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The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club (1732 Collins Ave; 305-674-1160) has rooms with stylish luxury at affordable prices. Two restaurants, the Kung Fu Sushi with sushi and Asian food, and Maxine with breakfast all day, plus the Red Bar with lounges and a garden, are a part of this complex.
The European Guesthouse (21 Michigan Ave; 305-673-6665) brings Continental flair to the Art Deco District of South Beach, convenient to bars, shops, beaches and restaurants, with a generous breakfast buffets, and charming rooms.
The enduring Island House (1428 Collins Ave; 305-864-2422) rents studios and apartments at several Miami Beach locations. Their 21-unit accommodation on Collins Avenue, a block from the beach, features large, modern, unfussy rooms with king beds, small kitchens, and several smaller economy rooms. All are an easy walk to Washington Avenue hot spots, and a breakfast buffet is served.
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Nightlife in South Beach goes late, so afternoon siestas are often taken on the beach.
Club Boi (726 NW 79th St), South Florida's only black-owned and operated gay club, has 18+ weekend dancing to Urban American, Reggae and Soca music all night long. Parking is secure and special nights include last Fridays' all-nude male reviews.
Discotekka at Metropolis Club (950 NE 2nd Ave), like most clubs downtown, has a 24-hour license, so Saturday to Sunday after-hours parties go full-throttle until 9am. The young, mixed crowd includes lots of shirtless hunks, plus frequent guest porn stars and other performers. Fridays are women's nights.
Mova Lounge (1625 Michigan Ave), a contemporary boutiquey smoke-free venue, offers plush seating, an eclectic mix of lounge music, and a large variety of martinis and cocktails.
They love to say it: "Every Queen needs a... Palace" (1200 Ocean Dr). Ocean Drive's only gay bar and restaurant is right across from the 12th Street Gay Beach (look for rainbow flags). Open from 10am to 11pm (midnight on weekends), the crowds spill onto the sidewalks from their high-energy drag shows. Sandwich wraps, finger foods, Steak and Salmon entrees, and all-day every day breakfasts are a few of the menu items. They also have Sunday T-Dances and Latin Nights.
Ruby J's (239 Sunny Isles Blvd) a feast for all your senses, has food, drinks, cabaret music, and an ambience to delight at Sunny Isles Beach. The live entertainment includes drag shows Tuesdays through Saturdays, and there's gourmet dining on a beautiful patio.
The stylish Score (727 Lincoln Rd) cocktail bar and dance club, has terrace seating on the famous and cruisy Lincoln Road Mall. Sunday T-dances are well-attended and Tuesday nights draw a big Latino crowd. Creme and Sugar Thursdays and Salvation Saturdays are also popular. Bartenders are handsome and personable and hot erotic male dancers are among the performers.
Twist (1057 Washington Ave) is a must for any gay South Beach visitor, with late-night intrigue and a packed dance floor. They have a nightly international crowd, friendly and relaxed staff, and special nights such as: Sunday amateur strip shows; blackout and fetish parties; game shows, talent contests, and Happy Hour BBQs Fridays and Sundays from 6pm.
Downtown, the Vault Miami (145 N Miami Ave) has a sexy, sophisticated 18+ weekend crowd, dancing to hip-hop, R&B, Reggae and House until 5am, with strippers to entertain. Their Sugar Sundays drag shows start at midnight.
Vlada Lounge (3215 NE 2nd Ave), the Miami outpost of the plush New York City lounge, has food, infused vodka drinks, and cabaret entertainment.
Edison Farrow's website Sobesocialclub.com peeks into South Beach's gay nightlife schedule, including special events hosted by him.
Plan a visit to one of the premier bathhouses in the country. Club Aqua Miami (2991 Coral Way), formerly CBC Miami, has new owners, management and renovations, opens 24-hours to men 18+, and accepts CBC membership cards. Events include "live entertainment with safe sex practices" on Tuesdays and Sundays; and periodic naked pool parties (swimsuit optional). Facilities include gym, steam sauna, Jacuzzi and outdoor pool and patio.
|Author Profile: Michael K Lavers|
Michael K Lavers is the national news editor for the EDGE Media Network and managing editor of the Fire Island News. His work has appeared in The Advocate, the Village Voice and many gay and mainstream publications.
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