Before beginning an article discussing the night life in Miami, it’s necessary to mention the difference between Miami and South Beach.
South Beach is not a part of Miami. South Beach is a 23 block area in the city of Miami Beach. The city of Miami Beach is independent from the city of Miami and is located on an island. This island is separated from the mainland of Florida by Biscayne Bay. South Beach is directly east of Miami and the two areas are joined by the MacArthur Causeway.
You may be asking how this geography lesson will help you enjoy your night out in Miami. Sure, it’s a great pick up line, “Hey babe, do you know South Beach is not a part of Miami?” But it’s also good to know that once the sun sets on the city of Miami, it’s just as exciting and just as fun as the legendary party destination, South Beach.
Miami has a thriving performing arts scene. Having just opened its door in 2006, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Boulevard) is the third-largest performing arts center in the United States. It has three main venues: an opera house, a concert hall and a studio theater.
At any given time of the year, you could attend an opera, ballet, concert or a musical at the center. If you plan ahead, the Arsht Center could be a big part of your evening out in Miami.
The historic Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E Flagler Street) is located in the heart of the Miami. The Gusman attracts a wide range of events, everything from MMA to Broadway musicals to classical pianists.
If you’re in Miami on the second Saturday of the month, you can venture to the Miami Design District for Second Saturdays. Explore 18 blocks of art and design while enjoying beer, wine and cocktails.
Second Saturdays is for everyone, it doesn’t matter if you’re a college student or a retiree. The best part about it, you don’t have to spend a dime.
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
You can watch the Miami Heat play at one of the coolest looking arenas in the NBA, the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Boulevard).
Looking for laugh? The Miami Improv (3390 Mary Street) brings the funniest comedians from around the world to South Florida. Or if you prefer, you could show up for “open mic night” and tell all those off color jokes you learned from your uncle. By the way, the Miami Improv also has a dinner menu.
When it comes to dining in Miami, your choices are numerous. If you fancy some seafood, Area 31 serves terrific grilled fish. Located on the 16 floor of the Epic Hotel (270 Biscayne Boulevard Way), Area 31 has a beautiful nighttime view of the city.
Casa Juancho (2436 SW 8th Street) is not only one of the top Spanish restaurants in Miami it’s one of the top Spanish restaurants in the country. Besides seafood, Casa Juancho offers fowl, poultry and USDA Prime Beef.
The first word that comes to mind when visiting the Grass Lounge (28 NE 40th Street) is “chic.” That’s because the Grass Lounge is all about atmosphere. You sit on sofas, walk on grass floors, and gaze at bamboo trees and bonsai plants. Behind the bar, is an illuminated wall of apothecary jars containing colorful flora.
The Grass Lounge serves a mix of American and Asian cuisine.
Azul Restaurant (500 Brickell Key Drive) fuses Mediterranean flavors with Asian influences to create one of the most unique dining experiences in Miami. It also doesn’t hurt that they feature over 700 world-class wines.
If you’re looking for a romantic night out, Tantra Restaurant (1445 Pennsylvania Avenue) markets itself as a sensual dining experience. They feature exotic Middle Eastern décor, including a living grass floor, a water wall and mood-setting music. Their menu consists of what they call “aphrodisiac cuisine.”
If you’re looking for something more down to Earth, Tobacco Road (626 South Miami Avenue) smokes their own ribs, turkey and pulled pork. Known as Miami’s oldest bar and restaurant, Tobacco Road offers just about everything you could want on a night out: traditional dining, scotch, cocktails, cabaret, and live music.
BARS AND NIGHTCLUBS
Another colloquial hangout in Miami is Churchill’s Pub (5501 NE 2nd Avenue). It’s dirty, smelly and in a bad part of town, but it’s the place to go if you like indie music and tetanus shots.
The quintessential “dive bar,” Churchill’s has jazz jams on Monday night and the rest of the week they feature live bands and deejays.
If you want an experience that you won’t find at the typical South Florida nightclubs, than Churchill’s is your destination. However, if you want the typical South Florida nightclub experience, visit Karu & Y (71 NW 14th Street).
Karu & Y is such a huge nightclub you can roam from room to room and feel like you’re actually bar hoping. Dozens of plasma monitors, scores of stage lighting and world class deejays fused together and assault the senses.
The Vagabond (30 NE 14th Street) is an affordable nightclub experience offering plenty of good times. It’s a great place to dance, get a burger and drink $1 beers. There’s plenty of parking and it’s free to get in until midnight.
The Purdy Lounge (1811 Purdy Avenue) is neighborhood bar and dance club that’s known for its friendly staff and its stiff drinks. With pool tables, a wall of lava lamps, board games, no deejay (most of the time) and no cover charge, it’s no wonder it’s the world’s sixth best bar according to the website worldsbestbars.com.
The nightlife in Miami is as diverse as the city itself. While Miami is heavily influenced by Spanish, Cuban and Mediterranean cultures, its entertainment offers something for everyone.
A night out in Miami not only offers a chance for fun and excitement, it also offers the opportunity to experience one of America’s most fascinating cities.
Copyright 2009 MiamiSmarts