South Beach's Ten Best Dance Clubs

Miami Beach was built on dance clubs.
Miami Beach was built on dance clubs.
Photo by Alexander Oliva

The days of Madonna sightings and Versace parties are gone, but the nightclub scene of South Beach rages on. The player's change and institutions come and go. Velvet ropes line the street, then vanish, only to return again under new blinking signs. The music changes, styles evolve, but the energy and excitement remains.

Whether you're looking for rock, hip-hop, or EDM; whether you're looking to down a beer or sip expensive champagne; whether you're dressed to the nines or keeping it casual, South Beach is the place to go when it's time to get shit poppin'. Here are our favorite after-dark haunts east of I-95, for now. 

Purdy's Chocolate Sundays is one hell of a party.
Purdy's Chocolate Sundays is one hell of a party.
Photo Courtesy of Purdy Lounge

10. Purdy Lounge, 1811 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-4622; purdylounge.com.

Sunday doesn't have to be the saddest night of the week. Not when you head to this beach-side bar for the illness of Chocolate Sundays. It's old school hip-hop vibes in a no pretension environment. Thursday is ladies night where women drink free from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Wednesday is the time for industry insiders to get 50 percent off from 11 p.m. to close. This is one place on SoBe that you don't have to worry about dress codes and highfalutin attitudes. Come here when you're ready to get real.

Icon Nightclub.EXPAND
Icon Nightclub.
Photo by Chris Carter

9. Icon, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 786-735-3344; iconmiami.com.

From the ashes of Mansion's demise springs this renovated phoenix. It doesn't feel all that different from the old guard, though, visually, it's unlike anything you'll find on the beach. It's still fancy and flashy. It still books big-name DJs from the EDM game, including Borgore, Deorro and more. And it's still gonna cost you at the bar. But if high-energy elegance and fist-pumping bass is what you're after, it's exactly the destination to satisfy.

Travis Scott, OG Chase B, and Purple onstage at Rockwell.
Travis Scott, OG Chase B, and Purple onstage at Rockwell.
Photo by WorldRedEye.com

8. Rockwell, 743 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-793-3882; rockwellmiami.com.

From the mind of SoBe nightlife impresario Chris Paciello comes a new exclusive spot where tastes are expensive and style is high. Paciello was a man about town in the roaring '90s, known for his ability to attract celebrities like a magnetic. And he's hoping that, with Rockwell, he can bring some of that lush era atmosphere back to Washington Ave. It's not all about big name DJs, but the grand opening did pull big stars from Lenny Kravitz to Lupe Fiasco, Timbaland and more. This is the kind of place every tourist dreams of experiencing when they arrive at Miami International.

Better than your childhood hangout.
Better than your childhood hangout.
Photo Courtesy of Treehouse

7. Treehouse323 23rd St., Miami Beach; 305-674-4478; treehousemiami.com.

Have you ever wanted to party with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, but you just can't find enough pure pixie dust to get your feet off the ground? Don't worry, Treehouse is here to fulfill all your fantastical party needs. It's the underground king of SoBe, and probably one of the best dark rooms for dancing (and other things) in the whole city. Always bringing quality acts, Treehouse is a damn jewel.

There's something for everyone at the FDR Lounge.EXPAND
There's something for everyone at the FDR Lounge.
Photo by Chris Carter

6. FDR, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-924-4071; morganshotelgroup.com.

There's a party going on below the Delano's beautiful lobby. The intimate club is full of comfy couches and shadowy corners for lovers or celebrities to find some escape. Fridays heat up to Latin hits, Saturdays are all about dancing, and Monday is when hip-hop reigns. This is a spot for the cool kids to let loose, so come well dressed and ready to party.

Do Not Sit always puts the music first.
Do Not Sit always puts the music first.
Photo Courtesy of Do Not Sit On The Furniture

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5. Do Not Sit on the Furniture, 423 16th St., Miami Beach; 510-551-5067; facebook.com/DoNotSit.

After over two years in operation, Do Not Sit has carved itself a place in the hearts of Dade County hipster house heads. It's small, it's dark, and it's wonderfully decorated. It's kind of weird when the lights come on and you suddenly see the faces you've been dancing shoulder to shoulder with for hours. But when it's dark and muggy, it's got that true underground magic, a place that puts music first, and welcomes all willing to dance. 


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