil its farm-to-fork concept in November 2016.
The project was masterminded by Chef Nobu, along with Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, Hollywood producer Meir Teper and Australian business tycoon James Packer.
Folly Beach Sees Uptick in Tourism Interest
While Charleston is enjoying its recent accolades as "World's Best City" by Travel + Leisure and "Friendliest City in the World" by Conde Nast Traveler, nearby Folly Beach is soaking up the glory too.
FollyBeach.com, a resource on lodging, restaurants and events for the South Carolina beach town, experienced a surge in traffic following the two awards, with vacation rental requests increasing 15 percent over the same period last year.
"This is a great time to discover Folly Beach," FollyBeach.com Director Blake Bookstaff says. "We love introducing new vacationers to this picture-perfect destination."
To learn more about this one-of-a-kind coastal destination located just 15 minutes from downtown Charleston, visit FollyBeach.com.
New Harmony of the Seas Ship Seeks Godmother
Calling all cruise-lovers making an impact in South Florida — the new cruise ship Harmony of the Seas is on the hunt for a godmother.
Royal Caribbean has partnered with South Florida ABC affiliate Local 10 to locate a local mentor, educator or teacher with a "passion for education" who works or volunteers in Miami-Dade County, Broward County or Palm Beach County.
According to maritime tradition, the ship's godmother will break a bottle to christen the ship and act as a "guiding spirit" for its guests and crew. The winner of the contest, which ends on September 23, will receive $25,000 for her school or non-profit, and will sail onboard the ship with three guests for a two-night pre-inaugural cruise.
Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is largest cruise ship in the world, with seven distinct neighborhoods, the tallest slide at sea, the fastest internet at sea, and tons of dining options. The ship is scheduled to arrive at its home port of Port Everglades in November, and will offer Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.
Visit www.local10.com/godmother for more information and to nominate.