Florida is about a lot more than retirement communities and Disney. The Sunshine State is heaven for motorcycle enthusiasts, with mile upon mile of open road, exhilarating scenery, and white knuckle challenges. Over half a million Florida residents own a motorcycle, with more adding to their number each year. Even when the ride is over, the fun doesn't need to stop. Florida is home to hundreds of motorcycle rallies, shows, festivals, and meets. Some of them celebrate vintage motorcycles; others are all about custom builds. Some are huge extravaganzas; others are more intimate affairs. Regardless of your preference, you won't have any problem packing your schedule with events. If you need some guidance about which ones you really shouldn't miss, check out our pick of the 5 best motorcycle shows in Florida.
1. Webster Westside Auto & Motorcycle Swap Meet & Show
Webster Westside Auto & Motorcycle Swap Meet & Show holds the title of Florida's largest monthly car and motorcycle swap meet & show. It's been drawing visitors since 1995. The reason for its longevity isn't hard to figure out. The event is a paradise for anyone remotely interested in motorcycles. With over 200 vendors, it's a one-stop-shop for finding new parts, old parts, and everything in between. If you've been desperately searching for that ultra elusive part to finish off your custom ride, there's a good chance you'll find it here. Other than parts, there's also a good selection of motorcycles, merch, leathers, and other accessories for sale. Along with the swap aspect of the event, the show is a great opportunity to show off your bike and compete for some cash prize awards in the process. Whether you want to sell, buy, compete, or simply shoot the breeze with some like-minded motorcycle fanatics, it's an unmissable experience. The show runs on the 1st Sunday of every month. Food and drinks are available. If you want to turn it into an even bigger part of your schedule, there are plenty of camping spaces up for grabs.
2. Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show
Every year, thousands of two-wheel enthusiasts descend on Frost Park in Dania Beach to share their passion for all things vintage at the annual Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show. According to blueknightsfliv.org, the event started eleven years ago when a Dania Beach antique dealer asked two motorcycle fanatics, Clive Taylor and Clare Frost, to bring along some vintage motorcycles to an event she was holding at her shop. From those small beginnings has grown one of Florida's biggest biking events. As happywrench.com notes, the show is now part swap-meet, part motorcycle show competition, and 100% unmissable. Along with a competition to judge the very best vintage motorcycles in attendance, there's a smorgasbord of activities to enjoy, including live music, vendors, bike parts swap meet, dealer exhibits, motorcycle field games, Roller Derby Girls, and a vintage bicycle display. In keeping with the family-friendly vibe of the show, there's even a kiddy's play area. Entrance is free to the public. If you want to enter your vintage bike into one of the competitions, expect to pay a small fee for the privilege. All proceeds are donated to K9s for Warriors, Southeastern Guide Dogs, and the Dania Beach Lions Club.
3. Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival
Why limit yourself to a one-day event when you could prolong the fun over an entire weekend? The Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival is a three-day motorcycle extravaganza held each year at the Sarasota Fairgrounds in Sarasota. The festival is a wild, jubilant celebration of all things motorcycle related. Featured events include a “United We Ride” charity motorcycle ride, a 17 class bike show, and a Stereo Sound Off Contest. If you want to show your own bike, you'll need to register it on the Sunday of the event between 12:30 m and 2.30 pm. You'll need to pay a small registration fee of $20, but with both trophies and cash prizes up for grabs, it's more than worth it. $200 is awarded to the first place winner in each class and $100 is awarded to second place. There's also a $300 cash prize for the winner of best in show, along with a $100 prize for the motorcycle with the most patriotic theme. If your bike catches the eye of local judge and head of Sarasota Rossiter's Harley-Davidson dealership, Rick Rossiter, you'll earn yourself a neat $100. Along with the show, the event boasts all-day live music, great food from local vendors, and a craft beer garden. Admittance is $5 with all proceeds going to Suncoast Charities for Children. This year, the festivities get underway with a "Born to be Wild" Kick off party on February 19th.
4. Bike Week Motorcycle Swap Meet Extravaganza & Bike Show
The Bike Week Motorcycle Swap Meet Extravaganza & Bike Show is an annual event held at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in Deland that dates back to 1937. The 10 day-long event is one part meet-swap and one part motorcycle show. Boasting hundreds of vendors from all across the country, everything you could ever need to support your riding addiction can be found here. From frames to fenders, rare parts to vintage accessories, high tech goggles to the latest gadgets, it's a one-stop-shop for all your motorcycling needs. Even if you're not in buying mode, there's still a lot of fun to be had from browsing. Other than the stalls, expect plenty of live music, cold beer, and contests.
5. Daytona Bike Week
The Daytona Bike Week has been attracting hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts since 1937. A wild week of celebrations based around a famously brutal rally, the event is an adrenaline-fueled occasion packed with every type of festivity you can imagine. There are parties, concerts, street festivals, demos, rides, competitions, shows, swap meets, music, food vendors, craft beer stalls, and a hundred and one other opportunities to enjoy some flat-out fun with like-minded enthusiasts. As radseason.com rightly says, the 'Daytona Bike Week is a special occasion where everyone can simply come together and have fun.' If you want to get in on the fun, the festivities this year start at 3.00 pm on 5 March and continue till 3 pm on 14 March. If you're coming from far (or simply want to be on hand to pack in as much as possible), camping is available at the nearby Daytona International Speedway.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith