South Beach's Ten Best Dance Clubs

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, EDM, or Latin vibes; 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 last-pinch of weekend at Made You Look Sundays. The 17-year-old bar just got a new face lift. All new decor and a refresh on the cocktail menu means more exciting things in store. This is one place on South Beach where you can feel free to be yourself.

The professional dancer's at Mango's Tropical Cafe are very serious.
The professional dancer's at Mango's Tropical Cafe are very serious.
Laine Doss

9. Mango's Tropical Cafe, 900 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-673-4422; mangos.com/miami

If you're a tourist from the Caribbean or South America, this is probably the only club you'll go to for the duration of your stay. This is the place where salsa, merengue, and bachata reign. Here, the biggest reggaeton hits blast through pink and orange atmospheres, and any woman walking alone is bound to be swept up in a close gyration before she can reach the bathroom. This is a spicy place where lovers entangle themselves between bass bumps and live dancers entertain all manner of birthday girls and bachelorette parties into the wee morning light. Is it a little cheesy? Yes, but honestly, why shouldn't it be?

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 an 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 magnet. And he's hoping that, with Rockwell, he can bring some of that lush era atmosphere to Washington Ave. It's not all about big name DJs, but stars from Lenny Kravitz to Lupe Fiasco, Timbaland and more have been spotted here. This is the kind of place every tourist dreams of experiencing when they arrive at Miami International.

Girls and boys have a lot of fun at this party.EXPAND
Girls and boys have a lot of fun at this party.
Courtesy Twist

7. Twist, 1057 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-9478; twistsobe.com.

Looking for a gay ole time? Twist might be the gayest thing on SoBe. "Never a cover. Always a groove," is the motto. Hot dancers grace the bar in nothing but underwear. Drag queens rule the stage. With seven bars, three dance floors, and different music and energy in each, there's a whole lot more to explore than just your sexuality. It's okay, straight people, you're allowed in, too.

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

6. 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. 

Dip your toes in the sand and have a good time at Nikki Beach.EXPAND
Dip your toes in the sand and have a good time at Nikki Beach.
Chris Carter

5. Nikki Beach, 1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-538-1111; nikkibeach.com.
Where else can you party to the sounds of the best international dance DJs in a bikini while you catch rays, drink fruity cocktails, and party on one of the undisputed best beaches in the world? Yeah, without flying to Croatia, I don't think it's happening for ya. Nikki Beach is one of those places that leaves an imprint of your mind for years to come - as long as you remember it the next morning.



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