Sometimes, we like to argue that Miami isn't just a party town. We've got more to offer the world than just a great vacation get-away, and it's time the people of America took notice.
This however, is not one of those times.
You're damn right Miami is one of the best party cities in the country. We may not be as physically large as New York or Los Angeles, but we merge cultures and flavors with the best of the them. We have a storied history of music and nightlife, and we're welcoming of people from all angles, but is it possible to say which party hood is the best? We're going to try.
See also: Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
5. Brickell and Little Havana
Looking for something a little fancier than Wynwood but a little frattier than South Beach? Brickell is where UM students and those who have money to burn like to get their freak on. But it's not just for those with cash. It's kind of happy hour central, and there's no better place to catch a game. It's home to Miami's oldest bar, Tobacco Road, and newer crowd-pleasers like Blackbird Ordinary. And then just around the corner, there's Little Havana, the 305's king of live music and Latin flavors. It's hard to compete with Calle Ocho.
See also: Brickell's Five Best Clubs
4. Little Haiti
This is Miami's next up-and-coming neighborhood with a growing art scene and, so far, rent that isn't too out of control. It's been a party destination for much longer, especially for those who like to rock. Churchill's Pub has been bringing the ruckus since 1979. Right next to it is Sweat Records, and they've been known to host a rad shindig or two. Big Night in Little Haiti is going down every third Friday at the Cultural Center, not to mention the art warehouses that just pop up into parties, and the experimental shit going down at Space Mountain. This neighborhood is certainly going through it right now.
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Just north of Brickell, snuggled among the big buildings are some great bars and hangs for live music. If you're looking for rock, head over to Will Call, also doubling as a great place to catch a game. You've got the American Airlines Arena bringing the Heat and the biggest performers in the world. Grand Central is a favorite for DJs and indie bands alike, cutting out the nonsense and leaving it all up to the music. Vagabond may be gone, but Steam is putting a fun twist on the nightlife experience with burlesque performers. You can cop a fantastic drink at the Corner, and with the newly-opened Railroad Blues, you can chill classic American style. It's an old part of town, but it's always reinventing itself, and for that, we love it.
See also: Downtown Miami's Five Best Dance Clubs
To call it a hipster secret by now would just be laughable. Like, you have to pay for parking these days. But Wynwood is still cool, and people will still stand in line to get into Wood Tavern for 20 minutes, even if Gramps is right down the street offering essentially the same vibe. Cool kids parties at Toe Jam and Soho Studios are special events not to be missed. At the behest of art lovers everywhere, you can always get shitty and pretend you're being cultural at Second Saturday Art Walk. Wynwood even has III Points, its own music, art, and technology fest, coming into its own in the second year in just a few short weeks. Then Art Basel will swing right around the corner, and even WMC is lurching into the Wynwood territory. It's just kind of the place to be.
See also: Wynwood's Five Best Bars
1. South Beach
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But let's be real, there is one party mecca in Miami that will reign supreme over all party beings for time eternal. From mega clubs to dive bars, South Beach has a little something for everyone. It's been a welcoming place for gays and straights alike for decades. Hell, even the ugly people look beautiful under these neon lights. With international party destinations from LIV to Mansion, Story, Cameo, and more, you never know who you'll run into. The fresh vibe of the beach has kept Mac of Mac's Deuce Bar fame alive for 100 years, which is probably one of the most impressive things we've ever heard. It's the spot of sexy hotel pool parties and Art Deco. Catch a show at Mango's Tropical Café, or just cruise down Ocean Drive looking for trouble. Sure, it's a little tacky and it's more than a bit expensive, but it'll always be the big man on campus.
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Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.