We can fight it all we want, but nothing will change Miami's identity as a party city. As long as we're pumping out great nightclubs like candy, we'll be known as one of the best places to get wasted in the world.
Honestly, it's something we should be proud of — one of our defining features. Everywhere else, things close at 2 a.m. We in Miami don't even leave the house until 1 in the morning. Where's a girl supposed to get a drink and watch the sun rise in Los Angeles, New York City, or Chicago?
Whether you're looking to get down and dirty, go all-night and into the next day, or Instagram yourself looking better than anyone else, Miami has the perfect party scene for you and your fabulous friends. Here's a list of our top ten favorites, and while they're truly only scratching the surface, they're definitely the must-see attractions.
The Club Space terrace is lit up with sunshine and smiles.
1. Club Space, 34 NE 11 St., Miami; 305-495-8712; clubspace.com
This downtown all-night rage fest is a living institution of Miami nightlife. It was originally opened on the beach by nightlife king pin Luis Puig in the '90s, but he soon moved it to downtown, effectively opening the then-blighted region to after hours entertainment. Today, it's the home base of a new generation. The people of III Points, Link, Miami Rebels, and more have all come together to breathe new, forward-thinking life into the venue. Open Saturdays from 11 p.m. until whatever time Sunday they decide to close, Club Space brings world-class house and techno DJs to perform fantasy marathon sets every weekend. They say you're not a real Miamian until you've seen the sun rise on its famous Terrace, so what are you waiting for? Get on out there.
2. Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-479-4426; storymiami.com
Story is LIV's cooler, younger little sister. Unlike LIV, there is plenty of room on the dance floor for those who wish to do more than pose for selfies in the VIP. All the glitz and glamour is there; you've got bright-lights on bottles, scantily-clad dancers in big masks, super drops of confetti, and lasers shooting every which direction, and all you've come to expect from the iconic megaclub experience. The décor is all neon angles and triangles, giving the club a literal “edgy” sensibility. Bookings come in the form of top-notch hip-hop and house music -everyone from Oliver Heldens to Travis Scott and Steve Aoki. If you're a true music lover looking for the grand over-the-top experience, this is your best bet.
Photo by George Martinez
3. E11even, 29 NE 11 St., Miami; 305-829-2911; 11miami.com
Since it opened in February 2014, this bacchanalian wonderland has never closed. It's a 24/7/365 party palace, a veritable feast for the senses. E11even doesn't like to be called a “strip club,” but yes, the female dancers are quite naked. They won't take off their bottoms, though, and they do perform athletic feats. Including performances by Cirque-style aerial ballerinas and dancers, E11even prefers the term “cabaret.” It's also a bona fide megaclub with a two-tiered dance floor, a lavish selection of champagne rooms, and a massive stage and DJ booth where grade-A talent comes to play. Everyone from Drake to Rae Sremmurd, Marshmello, Diplo, and more have made E11even their favorite spot in town. The rooftop has its own bar and restaurant, when you want to watch the sunrise. It's never too late or too early to party at E11even, but if we're being honest, your average Tuesday at 3 a.m. is still kind of a weird time to arrive.
4. Heart, 50 NE 11 St., Miami; 305-912-3099; heartnightclub.com
Club Space ain't the only place for all-night rage fests that turn into daytime delights. Heart Nightclub is the home marathon madness in downtown Miami's 24-hour district. Once this Friday night party gets going, it usually doesn't finish 'til daylight. Quite often, the house and techno DJs who perform here go on strong well into Saturday and sometimes even Sunday. It's a multi-tiered club with three floors, the top level being a terrace-style hangout where the sun peeks into the dark club atmosphere. Come here when you want to get lost in the beat.
