By: Gino Campodonico
It’s no secret that nightlife in the Magic City is an all-week affair, with most clubs and lounges offering moonlit escapes every day of the week.
Most places around the city cater to a mixed crowd, but if you’re looking for clubs that cater to the gay community, you’re in luck.
The hub of the nightlife scene is glitzy Miami Beach, offering a number of LGBT-friendly hotspots.
The most established LGBT haunt on Miami Beach is Twist, well known for its “never a cover, always a groove” tagline. The club has an unassuming exterior on Washington Avenue, but once inside, you’ll encounter seven different bars, as well as DJs and drag queens. Divas such as Katy Perry and Lady Bunny have been known to visit Twist on occasion.
Nearby is Score, a high-energy megaclub with numerous dance floors and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system.
For a decidedly more low-key evening, head to The Palace Bar & Restaurant, a long-running outdoor bar on Ocean Drive with weekend drag shows and an extensive bar food menu. Most locals start their night here before heading to Twist, Score or both.
If you're not in the dancing mood, the trendy Hotel Gaythering, Miami Beach's only gay hotel, features a popular low-key bar and library lounge, serving craft beers and colorful cocktails.
The Cabaret South Beach, owned by gay nightlife impresario Edison Farrow, is a cozy live music venue with a rotating list of talented performers, including lounge singers and pianists.
Another local favorite is Magnum Lounge. Drawing an older crowd, this piano bar invites guest to sing-along to show tunes and classic cuts.
Miami Beach is also home to a number of the country's top mainstream clubs that are worth a visit.
The massive LIV Miami at the trendy Fontainebleau Hotel attracts celebs and VIPs who come to see some of the world's top DJs spin.
Another local favorite is the Studio 54-inspired Basement Miami at the Miami Beach EDITION, a seatless disco that also boasts an ice-skating rink and bowling alley.
The retro vibe continues at Rec Room, the hip downstairs lounge at the Gale South Beach Hotel.
Jaunt over the causeway to the mainland, where you’ll find more nightclubs catering specifically to the LGBT community.
Saturday nights at Mekka nightclub in Downtown Miami's entertainment district is Discotekka, attracting a younger crowd opting to dance the night away. The party continues through the early morning with special after-hours programming that will ensure you’ll watch the sun come up.
Also located downtown, infamous Club Space, is known for its early Sunday outdoor terrace raver and gay-friendly crowd. Dance the night away until it’s time for mimosas and brunch. Did we mention Miami never sleeps?
Located at the north end of Biscayne Boulevard, you’ll find Eros Lounge. This welcoming gay bar is a beloved watering hole for locals who enjoy the lounge's reasonable happy hour and weekly karaoke nights.
Further afield in Coral Gables is Azucar Nightclub, a notorious Latin nightclub known to attract a predominately Hispanic crowd.
Insider Tip: Most nightlife venues in Miami have a cover charge, so call ahead to confirm. Also, many have strict policies on clothing, so it's always a good idea to find out the door policy ahead of time and dress to impress.
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