South Beach Miami, also well known as SoBe, is a world renowned mecca for everything that is hot and cool, from the white sands and warm seas to the stunning Art Deco buildings and even prettier people. As a holiday destination, it is hot virtually throughout the year, and is far from a one trick pony. From the unbeatable Art Deco buildings in South Beach to the mansions lining the islands and the futuristic monorails and skyscrapers in the city centre, Miami exudes a varied and rich urban vibe.
Party goers flock here from around the world, and you’re likely to meet just as many foreigners as you are Americans and American Cubans. So here are a few hints and tips to the realities of getting the best out of nightlife in Miami.
Getting Past the Bouncers:
As one of the major playgrounds of the rich and famous, clubs in South Beach can be hard to get in to. You don’t need to be somebody or know someone, but a bit of preparation will ensure your night flows smoothly. If you have cash to throw around then booking a VIP table is the best way to avoid the often packed dance floors, and clubs in Miami certainly give plenty of space to their VIP areas. If not, then consider the promoters or even the hostels in the area.
Promoters will likely get your attention along the beach during the day or through sign boards outside bars along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. Show self-awareness for promoters on the beach; the majority are genuine but make sure you don’t pay upfront and you get a telephone number. The genuine promoters will start their nights at their own bar (this is where you pay) and usually offer a 2 hour free bar with limo service to the club afterwards. This is around $30-40, which bearing in mind cover for the best clubs in Miami is $20-30, it’s actually good value with the free drinks thrown in. They get you queue jump and ensure you get in, so long as you are dressed to impress.
If you want it even cheaper, then various hostels in Miami such as The International Hostel Miami have in-house promoters who can get you into clubs for a bit over $10.
Aside from the free bars offered by promoters, drinks in the best clubs in South Beach are expensive. Bottles of beer and vodka mixers can be $15, and red bull and spirits even more so. Cheaper prices can be found along Ocean Drive in the bars which can be down to $7 a bottle of beer.
Famous for its Streamline Moderne Art Deco buildings, Ocean Drive, impressive during the day simply takes off at night. Any day of the week, even during the odd downpour that Miami is susceptible to, Ocean Drive starts early and ends late. Bars with dance floors such as Mangos (Cuban/salsa vibe) and The Clevelander (an outdoors bar and dance floor playing the best in chart music dating back to the 90s) are popular lively options that don’t charge cover earlier in the night and are a great alternative to the bigger clubs. There are also plenty of bars in between for you to bounce between, and restaurants if you’re looking to head out straight after your meal.
The best clubs in Miami attract world famous DJs to satisfy the demanding crowds, and put on their own big shows with dancers, unrivalled laser effects and smoke. Cameo and Mansion are two of the biggest, with Cameo playing House and Hip Hop on different floors and Mansion focusing primarily on House music. Live is Miami’s most exclusive club, renowned for attracting Models and the wealthy, so bring your wallet and dress sharp if you want to get in.
Nikki Beach is another dominant club on the Night Scene, but has a more open vibe than the others, with several dance floors, balcony’s and a large outdoor area complete with tepees. As the name suggests, it also backs onto the beach, giving that surreal holiday night experience of quiet dark beach, with a bright city skyscraper back drop and distant pounding music. Best nights for Nikki Beach are Sundays when they start during the day, and Wednesdays which usually have a fire dance as well.