South Beach


Girl's Guide to South Beach Nightlife

by / October 14, 2011

Nightlife in South Beach Miami

Nightlife in South Beach

Face it girls, most nightlife guides are written by, and for, the boys. And the boys (bless them one and all) usually have but one thing on their mind—the thrill of the chase. Of course we girls wouldn't have it any other way, but don't you think it's about time that someone wrote a nightlife guide from a girl's perspective?

With that in mind, here's a nightlife guide designed especially for you ladies wishing to further your amorous adventures during your next visit to South Beach.

—the VIP Lounges—

While Miami Beach is known worldwide for its raging clubs, you must keep in mind that many of the coolest scenes around are found in hotels, restaurants (after midnight) and lounges. The key to Miami Beach nightlife is knowing where and when to find "the scene" on any given night. Here are the places to go...

Sunset Lounge at The Mondrian Hotel

Sunset Lounge at The Mondrian Hotel

Sunset Lounge at The Mondrian Hotel
Vibe: West Coast Cool
Starting at sundown Friday night, after work crowds gather at this haute watering hole overlooking Star Island and the Downtown Miami skyline to mix, mingle and not to be single! Ladies on the prowl should dress to impress because the name of the game here is ACTION. Set off by the stark white lobby, the whimsical design of Marcel Wanders' pool deck creates an "Alice in Wonderland" atmosphere for strutting your stuff or disappearing behind a well-manicured topiary for a little private conversation. Tropical cocktails from the poolside menu top out at nearly $20 a pop, so sip slowly and enjoy the scene. Mondrian Sunday afternoons are also popular with bikini clad model types frolicking around the marina. Stop by Asia de Cuba for brunch and then enjoy the giddy poolside scene. - Mondrian Hotel, 1100 West Avenue, South Beach

DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach Hotel

DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach

DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach
Vibe: Full Moon Madness
Once a month when the moon waxes full over South Beach, girls in the know hit the DiLido Beach Club, the sandy oasis behind the swank Ritz-Carlton South Beach Hotel where oversized telescopes are set out to help star-crossed lovers get a better glimpse of the cosmos. Master Mixologist Ramsey Pimentel crafts tropical cocktails like watermelon and peach sangria and the chef's Mediterranean light bites are just $10. In October, the party honors Chang'e, Chinese Goddess of the Moon. In December, Tecciztecatl the Mexican Moon God gets his due with tequila cocktails and an Indian fire dancer. Check the Ritz website for upcoming theme nights. To help you and the girls prepare, Thursdays from 6pm - 9pm, the Ritz spa offers "Bubbles & Blowouts" - a champagne soaked night of pampering to help make sure you're putting your best look forward. - Ritz-Carlton South Beach Hotel, 1 Lincoln Road, South Beach

Plunge at the Gansevoort South Beach

Plunge at the Perry South Beach Hotel

Rooftop Lounge at the Perry South Beach
Vibe: Laid Back & Breezy
If you've traveled all this way to experience the South Beach scene, there is no better place to start the night than a majestic rooftop lounge where the view and the breeze are truly dazzling. The Perry South Beach Hotel outfitted their rooftop with a sleek swimming pool and swank lounge area called Plunge where you and the girls can toast the triumph of a perfectly planned vacation. Best as a pre-game spot, drink service is prompt but pricey (with a 20% gratuity included on your check). There is no cover to get in and no reason not to enjoy the vista of the city from on high. Nearby after you've finished your drinks, dance at Mokai, Louis, Wall, Mynt and Coco de Ville. On weekends, pop on a bikini and drop into the RX Pool Parties which keep things wet and wild Saturdays from noon to 8pm. Details at - Perry South Beach Hotel, 2377 Collins Avenue, South Beach

The Pool & Beach at The Setai Miami Beach

Setai Hotel Pool & Beach Bar

Setai Hotel Pool & Beach Bar
Vibe: Rich & Well-Behaved
At the end of a busy beach day on Friday or Saturday from 5-7pm, slip into something loungey and stop by the Setai Pool & Beach Bar where $16 gets you a chilled flute of Tatitnger Champagne and a variety of complimentary canapés that will surely carry you over until dinner. The crowd is quiet, moneyed and cool and the atmosphere is way more sophisticated than the usual South Beach pool bar. Designed with an elegant Asian influence, you're sure to find things relaxing and serene as you sip your bubbly, nibble your snacks and watch the sunset sparkle over the surface of the swimming pools. - Setai Hotel, 2001 Collins Avenue, South Beach

