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
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...
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.
Marinas are open and the following operators are taking reservations for Biscayne Bay Cruises now:
Segway Tours have reopened and they are a great way to discover the Art Deco District, Ocean Drive, Fisher Island... You see a lot more gliding around than on foot while enjoying the breathtaking views and some fresh air! These Segway Tours are running right now