There may not be as many LGBT bars and clubs as there once were in Miami, but the city hasn’t become any less gay. In fact, it’s even more inclusive than ever, and that’s why you won’t find as many gay-specific establishments. They’re not as needed as they once were. Don’t misunderstand: There are still plenty of clubs, bars, and even hotels catering exclusively to the LGBT community, but you can expect to find queer locals and visitors, once relegated to safe havens only, absolutely everywhere in Miami. When you do still want to find some of those extra-gay hot spots, though, this list has you covered for your next visit to one of the sexiest cities in the states.
Miami Gay Beach
Okay, it’s Miami, so just about any of the beaches could be considered a gay beach here, but the gay beach is located at 12th Street and Ocean Drive. You won’t have trouble identifying it; it’s properly bedecked in rainbow flags. This one skews heavily toward men showing off their glistening beach bods, but you’ll also find a fair share of women here, LGBT and straight, soaking up some fun in the sun.
One step ahead of the gay-friendly properties coming out across the country, Hotel Gaythering flips the script and sets itself apart as a “friendly gay property.” It was designed specifically for LGBT clientele, so it’s gay day every day here. In addition to the casual bar (quite popular with locals); the men-only, clothing-optional sauna; and the dorm-style accommodation option for extra socialization, Hotel Gaythering also sponsors periodic events in support of the LGBT community and monthly lectures on LGBT topics. Don’t miss Gaythering’s newest weekly event, Monday night drag karaoke with Karla Croqueta.
Since 1993, Twist has been Miami’s go-to gay club with seven bars and three dance floors spread over two levels of indoor and outdoor space in South Beach. Open seven nights a week until 5 a.m., this longest-running gay bar in town regularly features dancers, DJs, drag queens and more, but go around 1 a.m. if you’re looking for the most impressive scene—show up too early and you’ll miss the commotion, but come too late and you may spend half the night in line.
Now in a new, larger location after a nearly 30-year stint just two blocks away, Palace is home to some of South Beach’s top drag queens delivering over-the-top performances nightly, with bottomless drag brunches at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The large, open patio means some performances spill out on to the sidewalk and even the street (some queens are known to stop traffic, literally, with their fearless performances).
R House Wynwood
Combining farm-to-table American dishes with Southern Italian cuisine, R House is more than just a fabulous restaurant. Husband-and-husband duo Owen Bale and Chef Rocco Carulli opened R House as a celebration of art, music, and food at a single venue in Wynwood, the city’s artistic hub (home to Art Basel Miami Beach). After dinner, R House hosts nightly events including live DJs and themed parties, but Sunday drag brunches, featuring live performances every 15 minutes, are a can’t-miss attraction with the best meal you may ever find at a drag brunch.
This indoor/outdoor bar in Wynwood serves punny cocktails at reasonable prices and offers regular live music with a rotating lineup of nightly events, but it’s Thursday’s party that really puts Gramps on the map. Double Stubble, featuring drag catwalks and resident DJs Mystic Bill, DJ Hottpants, and Terence Tabeau, was voted one of Miami’s best LGBT parties by Miami New Times during its original stint as a monthly Sunday T-dance. Too popular for a single monthly party, you can now catch it every Thursday night.
The Standard Spa
With sister properties in New York City, Los Angeles, and London, The Standard Spa Miami Beach identifies as less of a hotel and more of a spa with guest rooms, so come prepared to pamper yourself. The Standard Spa draws on water therapies from international cultures, ancient and modern, offering hydrotherapy, arctic plunge, Finnish sauna, Turkish hammam, Roman waterfall hot tub, and much more. It’s a social spa emphasizing the ancient traditions of communal water therapies, but feel free to take some me-time floating on the pool and staring out at the glittering ocean.
