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Miami nightlife

Miami's club scene is legendary, with partying going to all hours of the morning. If you're planning a big night out, opt for a late dinner to ensure you arrive clubside at a respectable hour. Real Miami nights don't even kick off until well after midnight. When it comes to nightclubs, tourists go for name recognition and big-ticket DJs that pack the house at superclubs such as Mansion and hyperselective lounge lairs à la Mokaï (that said, both spots lure ample local contingents, too). And as a rule, partying in Miami is set to the tune of electronic and dance music rather than that of the live-band variety. You might skip paying the cover charge if you arrive before midnight at the city's more serious nightclubs, but chances are you'll be partying solo.

If you fear South Beach is all supermodels and their hangers-on, think again. An alternative locals scene dominated by Manhattan transplants and European and Latin American expats is found at laid-back bars such as Buck 15, where the crowd opts for jeans and designer sneakers over minis and stilettos. Bella Rose is another experimental indie spot with a legendary Sunday-night party that's a good alternative to Nikki Beach's infamous Sunday-night bash.

Hotels in South Beach and downtown often lure locals, too, and are good bets for sunset cocktails. Plunge, the rooftop bar at Gansevoort South, is fringed with daybeds and cabanas and lays out panoramic views of the city and the beach. The Delano remains perennially popular for mojitos poolside with the requisite Deco facades and swaying palms.

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Bella Rose, Miami Beach

Bella Rose's Sunday-night bash is a more locals-driven alternative to Nikki Beach's tourist-heavy scene. The dark South Beach lounge is filled with...more

Editors' Pick
Buck 15, Miami Beach

Buck 15 occupies the upper floor of popular Asian restaurant Miss Yip's on Lincoln Road, but setting is more akin to a friend's basement than a South Beach...more

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Democratic Republic of Beer, Miami

Just what downtown Miami's nightlife scene needed—that's the universal refrain about the Democratic Republic of Beer, which opened to the hops-happy...more

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Gay Nightlife, Miami Beach

Although South Beach has a huge gay population and draws a lot of gay tourists from all over, much of the nightlife has actually migrated north to Fort...more

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Glass, Miami Beach

Eurotrashy, big-boobed lovelies adore the been-there-forever Forge restaurant and the permatanned locals who fill it. The club space next door is equally...more

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Mansion, Miami Beach

Sure, it opened in February 2004—a generation ago in nightlife years—but this movie theater-turned-nightclub is still packing in upscale clubbers...more

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Mokaï, Miami Beach

Miami Beach's 23rd Street is shaping up to be the buzzy new drag, thanks to the Gansevoort South and upcoming W hotels at the beachfront end. In the meantime,...more

Editors' Pick
Purdy Lounge, Miami Beach

Escape the modelizers and $15 cocktails at this locals' lounge on the west side of the island. It's a groovy, laid-back, late-night (till 5 a.m. daily) spot...more

Editors' Pick
SET, Miami Beach

Sister to megaclub Mansion, SET is located on a grimy, bus-choked block of Lincoln Road, but inside, it's fun and glitzy with refreshingly loud...more

Editors' Pick
Skybar, Miami Beach

If you have the magic open-sesame black card, this playland at the Shore Club hotel is all yours; otherwise, prepare to dress up and posture at the velvet...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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