Night Life

Nightlife for a Florida Vacation

by: Caroline Brame

Florida has long been known for a party destination mostly due to the fact that Spring Breakers have come to the Keys, Panama City, Fort Lauderdale, and Daytona for years. However, Florida has a great nightlife any place any time of the year, no matter what the reason. Learn about hot spots and locals secrets to get the most out of your Florida vacation.


Kick off the night in Jacksonville, home to the University of North Florida and a great twenty to thirty-something crowd. The party scene is found over the Intracoastal Waterway at the Jacksonville Beaches. Start the night right at Ragtime Taproom and Brewery, a locals’ favorite known for great microbrews and live music. Voted “Best Brew Pub” year after year, the large bar starts filling up with the after-work crowd and does not empty until closing time. Head to the boardwalk to find The Atlantic, known for tasty appetizers and a great happy hour. Nightly music will range from jazz to hard rock and techno and begins around 9:30. If the typical “beach bar” is what you are in the mood for, look no further than Bukkets. Play pool, grab a drink, or watch people on the boardwalk in this high-energy drinking hole. Freebird Live was built in commemoration of Jacksonville native Ronnie VanZant of Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is where to go if you are looking to hear great live music. Past performers include Charlie Daniels, Willie Nelson, and Blues Traveler. Jacksonville has it all: a great nightlife, gorgeous beaches, and locals that love to have a good time.

Panama City Beach

Heading west will take you to Panama City Beach, home to one of the largest Spring Break gatherings in the state. Front Beach Road is home to two PCB staples, Harpoon Harry’s and Sharky’s Beach Club. Harpoon Harry’s has tasty late night snacks, great drinks, and local live music. This is the ideal place for anyone wanting to avoid the crowds at larger clubs. Sharky’s is a Panama City Beach institution, having been home to the Tiki Hut for almost 20 years. Hear live bands, drink mixed drinks, and enjoy fresh seafood where the energy is always high. The Boatyard attracts tourists and locals alike with a laid back atmosphere, delicious late-night treats, and live music. The dance floor is always full and the party goes on all night. Club La Vela is the nation’s largest nightclub with ten theme rooms, each with its own style of music and atmosphere. Get to the club early and stay late at one of the trendiest nightclubs in the world. Panama City Beach continues its reputation for having one of the best late night scenes in Florida.


Central Florida brings Orlando as its top nightlife scene. With quite a few colleges and universities in the area, theme parks with adult hours, and locals who like to have fun, there are plenty of options when it comes to local nightlife. Pleasure Island, part of Walt Disney World, turns into fun for the adults after dark. Purchasing a pass gets you into the clubs and attractions like BET SoundStage Club, 8TRAX, Mannequins Dance Club, Motions, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Beach Club. Universal Studios answers back with its own adult nightlife scene found at CityWalk. Although there is no entrance fee, it is suggested to purchase the Party Pass that gets you free cover and priority entrance to BB Kings Blues Club, Howl at the Moon, Jillian’s Hi-Life Lanes, Rumba Room and the Saddle Ranch Chop House, as well as, plenty of other freebies. The nightlife in Orlando does not end at the theme parks. Head to downtown Orlando to experience what the locals do after dark. Tabu Night Club is a more sophisticated alternative to Orlando nightlife with a dress code. The Art Deco design, friendly staff, fabulous drinks and appetizers, and celeb DJ’s make this the place to go when looking for a more matrue atmosphere. Roxy is the heart of the Orlando nightlife scene and is the place to go if you want to see and be seen. This huge bi-level club has multiple rooms to cater to whatever mood and price level you are interested in. Orlando, known for children’s theme parks and dreamlands, becomes an adult’s playground at sunset.

Fort Lauderdale

Heading south brings you to Fort Lauderdale, home of the original Spring Break party scene. Start your vacation at the Elbo Room, an iconic beachside bar surviving from the “Where The Boys Are” era. Live music and ambiance make this a must- visit. The Art Bar is an up and coming Fort Lauderdale hot spot with great drinks and music. The Martini Bar, located downtown, is the new rage with fun takes on the classic martini. Crowds love the fun staff and atmosphere. The best dueling piano bar around, Howl at the Moon, is full of great eats, entertainment, and is one of the most fun nights out around. If hip-hop is your forte, visit G.O.A.T. Open seven days a week, this lounge and bar is the only place to go every night of the week. There are plenty of other beach bars, dance clubs, and cool lounges around town. Visit them all to find your favorite late-night spot in Fort Lauderdale.