Soho Beach House
One of the 23 Soho Houses around the world, Soho Beach House is an elite members-only club for creatives (sorry, no lawyers or finance bros allowed), and that means the LGBT community makes up a healthy portion of the membership. Unfortunately, you can’t access the club without a membership, but you can enter as a guest of a member as long as you stick together, loosely. You can also book a room here without membership (room access only; no amenities), so make a reservation and then make a friend, and the swank world of Soho Beach House is yours!
The Confidante Miami Beach
Once you arrive, you may recognize this one from Dua Lipa’s music video, “New Rules.” Or perhaps you’ll recall some of the photos Lady Gaga shot here during her “Joanne” world tour. Either way, you’ll love the oh-so-Miami Art Deco design of The Confidante and its ideal location directly on the beach, but you may have even more fun at the pool. Weekend pool parties with cabana service are glam enough reasons to hang, but the floatie menu makes this one perfect for your Insta. (Try the rainbow floatie to really gay your way across the pool).
Florida’s largest history museum, HistoryMiami Museum presents the city’s diverse history with permanent collections, cultural events, and exhibitions of the varied subcultures that have shaped Miami. Queer Miami: A History of LGBT Communities honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with artifacts, archival footage, and photographs of the individuals and communities who helped make Miami an LGBT haven long before equality, and encourages visitors to leave behind their own tales to demonstrate the growing diversity of the community today.
This warehouse-style music and party space hosts a variety of events (not all aimed at an LGBT audience), but This Free Life’s Celebrity Deathmatch is the one you’ll definitely watch to catch. This Free Life, a campaign aimed at preventing tobacco use in LGBT youth, hosts a free monthly dance party for the 18+ crowd at The Hangar, featuring a drag battle royale (in an actual boxing ring) where celebrity impersonators duke it out for the crown.
W South Beach
Long popular with LGBT visitors looking for a taste of Miami’s vibrant lifestyle, W South Beach has everything you need to vacay like a true jetsetter. From chic rooms with balconies overlooking the ocean to a poppin’ pool scene and close proximity to some of South Beach’s best clubs, it’s quintessential Miami every step of the way here. If your pooch is an influencer, too, bring him along; W South Beach is pet-friendly and treat pups like the stars they are. Speaking of stars, you may spot some over a meal at celeb-favorite Mr. Chow.
Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts
With an opera house, concert hall, theater, and outdoor performance space, the Arsht Center is the cultural anchor of the city. Here, at one of the largest performing arts centers in the country, you can catch everything from theater festivals and national tours of Broadway shows to ballet, symphony, and intimate concerts. Check out the Center’s annual Communitea Dance for a free afternoon of LGBT pride in the Thomson Plaza for the Arts, featuring top DJs and queens serving all-ages entertainment.
Perez Art Museum Miami
Celebrating 35 years as Miami’s premier art museum (though now in its third incarnation), The Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) showcases modern and contemporary art from around the world and is, perhaps, equally known for it’s sprawling 200,000-square-foot campus. In addition to a world-class art collection and exhibitions, you’ll find retail featuring a curated selection of art books, furniture, and handmade goods; hanging gardens; and a waterfront restaurant overlooking Biscayne Bay. If you’re in town at the right time, you won’t want to miss PAMM’s annual Miami Beach Gay Pride celebration on its waterfront terrace.
When you’re ready to embrace Miami’s Latin nightlife (and why else are you here?) head to Azucar Nightclub in Coral Way. Drag shows, cabaret, and live DJs fuel sexy Miami nights of salsa and more at Azucar, where a low cover and generous drink specials keep the party flowing until the early hours of the morning. Azucar is famous for its large crowds of high-energy revelers—the perfect place to see and be seen.
Famous for its go-go dancers and circuit parties in the private lounge, Score’s Washington Avenue location is officially closed...but unofficially still open with sporadic activity. A full reopening under Score’s iconic giant disco ball is expected soon, but you can still catch regular pop-up parties at other hot venues across the Miami Beach. Until further notice, check Score’s website or Facebook page for updated party announcements, and don’t believe what you hear about it being closed. If you’re in the know, you can still go.