Score is the best gay bar/club in Miami, situated on Lincoln Road. If you are lucky enough to be heading to Miami I highly recommend you check it out. The staff are adorable (especially Jonathan) and they serve a good range of drinks. The music is also very good.
727 Lincoln Road, South Beach, Miami
The views up here are like nothing I have ever seen before. You know that scene in Vanilla Sky where Tom Cruise is at the top of the building and the whole world is glittering below him? Drinking in Level 25 is every bit as mind-blowing as that because it's all glass and the atmosphere of the place changes with the weather, making it impossible to get bored of.
It takes on the character of the sunset, or of a starry night. The city sparkles in the distance and the sea glimmers and glints and you feel like you could be a movie star yourself.
I go to Miami once or twice a year to see my family and this is always where I take people for a drink now. It's really good for post-work drinks if you're working in the area because it's in the financial district. You could get drunk just on the atmosphere or, of course, on the menu of marvellous speciality cocktails.
25th floor of Conrad hotel building, Brickell Ave, Miami, Florida.
I first sampled Level 25 on a girls' weekend in Miami, and we all fell in love with it for its completely creative cocktails. It serves all your old faves, but given a unique twist and served with flair (by very attentive bar staff). It also has its own speciality cocktail menu - trust me, you'd need more than one visit to work through it! As well as all this, the setting is quite literally out of this world, 25 floors above the ground. The bar is all glass, with the city and the sea glittering away outside - quite enough to take your breath away (if the cocktails haven't knocked you out already!). The clientele is stylish and atmosphere electric. Without a doubt my favourite cocktail corner in the world.
Level 25, Conrad Miami
1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL, 33131, USA
Tel: 1-305-503 6500
Old-fashioned diner (in that converted-train-carriage stylee) in the centre of South Beach. Serves old-fashioned diner food at decent prices and is open 24 hours. Also serves beer, and has an outside terrace.
1065 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139; tel: 305 534 6373
Very friendly, although also slightly cool, bar in the supposedly fashionable 'South of Fifth' part of South Beach. Has excellent Jamaican food, a range of beers (could be colder, in truth) and a free pool table. Locals and staff very friendly and laid back. DJ most nights, playing unpretentious music.
423 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL; tel: 305 5324444
Everything about Key West is so laid back that it feels more Caribbean than Floridian. The formerly quaint and peaceful Duval Street, now the main tourist drag, has been spoiled in recent years by a proliferation of T-shirt and tacky gift shops, and the whole town can get a little overpowering, particularly in the mornings, when hordes of cruise ship passengers disembark for the day, but late afternoons and evenings are fun.
Mallory Square has free entertainment at sunset every night (check out the bonkers French guy and his performing cats).
Sloppy Joe's and Captain Tony's both claim to be the favoured watering holes of the town's most famous former resident, Ernest Hemingway, and are both worth a visit.
More cultured visitors should look to the Audubon House, Hemingway's house (including the famous six-toed cats) and the Little White House, one-time president Harry S Truman's former residence.
160 miles from Miami at the end of US1 (Mile Marker 0);
The News Cafe is one of the most popular cafe-restaurant-bars on South Beach. It's open 24-hours and its all-day (and all-night) breakfast is excellent value.
Lots of people use it as a meeting point before a night on the town.
There's also a shop that sells newspapers from many different countries.
Ocean Drive (on corner of 8th Street)
Escape from the tourist Ocean Drive/Collins Avenue scene and go to where real Miami folk like to hang out. A bustling, ambient bar where you swing your hips and play a spot of pool.
1811 Purdy Avenue, South Beach; www.purdylounge.com
This bar sits on top of the Townhouse hotel and is open to non-residents from Wednesday to Saturday. You can laze about on the king-sized waterbeds. Perfect for a relaxing evening sipping cocktails.
150 20th Street, Miami Beach; tel: 305 534 3800; www.townhousehotel.com/
Without a doubt this is Miami's best laundry-cum-bar. Stuff your mouldy undergarments in the shining washing machines and settle back for a beer. Laundry has never been so much fun.
There's also a games area to while away the time in case your clothes have got particularly stubborn stains.
721 North Lincoln Lane, Miami Beach; tel: 305 531 7700; www.laundrybar.com/
It's a small pub with the best burgers, chicken wings and the coldest draft beer in town. It also has a pool table. It's not located in the popular tourist areas of Miami, it's south in the suburbs.
10417 South Dixie Highway; tel: 305-284-9296
If you want to see where the locals go, it’s worth a trip to Coral Gables in the week to hang out with the financial boys - Houstons on Miracle Mile is a good bet. Failing that, Coconut Grove is always busy in and around the intersection of Coco Walk. La Bouchon sells lovely French cuisine and the staff are stupidly friendly.
Houstons: 201 Miracle Mile;
La Bouchon: Coconut Grove
If you tire of South Beach bling, the best place to unwind is Lost Weekend on Espanola. It’s essentially a pool hall with lovely staff and a ladies drink (whatever the hell they want) policy each Wednesday.
218 Espanola Way, Miami Beach
Head over to the Raleigh Hotel on a Sunday evening for its amazing pool party. Get there around 5pm, before the velvet rope and rottweilers are put in place. You can sip cold Coronas and chill to fantastic tunes long into the night and early hours and the clientele is a cross of latino lovelies and Miami party people.
1775 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Sunday is definitely the best day/night of the week to go out in South Beach. After you drag yourself off the beach, head over to Nikki Beach for mojitos on the sunloungers. When it gets dark, head upstairs to Pearl (though don't forget to glam up on the way upstairs). If you can afford to, buy a bottle and go VIP if not, the bar is always busy and you can watch the bunny girls and salsa queens glam it up on the bar.
1 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
The laidback atmosphere of this night club is a refreshing change from the annoyances of South Beach. Mostly locals venture to this lounge since it's on the bay side of Miami Beach, away from pretentious Collins and Ocean Drive. People play pool, drink beer, and dance to a variety of music from retro to hip hop. The decor is chic but comfy. And there's no cover.
1811 Purdy Avenue; tel: 305 531 4622; www.purdylounge.com,
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