Columbus Day Weekend in Miami 2020

October 9 - 12, 2020... What's Different This Year

Columbus Day Regatta

Columbus Day celebrates the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas on October 12, 1492 and is observed in the United States on the second Monday of October.

Columbus Day is a bank holiday and this year will be on Monday, October 12, 2020.

Columbus Day Weekend is a huge boating event in Miami. Originally, the center of the celebrations were the Columbus Day Regatta races commemorating the voyages of discovery.

Through the years, the event has given way to a massive Mardi Grass-like boating party that has drifted towards the banks of Elliot Key for a weekend jammed with boaters on (and in) the water, loud music, heavy drinking and clothing optional everything-goes crowd.

The Elliott Key revelry is NOT part of the Regatta activities. So be sure you understand these are two separate events, even though they are both taking place in the waters of Biscayne Bay.

Due to Covid-19 and social distancing measures, this year's events are likely to be a bit different. The Columbus Day Regatta has scheduled a one day event on Saturday October 10 rather than the usual two day event. At this time, park and marinas are open and anyone participating in this year's Columbus Day events in Biscayne Bay must follow these enhanced health and safety precautions. Events planned for Columbus Day Weekend 2020 in Miami are of course subject to change, so stay tuned for any last minute news.

The Latest Coronavirus Measures for all on-water and related activity

All Miami-Dade County marinas are open with enhanced health and social distancing measures as prescribed by the CDC as well as the local and county regulations. The following rules and guidelines apply if you are heading out on the water:

  • Boats must remain 50 feet apart at all times
  • Charter vessels shall not exceed the vessel's capacity limits, inclusive of crew
  • Passengers must be boarded before launch
  • Single boat launches only, vessels must be prepared in advanced, one per ramp
  • Tying up is NOT allowed, including Stiltsville
  • NO rafting, beaching or landings allowed
  • Captain, crew and patrons of charter vessels must wear facial coverings and practice social distancing rules, both on shore and on the vessel
  • There are maximum boat capacity limits according to the size of the boat.

For latest regulations: Miami Dade County Marina Rules.

The Columbus Day Regatta

Columbus Day Regatta

This is the oldest event taking place in the waters of Biscayne Bay. There is even some colorful history behind it that ties back to the 17th Duke of Veraguas, a direct descendant of Cristobal Colon, who attended the event in 1960 and granted permission for the use of the Columbus Coat of Arms for the Regatta's emblem.

The races normally take place over Saturday and Sunday, but this year the Regatta will be held on Saturday only. No matter, it is sailing at its best! Watch this fantastic drone footage...

More info:

Columbus Day Weekend Events by Elliot Key

Columbus Day Elliott Key

The heavy partying area (not part of the Regatta activities) is along Elliot Key. Elliot Key although part of Biscayne National Park, is not associated with these activities. The park has dubbed this the "most dangerous weekend of the year" and needless to say, this is not a family event.

In fact, there are special regulations issued for the weekend. For 2020, stricter Countywide measures (see above) are in effect. If you are heading out please act responsibly and comply with them as there will be zero tolerance for violations.

Activities, Tours and Events That Are OPEN and Running this Columbus Day Weekend

It's time to get out! Here's a list of things to do while maintaining social distancing measures. They have reopened and can be booked now. Make a reservation as many of the tours and activities are running on limited capacities. You can book with confidence as there is a free cancellation policy for most of the activities listed here, if your plans change and you cancel up to 24 hours in advance you will receive a full refund.

Most Popular Excursions

Book with confidence! Free cancellation: Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund

Federal government offices are closed except for National parks.

You can expect the following to be open and closed on Monday:


Government Offices
Post Offices
Public Libraries


Shopping centers and malls
Grocery Stores
Federal, State, Regional Parks
Public Transportation (check for special holiday schedules)

Go Out of Town!

Take advantage of the long weekend and get out-of-town!

Popular Day Trips From Miami...

Book with confidence! Free cancellation: Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.

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