Last, although certainly no least, we come to Miami, home to South Beach and one of the hottest nightlife scenes in the world. The rich and famous, as well as, your everyday Miami vacationer can be found in the clubs, bars, and lounges in this wildly fun city. Miami’s top DJ’s perform at Club Space, located downtown. A huge dance floor, open-air patio, and a dazzling light show are sure to keep you entertained from sundown to sun-up. Heading to South Beach will bring you to some of the most well known clubs in the country. The Marlin Bar is a place to expect to see celebrities and enjoy at laid-back atmosphere at the same time. There are plenty of couches and chairs, ample of space, and live jazz and world beat music to enjoy. Jazid is a popular bar, known for a great atmosphere, live jazz, and a sultry feel. If looking for something other than live music, head up to the loft for music spun by popular DJ’s. For those looking to impress, get dressed to kill and head to Tantra, home to one of the more exotic atmospheres in South Beach. This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and bar has a real grass floor, waterfalls, hookah pipes, and plush couches. Great martinis and one of the best menus on the Beach are accompanied by a cigar bar and fabulous company.

It’s easy to enjoy a Florida vacation with such great activities, fabulous vacation rentals , and beautiful beaches that stretch for miles. Florida is known for being home to the hottest trends in music, couture, and nightlife. Whether looking for the newest club, a laid-back tiki bar on the beach, or the hottest nightclub, this state has all of it and more.

South Beaches Hottest Clubs


Chat Noir

at Dream NightClub

1532 Washington Avenue

Miami Beach, FL


If you’re looking for something away from the VIP/Celeb scene or just something a little out of the ordinary, try the Chat Noir party at Dream Nightclub on a Monday night. Chat Noir is a bohemian cabaret show that features a variety of visual entertainment including song and dance laced with comedy, contortionists, fire acts and even dramatic theatre set to music. It gets going early compared to most other South Beach clubs, so plan to show up right at 10pm, so you won’t miss anything interesting.


Automatic Slim’s

1216 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL


For some inexplicable reason, Tuesday night revelers in South Beach have always craved the unusual. And that’s exactly what they’ve found at Automatic Slim’s on Washington Avenue. The tiny one-room affair is a cross between an I-40 truck-stop and Motel 6, complete with buxom bartenders pole-dancing away, and big neon signs that say something you’ll be too drunk to decipher. Double-Wide Tuesday is one of those parties dedicated to the trailer-trash/JerrySpringer/shitkicker in all of us, but for some unknown reason, it’s usually filled with the model-set. People in Prada are shot on sight, so throw on some jeans and head down to Automatic Slim’s for Double-Wide Tuesday, an evening of “cheap drinks and fat beats.”  And, yes, that’s Lynyrd Skynyrd the DJ is playing…

Delano’s Rose Bar

1685 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach, FL


Wednesday night parties at the Delano offers a glimpse at how the other half lives. Centering in the Delano’s Rose Bar, but often spilling out to the dimly lit pool area and beyond, neo-Warholian hipsters, South Beach party monsters and the occasional celeb assemble to discuss everything from Nietzsche to the Sex Pistols in a dramatic cocktail setting. The Delano’s impossibly high ceilings, diaphanous white linen drapes and warm ocean breezes that pour through the enormous corridor spanning the length of the hotel complement the sultry atmosphere.

