The best South Beach clubs to keep you dancing

The best South Beach clubs are going to keep you up way past your bedtime, but at least you’ll have a story to tell
Basement
Photograph: Courtesy Basement
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Over the years, the best South Beach clubs have changed hands many times over. This is not an industry that does longevity well. Still, the area has always maintained its reputation as a nightlife haven, from the glorious megaclubs of the ’90s through the EDM explosion and into today’s hip-hop dominance. The roster of South Beach clubs has always contained some of the best clubs in Miami as well as the best gay clubs in Miami. This is, thankfully, true. You might meet someone who tells you South Beach is over—nothing more than one big overpriced tourist itching to tow your car. That person just doesn’t know how to do South Beach properly. Listen to us and you will. 

RECOMMENDED: See the full coverage of Miami nightlife

Best South Beach clubs

1
Basement
Photograph: Courtesy Basement
Nightlife, Clubs

Basement

icon-location-pin Miami Beach

What is it? A funky rainbow of music, bowling and plenty of alcohol. The slightly bizarre but never boring Basement—housed in the bottom of the Edition—feels hip in an effortless way that’s so rare in a city full of club’s screaming for your attention. This is the place to be during Art Basel and Miami Music Week. 

Why go? Name another club where you can dance, ice skate and bowl. We’ll wait.

2
LIV nightclub
Photograph: Courtesy LIV
Nightlife, Clubs

LIV

icon-location-pin Miami Beach

What is it? The closest thing you’ll ever find to partying inside an actual music video. These days, the legendary LIV seems to be packed with as many celebrities as average Joes. You might spend some serious cash but you also might trip and fall onto a Kardashian.

Why go? No club—anywhere—books bigger names on a weekly basis than LIV. It would not be odd to see Travis Scott, DJ Khaled and Kanye West all onstage on a Sunday night.

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3
Story nightclub
Photograph: Simon Hare Photography
Nightlife, Clubs

Story

icon-location-pin South of Fifth

What is it? LIV’s (not so) little cousin. Because it’s owned by the same folks, Story delivers a similar roster of massive bookings. At the time of this writing, Lil Wayne, Virgil Abloh and Jaden Smith had all recently stopped by.

Why go? Not into all that computer music? You’ll find a tad more hip-hop at Story, both in the bookings and music selection.

4
Twist
Photography: Courtesy Twist
LGBT

Twist

icon-location-pin Miami Beach

What is it? An iconic gay club with over a quarter century of experience. South Beach nightlife started with the LGBT community so it’s fitting this indulgent two-story disco remains one of the most popular clubs in South Beach.

Why go? Because, if nothing else, the shirtless-ness of Twist will motivate you to start that diet.

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5
Trade
Photograph: Adi Adinayev
Nightlife, Clubs

Trade

icon-location-pin South Beach

What is it? The place to go for less mainstream acts and bottle service sparklers. It’s dark and loud inside, just like the club kids like it. Sometimes Trade will close during the slow summer months, though, so plan accordingly.

Why go? Do you go to clubs not for the ’Gram, but because you actually love house and techno? Then Trade is for you.

6
Do Not Sit On the Furniture
Photography: Courtesy DNSOTF
Nightlife, Clubs

Do Not Sit On The Furniture

icon-location-pin South Beach

What is it? A cozy “boutique nightclub” owned by electronic DJ Behrouz. Because of that, this place tends to put the music first and is a reliable choice for club veterans looking to dance without being shoved by bottle service servers and elbowed by drunk bros.

Why go? A club small enough to meet everyone inside on any given night is a breath of fresh air in Miami’s megaclub landscape.

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7
Score
Photograph: Steven Schmidt
Nightlife, Clubs

Score

icon-location-pin South Beach

What is it? Whimsical, fun and muscular, Score is the second in South Beach’s one-two-punch of gay clubs. The club’s programming is vibrant too, with drag queen-hosted affairs, Latin nights and more. 

Why go? Fridays from 11 to 11:30pm, there’s an open bar. Pace yourself.

8
Rockwell
Photograph: Courtesy Rockwell
Nightlife, Clubs

Rockwell

icon-location-pin South Beach

What is it? Rockwell’s door has been known to be a royal pain in the ass, so brace for a picky bouncer. Once inside, expect hip-hop, bottle service and a rapper or two to jump on stage and dance around.

Why go? Most clubs are closed during the week but Monday is actually the best night to visit Rockwell—a welcome surprise to anyone stuck working weekends. 

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9
Nikki Beach
Nightlife

Nikki Beach

icon-location-pin South of Fifth

What is it? Step one, take a club. Step two, put it on the beach. And that’s the simple yet efficient recipe for Nikki Beach. This place is the undisputed champ of day parties, with a crowd that prefers dancing in the sun at 2pm over a dark club at 2am. 

Why go? Ever wondered what would happen if brunch and a nightclub had a baby? Stop by Nikki Beach’s bumpin’ Sunday brunch and brace for costumed models and spraying champagne alongside pancakes and eggs.

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