Miami Nightlife Areas
By: Shayne Benowitz
Miami has a reputation for its legendary nightlife—and for good reason. This city delivers on epic nights out like no other.
Miami has a reputation for its legendary nightlife—and for good reason. This city delivers on epic nights out like no other. From South Beach’s mega-clubs to rubbing elbows with celebrities and watching the sun rise over the beach wondering how you’re still awake, Miami is heaven on earth for people who love to party. But it’s not all about South Beach debauchery. Each Miami neighborhood has its own nightlife identity, and even South Beach offers more than meets the eye with a slew of hip, locally owned bars and low-key lounges.
Read on to find out if you’re a South Beach scenester, a Wynwood hipster, a Brickell yuppie or a Coconut Grove bohemian. Chances are you’re a blend of all of the above and each neighborhood has a diverse offering of bars and clubs for a fun night out no matter what kind of scene you crave.
The Vibe: Miami is famous for its nightlife and that’s in large part thanks to the South Beach scene. A barrier island brushing up against the Atlantic Ocean, South Beach is littered with mega-clubs that attract party people in short skirts and sky-high heels seven nights a week. These clubs feature an ongoing line up of international DJs, hip-hop artists and pop stars performing live before adoring fans. If celebrities aren’t hosting these parties, they’re camped out in the VIP section having a party of their own. This is the scene that put South Beach on the map and it’s still going strong. However, there are more options than ever before for a more chill, yet just as fun night out on South Beach. From intimate lounges to funky cocktail bars, it’s easy to find a cool party in South Beach without the hassle of the velvet rope. This is thanks to a slew of locally owned bars that have opened in the last five years to major success. There’s also the enduring hotel bar scene, which offers a fun way to plan a night out hotel hopping. Whether you’re looking to party on the dance floor until the break of dawn or sip classic cocktails in a sophisticated environment, South Beach has you covered.
Places to Go: LIV, Story, Icon, FDR, Hyde Beach, Rec Room, Wall, Bodega, Basement, Delano, Broken Shaker, Regent Cocktail Club, Sweet Liberty, Radio.
Wynwood and Midtown
The Vibe: The Wynwood Arts District borders neighboring Midtown, and both offer laidback options for a fun night out. While Midtown tends to be slightly more buttoned up, home to sleek condos housing young professionals, Wynwood is a chaotic swirl of mural art and a popular hangout for creative professionals. These neighborhoods are rapidly developing and there’s always a new hip spot to check out. From beer gardens with inexpensive drinks to live music spots with a chill vibe, Wynwood and Midtown make a night out pretty effortless.
Places to Go: Wynwood: Wood Tavern, Gramps, Wynwood Brewing Company, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Coyo Taco. Midtown: Bardot, Lagniappe House.
Downtown and Brickell
The Vibe: The Miami River separates Downtown Miami from Brickell and both neighborhoods are home to skyscraping office buildings, condos and plenty of fun nightlife options. They’re popular neighborhoods for happy hour, catering to a post-work crowd. On weekends, party people flock to Mary Brickell Village where a number of bars are situated within a close walk. Here, you’ll find everything from sports bars to chic hotel lobby bars and even a few places to dance. Downtown offers a slightly grittier scene with after hours nightclubs and one very hip cocktail bar.
Places to Go: Downtown: The Corner, E11EVEN, Space. Brickell: Blackbird Ordinary, El Tucan, Fado Irish Pub, Area 31, MO Bar & Lounge.
The Vibe: The historic neighborhood of Coconut Grove is a charming, somewhat bohemian hangout overlooking Biscayne Bay and Dinner Key Marina. This is where you’ll find laidback waterfront bars for those who just hopped off their sailboats or those who simply enjoy a view of sailboat masts against the glittering bay. Anchored by CocoWalk, there are plenty of sports bars and laidback lounges within walking distance. With the University of Miami in nearby Coral Gables, Coconut Grove often caters to college students looking for a night on the town.
Places to Go: Barracuda, Monty’s, Sandbar Sports Grill, LoKal.
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