When it comes to nightlife, Miami is world class. If you want to kick your heels up, let your hair down and dance until dawn, then there are infinite options stretching from South Beach to across the causeways. From glittering mega clubs to intimate lounges, Miami hot spots draw an impressive lineup of musicians, performers and DJs week after week making the temptation to party all too much to resist. There’s a reason A-list celebs flock to Miami for the fun, so as the saying goes: When in Rome…
If it’s a night of partying in true Miami style that you desire, make a beeline to the fabulous Fontainebleau. Inside the iconic lobby glittering with chandeliers above its bowtie-patterned marble floor, the throngs await entry to LIV. Once a performance venue for the likes of Elvis and Frank Sinatra, today the club draws world-renowned DJs such as David Guetta, Steve Angello and Kaskade to play to sold out crowds. The 18,000 square-foot mega club was voted one of the world’s best by Reuters, and it’s easy to understand why once you’ve set foot inside. Its vaulted dome ceiling, impressive light show and lux VIP tables scream for a good time. The door policy is strict, so dress to impress or buy your tickets ahead of time. Often times, VIP table reservations will put you ahead of the line, giving partygoers the chance to party sooner. The nifty Fontainebleu app for iPhone is a great party-planning tool. Also hot in its own right is LIV’s sister club Arkadia, a subterranean lounge of a smaller scale, but with just as much energy and opportunities to dance.
If you’re looking for a celeb-spotting, high-energy and high-class club-of-all-clubs, you won’t want to miss the fun at Mansion, pictured above. This premier club has gilded staircases, an ornate design and perfect sound. Club-goers from all over come to parties hosted by anyone from Jay-Z to P. Diddy, performances by the biggest names in pop and super DJ’s like Skrillex or David Guetta. The Opium Group operates not just this nightlife favorite but a handful of others including SET, Cameo and Mokai, which are always dependable for a good time late night. The best way to enjoy these decadent dance floors and multi-level, luxury clubs? With table service, of course. Whether or not you choose to make the investment, you can always expect top-notch service and a larger-than-life experience.
Notably, for a more intimate experience with a true Miami chic vibe head to Mokai. Mokai houses several parties each week, perfect for the beautiful patrons and celebrities who show up for a good time. Once inside, the focal point of this hot spot is the grand showcase bar, which is as dramatic as it is stylish. The bar features a perfect balance of mirrors, sophisticated lighting and floral arrangements. Other eye candy décor include cherry-red sofas, black lacquered walls, an array of custom-designed chandeliers and a selection of art and fashion photography. From the DJ booth, expect to hear hip hop, rock and house music formats, which are spun by top DJs nightly.
With mirrored walls and geometric gilt accents, the cozy lounge Wall tends towards a VIP scene and athletes flock here. It’s not unheard of to rub elbows with the likes of LeBron James, Alex Rodriguez or Serena Williams — who are all fans. While the space is compact, resident DJs know how to work the crowd into a high-energy frenzy. The later the night gets, the more amped up their sets become.
Finally, it’s time to roll downtown to the after-hours haunt whose name says it all, Space. Keep the party moving and don’t stop dancing until the break of dawn.
One thing that makes the city so alluring is its sexy Latin American culture. There’s perhaps no better way to experience an aspect of this culture firsthand than at a sizzling Latin dance club. Options abound no matter what you’re after―whether it’s lessons, a performance, or to join in the action. Yucaserves up contemporary Cuban and Nuevo Latino dishes downstairs and on the patio outside. The upstairs ballroom with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Lincoln Road is the locale for salsa lessons on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m.
Salsa Mia runs the show with a two-hour class for all levels, followed by an hour of practice for $40 per person. Make a night of it on Fridays when the Salsa Nightclub takes over at 11 p.m. and the pros come out to shake their hips and spin to live music and a DJ. The atmosphere is friendly and inviting whether you choose to grab a partner and show off your moves or watch others admiringly while sipping a mango mojito.
For an only-in-South-Beach experience, stumble into Mango’s Tropical Cafe on Ocean Drive. Belly up to the bar and order whatever tropical libation suits your fancy. At almost any time of day or night, it’s only a matter of time before dancers dressed in ostentatious feathered headdresses, colorful flamenco-style skirts, and skintight glittering spandex scale the bar to perform. Although it’s a largely tourist scene, the spectacle can’t be beat and is worthy of a visit. At night, the crowd joins in the dance party surrounding the bar for a wild night.
In Doral, La Covacha is a great local spot with great Latin music ranging from salsa and merengue to house and even disco. The welcoming backyard tiki-style bar draws a crowd ready to move on the dance floor. Hoy Como Ayer in Little Havana is a destination for authentic Cuban music, drinks, and of course dancing! If names like Celia Cruz and Benny More don’t ring a bell, then you’ll get an education in the Cuban music greats here. Go on Thursday night for the Fuacata! party when local favorites The Spam Allstars perform their unique blend of Latin funk. Be sure to cool off with a Bacardi® Mojito, the official cocktail of Miami & The Beaches.
Be sure to check websites ahead of time to see what’s on the calendar during your stay.