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By: Shayne Benowitz

Greater Miami & Miami Beach has long been a world-class destination for LGBTQ+ travelers in search of gay nightlife. If you’re looking for a night out at one of Miami’s hot gay bars or nightclubs, you have plenty to choose from. Whether it’s a drag show on Ocean Drive, boozie bingo at a lobby bar inside a gay hotel, or a late night on the dance floor of South Beach’s longest-running gay club, Greater Miami & Miami Beach’s gay nightlife is always a good time.

Azucar Nightclub

Not to be confused with the beloved Little Havana ice cream shop of the same name, Azucar Nightclub is a lively Latin LGBTQ+ club just off Coral Way. With a cabaret-style stage and a high-energy dance floor, this is a great place for late-night weekend parties that feature everything from drag races to cabaret shows, live DJs and bottle service. With recurring parties like Crazy Friday, Super Sabados and Domingo de Cabaret, there’s always something wild and fun going down at Azucar.

Gaythering
Come as you are for craft cocktails & fun

Bar Gaythering at Hotel Gaythering

Situated inside Hotel Gaythering on Lincoln Road in South Beach, which proudly calls itself the “gayest hotel in Miami Beach,” Bar Gaythering is the cheeky, approachable lobby bar that plays host to a variety of theme nights and a daily happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. The red and black décor lends the Gaythering a sexy vibe, and the mood can range from laidback to “anything goes” depending on the time of night. Monday means karaoke, and Wednesday is trivia night, both hosted by drag queen CC Glitzer. On Thursdays, come out for boozie bingo with drag queen Blaime Forret. Friday is everyone’s favorite, the Bears & Hares party. The hotel is also home to a men’s sauna if you fancy some steam before or after a trip to the bar.

Club Boi at Villa Nightclub

For a wild night out, look no further than Club Boi’s Sexy Saturdays party at the Villa Nightclub in Allapattah. The dance club serves up urban and Caribbean vibes with flashing neon lights, bottle service and a high-energy dance floor. DJs Dias and Gavin spin crowd-pleasing mixes with everything from hip hop to R&B, reggae, soca and dancehall to keep the party grooving until late night.

DJ Hottpants
Dance all night with resident DJ Hottpants

Double Stubble at Gramps

Head to Gramps in Wynwood on Thursday nights for the raucous Double Stubble party with resident DJs Hottpants and Mystic Bill plus a rotating cast of drag queens, trans and non-binary performers. The sprawling indoor-outdoor bar with a pizza window is a local favorite, drawing a diverse crowd out for a good time. Drag queen Karla Croqueta often plays host in the evening, serving up a free-spirited and irreverent night out.

Kill Your Idol

A beloved South Beach dive bar with a punk spirit, Kill Your Idol has been a mainstay on Española Way since 2012. This spot promises cheap drinks and live music with no cover and no reservations. Some Fridays are drag nights, but any night of the week at Kill Your Idol is solid. Check the events calendar before your visit for the lineup of live music, DJs and even burlesque performances.

Palace
Live drag queen fun at Palace

Palace

Palace is South Beach’s iconic gay bar on Ocean Drive, famous for nightly drag shows and a weekend drag brunch where queens sashay down the sidewalk entertaining everyone in sight. From Fantasia Royale Gaga to Poison Ivy, Palace is home to some of Miami’s top drag queen talent. With a massive outdoor patio and sidewalk seating, the indoor bar is often a high-energy, DJ-fueled scene. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day, the time is always right for a visit to Palace. And if you’re looking for a day at the beach, right across the street from the bar is the 12th Street “gay beach” with a scene of its own.

Nathan’s Bar

Situated in the heart of Washington Avenue, Nathan’s Bar is one of South Beach’s newest gay bars. With glittering disco balls overhead and glowing neon street art covering the walls, the bar and dance club has a playful spirit and welcoming tropical vibe. You’ll also find framed photos of Madonna, Brady Bunch memorabilia and the Pink Panther as décor, serving up a healthy dose of nostalgia.

drag
Catch a show by the many talented drag divas at R House

R House

Chef Rocco Carulli and his husband Owen Bale opened R House, a trendy Wynwood eatery and art gallery in a sprawling indoor/outdoor warehouse-style space, back in 2014. Their concept evolved through the years after partnering with drag queen Athena Dion and DJ Jody McDonald. Today, R House is a gay entertainment mecca with a lively weekend drag brunch. On Friday evenings, come out for the Yas Queen RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party followed by R House’s own drag show starring Miami’s fiercest queens. The Saturday Escandalo party is a drag show with a Latin twist featuring a live salsa band. With Chef Rocco’s creative Latin cuisine and mixology program, a night out at R House is both sophisticated and high-spirited.

Score

What was once a legendary gay nightclub on South Beach’s Washington Avenue has now become a roving party all across Greater Miami & Miami Beach. If you want to party with Score today, you’ll have to check their events calendar to find out when and where they’re popping up next. From a Gotham City-themed rave in Doral during Miami Music Week to a Pride Week party at the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant near Miami International Airport, Score knows how to throw a wild party.

Sky Bar at AxelBeach Miami

Situated inside a historic Art Deco building (that, fun fact, was home to Ace Ventura, pet detective in the iconic 90s movie), AxelBeach Miami is a South Beach hotel that caters specifically to gay travelers. Open Wednesday through Sunday, the al fresco Sky Bar is the perfect retreat. Try a pomegranate margarita or watermelon sugar gin cocktail beneath the palm trees in the tropical courtyard with a decorative ice block floor. The stylish hotel is also home to a pool bar, restaurant and steam room, making it the perfect place for gay travelers to mix and mingle.

Twist
Get your groove on at Twist

Twist

Possibly Miami’s most iconic gay bar, Twist has kept the party going in South Beach for almost 30 years. The two-level, multi-room nightclub with three dance floors is always an adventure. From late night DJ parties to go-go dancers, drag queens and a diverse crowd of both locals and visitors, a visit to Twist is a must for gay travelers in Miami. With the motto “never a cover, always a groove,” this hotspot has a welcoming atmosphere.

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