The WELL at the Forge Restaurant
Vibe: Rocky Mountain High

Once you and your girlfriends have settled in for a long South Beach weekend, you'll need a place to relax, unwind and toast your good fortune for choosing a Miami getaway. Our favorite spot on a Thursday night is the new Aspen-themed Mid-Beach watering hole called The WELL. Founded by two remarkably successful restaurateurs—Shareef Malnik and Buzzy Sklar—the "WELL Deserved Ladies Night" features wine, cocktails and domestic brews FREE from 9-11pm plus Bethenny Frankel's Skinny Girl cocktails are half price. Adjoining The Forge, which is one of the top restaurants in town, the bar menu is prepared by Chef Dewey LoSasso who crafts freshly-pressed paninis, cheese boards and pita plates to pair with your drinks. Put on something casual, enjoy the live DJ and a chance to meet the locals who give Thursdays at The WELL a very special buzz. -The Forge, 444 West 41 Street, Miami Beach, FL

La Piaggia Beach Club Miami Beach

La Piaggia Beach Club

La Piaggia Beach Club
Vibe: South of France meets South Beach
For girls on the go, Sunday afternoons at La Piaggia Beach Club provide the ideal combination of Riviera chic and Ibiza cool. Order a bottle of chilled rosé and a few French bistro treats and enjoy that ooh-la-la moment. Located directly on the beach and also sporting a super-sceney swimming pool, this is the spot to flaunt those celebrity shades, stiletto heels and that expensive bikini you never intended to get wet. Service is as laissez faire as you might experience in France, so be prepared to simply sit & sip while your perfectly blown out hair wafts softly in the breeze. Most of the men on site want you to think they are millionaires. Like any smart investor in the current market, it might be best to watch from the sidelines rather than swim with the sharks! - La Piaggia, 1000 South Pointe Drive, South Beach

—the Nightclubs—

Miami has possibly the widest array of nightlife options of any city around. From ultralounges such as Mokai and Mynt to full-blown dance clubs such as Mansion, Cameo and Space, the choices are limited only by the City's 5AM closing time. Here are the bigger clubs you ladies may find more to you're liking.

LIV at the Fontainebleau Resort Miami Beach

LIV at the Fontainebleau Resort Miami Beach

LIV at the Fontainebleau Resort
Vibe: Big, Bold & Bouncy!
While the original Fontainebleau Resort was designed to appeal to wealthy snowbirds who spent their winters in South Florida, the new resort is all about Las Vegas Glam. Part of that charm lies in the huge nightclub called LIV and the smaller after-hours lounge ArKadia which are HOT stops on the international DJ circuit that makes South Beach sizzle! Stealing the thunder from the SoBe nightclub district, LIV has a strict door policy so dress smart and be prepared to wait at the door (or Bleau Bar) unless you've booked bottle service with the club's VIP concierge. The best nights for LIV are Wednesday and Saturday and the Thursday night Subliminal & Friends party at Arkadia is tops. Check the club website to see who is performing before you run the gauntlet at the door. - Fontainebleau Hotel, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL

WET Lounge at the W Hotel South Beach

WET Lounge at the W Hotel South Beach

WALL & WET Lounge at the W Hotel South Beach
Vibe: Crazy, Sexy, Cool
The new W South Beach is an upscale adult's playground by the sea with private VIP cabanas, WET - an outdoor poolside lounge and WALL - a laid back boutique dance club that keeps things moving all night long. Crafted by the nightlife impresarios behind some of South Beach's hottest clubs and chicest restaurants, WALL is more intimate and upscale than the South Beach scene along the Washington Avenue district so you and the girls won't feel quite like you have been thrown to the wolves! Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the venue's FaceBook page is your best resource to see who is performing during your trip. This is the place to work that Little Black Dress! - W South Beach Hotel, 2201 Collins Avenue, South Beach

Mynt Lounge

Mynt Lounge

Mynt Lounge
Vibe: Crowded, Electric, Energetic.
To escape the younger, rowdier club scene on South Beach, some of the best spots for girls on their own are located in the Collins Park District near the W & Perry South Beach Hotels around 21 Street Beach. That's where you'll find Mynt, a pretty unassuming spot by South Beach standards that still attracts a great-looking crowd. Many visitors opt for bottle service but well-dressed women who arrive before midnight should have little trouble getting in. The scene is centered on those few haute tables, the hot (hot!) go-go dancers and the tanned and toned people dancing super close together well into the night. Drinks teeter around $20 a pop so pre-gaming is a great idea if you're thirsty. Not much to look at from the street - the club is small, the crowds get tight and - in spite of all this - the energy is always electric. That's what keeps Mynt so fresh! - 1921 Collins Avenue, South Beach

—the Restaurants—

The best South Beach nightlife often begins with a transition from fine dining at a trendy restaurant to a foray into clubland. Here are a few of the hottest places for you ladies to try...