Photo by Alexander Oliva
5. LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4680; livnightclub.com
When it comes to South Beach megaclub decadence and style, there's really no one who hits the mark like LIV. This is the as-seen-in-music-videos atmosphere of your dreams. This is where Kanye once rapped about getting a girl back in after she was kicked out. This is the club The Chainsmokers were making fun of when they recorded “#Selfie.” If you're looking for a place to dance, don't bother coming here. You'll spend the majority of your time trying to figure out where to stand, being pushed by passersby and beefy security guards. If you've got a table or know someone with a table, this is as opulent and VIP as it gets. Confetti, sparklers on expensive bottles, half-naked dancers, and all the smoke and lasers your lungs and eyes can stand. LIV is almost a caricature of a megaclub, but then you realize its actually the standard. You can hate, but when you're there, you're gonna have a good time – and if you're a tourist, fuck it. You've got to go at least once. Sunday is the king of hip-hop. You might run into Lil Wayne, and most definitely Floyd Mayweather. The majority of nights are dedicated to EDM excess. Pick your poison, and make sure you come loaded with cash.
Photo by Karli Evans
6. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Wynwood; 305-456-5613; electricpicklemiami.com
If you're looking for a down and dirty, casual, sweaty, all-night, dark, booming dance box, look no further. This hair-down establishment has no room for pretension – unless we're having a discussion about good house and techno, because in that case, these people are prepared to go full Berlin. Electric Pickle was one of the first spots to pop up in the Wynwood area, so it has OG status. The downstairs bar is a cute cocktail lounge. Upstairs is where the magic happens. Get lost in the groove under the neon spaceship. Go ahead and dance on the couches. This place gets packed at peak hours, and that comes around 2 or 3 in the a.m. There's also a quaint backyard that's opened up for special occasions.
Courtesy of Bardot
7. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Wynwood; 305-576-5570; bardotmiami.com
This dark, smoky, hipster hang is recognized around the country as a dope spot for music and mischief. With musical programming from the same people who bring III Points music festival to life, Bardot is a revolving door for some of the best established and up-and-coming acts in dance, hip-hop, soul, rock, and more. Performers don't take a stage. They take the carpet, which means you are treated to one of the most intimate sets of your life. Dance the night away on the floor, get comfy on one of the plush couches, or hang around in the back and shoot some pool. Busy nights can get quite cramped in the roughly 200-capacity space, and smoking is allowed indoors, so be prepared for the hazy cloud environment. This is a sexy spot where almost anything goes. It's sophisticated, but never stuffy. All are welcome, as long as you've got good taste.
Photo by Chris Carter
8. Do Not Sit on the Furniture, 423 16th St., Miami Beach; 510-551-5067; facebook.com/DoNotSit
Founded and headed by internationally renowned DJ Behrouz and his wife, this bohemian house hangout is a far cry from the ostentatious nature of its South Beach neighbors. It's an intimate, dimly-lit room full of organic accents, and features one of (allegedly) three disco ball sharks in the world. Behrouz and his wife moved to SoBe from San Francisco, and they try to bring a bit of that friendly, everyone-welcome atmosphere of the West Coast with them. Heavily influenced by Burning Man culture, some marathon nights start with light yoga and meditation in the backyard. The place is lined with golden cassette tapes, and the one rule is simple to follow. Do not sit on the couches and few chairs. Get up and dance whenever possible. The music is gonna make you move anyway. Might as well give in to your best, debaucherous self.
9. Basement, 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-257-4548; basementmiami.com
Where else can you drink, dance, party, bowl, and ice skate? This club is so dank, Drake once rented out the whole place to skate with Rihanna during Miami Music Week. Hialeah's Finest, Juleisy of Juleisy y Karla, go-go dances and hosts the night in some of the wildest outfits you've ever seen. This is where our favorite party, Peachfuzz, goes down every last Friday of the month. That night's resident DZA also holds down Wednesday's Jelly event, and every weekend is packed with superstar DJ appearances. It's a rather intimate space with room for dancing, although it can get cramped, so make sure you get there early enough to skip that big line.
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Photo by Justin Namon
10. Rockwell, 743 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-793-3882; rockwellmiami.com
Hip-hop lives at Rockwell. Headed by South Beach nightlife impresario Chris Paciello, this is a luxurious spot for A-listers who want to get grimy with bass but still feel fancy. It's for ballers and shot callers, people who like their champagne to come with fireworks. Women here wear six-inch heels all night long. Live out your music video fantasies with acts like DJ Irie, DJ Entice, and Torey Lanez. Dance music DJs have been known to come through, but rap is definitely the house specialty.