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What could be better than a vacation in hot, sunny Florida? How about eating your way across the panhandle and up and down the Gulf and Atlantic coasts? For foodies in the know, the Sunshine State has more to offer than just golf, beaches, and Mickey Mouse–it’s also a culinary haven. Here’s a guide to five of the best food festivals in Florida.

 

Boca Bacchanal, Boca Raton

This cheekily named wine festival appeals to lovers of good spirits, in both senses of the word. Held in the spring, the Bacchanal features live entertainment, an assortment of tasty wines and beers from around the world, and a selection of mouthwatering delicacies from area restaurants. Don’t miss the Vintner’s Dinner, the crown jewel of the celebration. For more information, click here.

 

International Chocolate Festival, Coral Gables

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! This celebration of the almighty cacao bean provides the perfect excuse to visit Florida in winter. Cooking demonstrations and kids activities are offered, along with the opportunity to taste a wide variety of coffees, teas, and of course, chocolates. Visit the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden website to learn more.

 

Groovin’ and Tastin’, Fort Pierce

Another winter celebration, held in the Sunrise City. Participants can enjoy food, wine, beer, and live entertainment, all for a good cause–proceeds go to benefit the Bluebird Educational Foundation, which provides musical instruments and scholarships to needy area students. Check out the event’s website for more information.

 

Brew on the Bay, Key Largo

Experience the exoticism of the Keys while sampling beers from over 80 vendors. Ambitious participants can even enter the home brew competition. While 2018’s planned January date for this event fell through as a result of the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, one can expect next year’s festival to be even more special. To stay up to date, visit the website.

 

Walt Disney World Food & Wine Classic, Lake Buena Vista

Hosted by the Swan and Dolphin resorts during the fall, this festival will appeal even to those who think they have no use for Disney World. The food and wine are just the cherry on the sundae–there are many educational seminars offered, as well as an array of entertainment that can’t be found anywhere else. Book early; this one fills up fast! For more information, click here.

 

Hal Abramson is a food festival promoter based in Los Angeles and is always on the hunt for new events to explore. Check out his other food festival blogs or follow his travels on Twitter!