Traveling Tuesday

Martini Club

(New location each week)

The newly crowned king of fun-and-games among South Beach’s gay brigade is Edison Farrow with his elegantly innovative traveling Martini party. Initially conceived as simple gathering of friends, Edison’s Traveling Tuesday party has grown to stratospheric, club-filling proportions. The party is held at a different location each week and covers the complete spectrum of South Beach clubs, restaurants, hotel lobbies, rooftops and more. The best way to keep track of this roving party’s weekly location change is on Edison’s web site at


Glass at The Forge

432 41st Street

Miami Beach, FL


Michael Capponi’s long-running Wednesday night party at BED which achieved legendary status over its multi-year history, now has a new home at Shareef Malnik’s newly opened Glass nightclub in the former Jimmy’z space adjacent to The Forge. Capponi’s arrival at Glass brings with it a tight velvet rope policy, an A-list of partiers from all over the world, and a roster of the most alluring party girls in Miami, all of which produces a vibe not to be missed. The legend continues…


Gansevoort South Hotel

2399 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach, FL


Thursday nights all roads lead to yet another Michael Capponi production, this time at the beautiful Gansevoort Hotel on Collins Avenue. The party heats up around 11pm up on the hotel’s rooftop Plunge Bar, and with numerous outdoor areas (and interesting people) to explore, the Gansevoort’s Thursday night rooftop soiree is rapidly becoming South Beach’s top party event.

The Vagabond

30 NE 14th Street

Miami, FL


If you’re looking for something a little more edgy, try Money Shot at The Vagabond in downtown Miami. The Vag is the brainchild of Carmel Ophir, DJ John Digweed and Rodney Mayo, and is rapidly becoming a hipster haven away from the velvet rope scene on South Beach.

Buck 15 Lounge

707 Lincoln Lane

Miami Beach, FL


Follow the boys upstairs via the back entrance of Buck 15 Lounge to Edison Farrow’s Thursday night soiree, “The Simple Life.” Chyna handles Door Goddess duty while Daisy D spins Hip-Hop in this intimate New York style lounge above Miss Yip Chinese Cafe just off Lincoln Road.



320 Lincoln Road

Miami Beach, FL


International nightlife star Michael Capponi teams up with Eric Milon’s Opium Group to create one of South Beach’s hallmark clubs? Set which offers a chic Euro-lounge setting where the elite come to party. Even though entry to Set is more of an art than a science?and by no means guaranteed?those that do make it in will find themselves surrounded by South Beach’s hippest crowd.


SkyBar Miami Beach

at the Shore Club

1901 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach, FL


The constantly changing South Beach scene has taken yet another turn in recent times toward a more lounge-centric view of the world. And the place to be on Saturday night (and any night, for that matter) is SkyBar Miami Beach at the Shore Club hotel. Ian Schrager, the supreme commander of all that is hip, and owner of the Delano, Mondrian, Royalton, Paramount, and Hudson hotels (to name a few) has assumed creative control of the Shore Club and hipsters throughout the world have heeded his clarion-call to this chic little hot-spot on Collins Avenue. The scene begins in Nobu’s lounge area and spills out onto the area surrounding the pool and beyond. The drinks are rather steep, but the music is so soft and sexy you’ll never feel the pain.


1235 Washington Avenue

Miami Beach, FL


Miami Beach nightlife visionary Eric Milon, who previously established the Living Room as a glamorous tropical waypoint for east-coast A-listers and European jet-setters in the early ’90s, now present us with a nightclub that has become the prime weekend destination for the hippest crowd in South Florida. Set in the massive 1235 Washington Avenue space that was originally built as the French Casino in 1936, and has housed such legendary nightclubs as Glam SlamClub Z and ParagonMansion projects sensual and intimate vibe throughout its multi-level area. With six bars on two levels and a main-room stage that will host fashion shows and live performances, we predict Mansion will rewrite South Beach nightlife history for years to come.


Shore Club

1901 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach, FL


Glamour is constantly on the move in South Beach and now it’s moved up to the Shore Club hotel’s fabulous outdoor pool area for sultry Sunday parties. Hedonistic “Soiree Sundays” beach parties begin as afternoons of recovery in the sun and quickly devolve into nights of pleasure with great music and the blue Atlantic laid out before you. Who could ask for more?

The Standard Hotel

40 Island Avenue

Miami Beach, FL


Watching the sun set over Biscayne Bay has become a fav with Miami Beach hipsters, especially when viewed from André Balazs’ Standard Hotel on Island Avenue. The open-air setting provides the perfect laidback atmosphere for making the transition from early evening to a night of fun in South Beach.

Here is a link with a few of the clubs listed by location.

Ft. Lauderdale