Weekend In Miami: The Nightlife

After finishing our excellent dinner at Afterglo, we decided we needed to explore South Beach’s nightlife. First, we headed two blocks south and two blocks east to The Clevelander. Beautifully-lit, jam-packed, and featuring a live reggae band, The Clevelander was… a dud.
Clevelander at night

We’d heard The Clevelander was an awesome place to party, so we were necessarily eager to see for ourselves.

However, the expansive club was filled with middle-aged guys trying to pick up drunk college girls. Okay, so there was this one really drunk guy twirling on the dance floor and acting like a fool, but other than that, it wasn’t a lot of fun. And the band was only so-so. After all, there was no need for them to kill: no one was even paying attention. We stayed for two beers ($11/round), and then left.

We wandered up Ocean Drive, past Casa Casuarina and the hotels, and slipped into the Hotel Victor. It was beautiful inside and featured a large tank containing swimming jellyfish. Some people were dining in the Lounge, and there was a private party going on up on the second floor (I swear we saw a slideshow featuring Star Jones!), but overall — this wasn’t for us, either. So we moved on…

Personally, I wanted to go into this store, but for some reason, my wife didn’t think it was a good idea. Why not? I thought. The models certainly appear natural.

We passed the tattoo parlor where they film Miami Ink.Miami ink
Our waiter at Afterglo had told us about a couple places he liked. They included Jazid, a live music venue. We stopped by, but nothing was happening. He also suggested Felt, a pool hall with techno music — but nothing was happening there, either. It was 11:30. Was it too early?!?!

At this point, you’re probably saying, Willy, what about all the clubs? Isn’t South Beach renowned for its club scene? Yes, it is, dear readers. There are lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of clubs in South Beach. There are gay clubs and Latin clubs. However, my wife and I aren’t really into dancing to thumping techno and battling throngs of folks to get drinks. (If that’s your thing, then Miami is where you need to be.) So — despite all my emphasis pre-departure planning — I figured we’d kinda wing this one aspect of the trip and just stumble onto an awesome party. I’m here to tell you that, for a first-time night-time visitor, it isn’t that easy. Maybe I’m wrong, and if I am, I’d be happy to hear otherwise.

Ultimately, we headed back to Lincoln Road to see what was going on there, and we ended up at Finnegan’s 2, which was jammed with college kids Spring Break’in’ it. We enjoyed some more beers and then headed back to the hotel — but not before stopping off at Ghiradelli’s for a late night brownie. Mmmm… brownies.

Ultimately, I learned three things during this evening’s walking tour.

  1. You can easily get around all of South Beach on foot.
  2. Having an idea of where you want to go will serve you well.
  3. South Beach at night is beautiful. As proof, I submit to you Rocco Caramello’s great 2½ minute montage of the area all lit up. Very cool.

Previously: Weekend In Miami: Afterglo