Cecconi's at Soho Beach House

Cecconi's at Soho Beach House

Cecconi's at Soho Beach House
Vibe: Alfresco Chic meets London Cool
Founded in London in 1995, the Soho House Group is a chain of private clubs for people in film, media and the creative industries. On the golden sands of Miami Beach, private club living at the Soho Beach House is limited to members but (lucky for you) the divine alfresco restaurant and bar Cecconi's is open to the public. Grab the girls and gather at the bar at sunset to sip pricey cocktails and check out the fashionable crowd. The cicchetti (Italian tapas) menu features rustic Italian favorites prepared with precision and served from 11am daily until close. Because this is an upscale club, remember that cocktails are crisp, refreshing and may induce sticker shock. But surrounded by thousands of twinkling Tivoli lights that rival the Miami moon, chances are you will be feeling so romantic you will hardly notice the check. - Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL

La Côte - Poolside at the Fontainebleau

La Côte - Poolside at the Fontainebleau

La Côte - Poolside at the Fontainebleau
Vibe: Nothing but Glam
The design team tasked with updating the landmark Fontainebleau Resort & Spa turned their eyes toward Las Vegas when crafting the opulent pool deck where VIP cabanas with flat panel televisions just might divert your gaze from the sun, the wading pools and the great-looking crowd. Book the girls into the Lapis Spa for a day of pampering which includes complimentary access to the giant fitness center and all of the Fontainebleau pools! Surrounded by all of that golden skin, it's tough to imagine having much of an appetite, but La Côte Restaurant - inspired by the Côte d’Azur - is really more about the scene than the cuisine. Overlooking a vast stretch of Atlantic surf, the place is pure French Riviera with a little Miami Beach shimmy thrown in for good measure. A DJ spins, a bartender whips up fashionable cocktails and the kitchen serves up tapas-style snacks from 11am - 6pm. Wrap your hips in a gauzy pareo, order a frosty Kir Royale, and savor one of the best views in town. - Fontainebleau Hotel, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL

YardBird Southern Table & Bar
Vibe: Hot Like a Buttered Biscuit
The current hit among South Beach restaurants is YardBird Southern Table & Bar just off Lincoln Road. Girls who learned to love to cook simply by watching blonde and blue-eyed Chef Jeff McInnis battle on Top Chef will thrill to know their BravoTV heartthrob has opened up his own down-home restaurant on South Beach with a full (50 brand!) bourbon bar that's ideal for meeting your rugged Mr. Right. That Southern Sipping Whiskey is all the rage right now and the bar is filled with hot looking single men nearly every night of the week. We suggest you pull on a bright white tee (to highlight your tan), some tight jeans and belly up to the bar to check out what's cooking! Steps away from Lincoln Road Mall, the menu is pure deep-fried goodness - and Chef Jeff is pretty yummy looking too. - Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, 1600 Lenox Avenue, South Beach

Lido Grill at the Standard Miami Hotel

Lido Grill at the Standard Miami Hotel

Lido Bayside Grill at the Standard Hotel & Spa
Vibe: Co-Ed Summer Camp
One of the top spots for a girl's getaway weekend, the Standard Hotel is like an adult sleepaway camp with do-it-yourself spa treatments, a co-ed Hammam steam bath, and sexy private soaking tubs on the terrace of many guest rooms. While you and your besties are finding your inner bliss, explore the action at the Lido Bayside Grill where Chef Mark Zeitouni's healthy fare isn't too good for you and the eye candy lounging poolside isn't either! Meet and mingle over an alfresco yoga class or celebrate Sundays overlooking Biscayne Bay with beer, bocce and a Brazilian BBQ. Day trippers can rent a Lush Garden Cabana from 11am-8pm which includes a 3-course lunch and a spa day in the sun. - Standard Miami Hotel, 40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach, FL

Clubs & Lounges
Automatic Slim's
Cabaret South Beach
Club Deuce
La Piaggia
Nikki Beach
One Lounge
Purdy Lounge
The Roof
The Room
Rooftop Lounge
Rose Bar
Set Miami
Setai Beach Bar
Space Miami
Ted's Hideaway
Wall Lounge
Wet Willie's

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