is a hedonistic haven with a huge gay community. Famous for its
White party and kicking club scene as well as its beautiful beaches
there is certainly plenty going on. Our initial desire to go to
Miami stemmed from having seen the White party special called Fabulous
on SkyTv in 1998
and from a brief stopover in Miami south Beach six years ago having
visited Orlando and Key
Miami is a slightly longer trip than popping over to Ibiza. Expect
a 8/9 hour flight from London. Miami is also five hours behind
British time so if you leave London mid morning you actually arrive
mid afternoon having gained 5 hours) which is quite good. Sleep
off any jet lag on the beach. We were lucky enough to fly with
Virgin Atlantic (the planes with the TVs in the back of the seats
to keep you entertained) and got a fantastic deal by booking on
the Net about 10 days prior to flying. Our flight cost just around
£175 incl. sales tax. Ebookers.Com
are good places to search for cheap flights on the Net. Expect
to pay quite a lot more if booking in a highstreet travel agent.
Gay Travel Agents:
Update soon. (UK) specialise in gay and lesbian travel to 3 florida
resorts, Fort Lauderdale, Key West and Miami South Beach.
are numerous hotels and guesthouses including a number of exclusiely
gay establishments. Try searching the worldwide directory (see
top of page). For your interest we had a very enjoyable week at
southern most tip of the Miami Beach, known the world over as
South Beach has experienced an unprecedented rebirth over the
past 5 years. What was once a quiet haven for retirees (God's
waiting room) has exploded into the one of the hottest, sexiest
and most exciting destinations in the world. South Beach is very
much a part of Miami, but it is also a world all its own.
The easiest access to South Beach is from the MacArthur Causeway,
which connects with I-95 just north of downtown Miami. Along the
MacArthur Causeway as you head into South Beach, you will see
the luxurious Star Island, home to many famous Miami residents,
including Madonna and Gloria Estefan. On the right is the Port
of Miami, the beginning and ending destination of 75% of cruises
taken each year. The causeway exits onto 5th street, into the
heart of South Beach. Directly ahead on your left is Michigan
Avenue, home to European Guesthouse, followed by Washington Avenue,
Collins Avenue, and finally Ocean Drive. Those streets together
with the newly refurbished Lincoln Road are the center of life
in South Beach.
of the gay bars are situated along Washington Avenue or Lincoln
Road which cuts cross Washington Av. between 16th and 17th Street.
The gay beach is situated at the end of 12th street although you
will find queens dotted along the length of the beach. The good
thing about south Beach is that all the clubs are situated all
within walking distance or each other or just a short taxi ride
(727, Lincoln Road Tel: 305 535 1111) are all excellent venues
in their own right. The latest addition to the gay scene is a
new clubnight called Federation and runs every Friday at Level/1235
Washington Avenue. Noche Blanca (post White Party disco) was held
here on the Sunday this year. An impressive club which has obviously
had millions spent on it. Packed on that special night with some
absolute gorgeous guys.
weather was a fairly constant 82-86 degree which is hot sunbathing
weather. Slightly cooler in the evenings but still warm enough
to walk round in shorts and a tee-shirt. Don't bother packing
jumpers apart from wearing one which you leave behind the British
winter or arrive back. The best time to visit Miami / Florida
is during the winter/spring months of November through to May.
After that the climate gets humid and you get the hurricane season
in the late summer.
the name suggests Miami Beach is in fact one huge stretch of beach
running from South Beach/Art Deco area at one end all the way
up the Florida coastline. The beach is sandy and fairly clean.
There are beach chairs and umbrellas available to hire. The sea
is clean and warm although when the wind blows up there are quite
strong currents so take cares. We also hired jet skis of a couple
of occasions ($60) which was fun
if not cheap.
Shopping and Eating
You are obviously going to need that special little number to
wear to all the clubs. Again you are spoiled here. All along Washington
Avenue there are little boutiques. In particular though check
out Check out Whittall
and Shon. The other main shopping area in Lincoln Road. Lincoln
Road is undergoing a revival with a number of gay friendly bars,
excellent restaurants including the South Beach branch of Balans
(for those of your familiar with the one in Old Compton Street.
Should you get bored or fancy a quieter night there is a smart
new multiplex cinema at the Alton road end of Lincoln Avenue.
The latest exclusive restaurant to pop up is "Touch"
(910 Lincoln Road. Tel: 305 532 8003). Offering a menu of modern
influenced grill, the decor is sumptuous, the food was excellent
although given the prices perhaps should be considered for special
occasions or anytime you feel like spoiling yourself.
was our main reason for going to Miami at the end of November.
The White Party week as the event has grown into runs every year
coincide with America's thanksgiving weekend (the last weekend
in November). The White party is all about raising funds to find
a cure for HIV/AIDS and does it by organising a week of amazing
parties in Miami culminating with the White Party itself at Vizcaya.
The White Party now in its fifteenth year has expanded into a
week of events including the fantastic SnowBall held at the Miami
convention centre on the Friday night. Other Miami clubs including
and the new Federation night at 1235 Washington hold White Party
sanctioned parties from the Wednesday through to the Monday.
Snowball 5 is a massive party held in the Miami Convention Centre
on the Friday of white party week.. The event is one of the big
sanctioned events organised by the Jeffrey
Sanker Group One of the exhibition hall decked out with huge
inflatable snowflakes, icicles. The place hold about 6000 people
and attracts some of the most gorgeous guys you will ever see.
The events runs from 11 - through to 8am and from 1am the dance
floor is a mass of sweating bodies in what can only be described
as Muscle Mary heaven. Expect to pay $75-$90 for this event. In
2000 Snowball 6 moved downtown to the Hyatt Convention Hall. A
huge dance event called Icon filled the convention centre of Saturday
night with several most gala events taking place at Level this
year as it seemed to be the preferred club partner of the White
Saturday night Salvation
plays host to a big party.
Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 6.30pm-11.30pm) is the big
night though. We spent half the week looking for someone suitable
to wear (white of course). For someone who is built for comfort
and not speed, dresses in black tee shirt and jeans when clubbing
in London, trying to find something suitable and forgiving to
the figure can be a bit of an ordeal. A constant reminder to get
back to the gym. My colleague Lady Barnsdale
surpassed herself with a tight white tee-shirt and white plasticky
shorts which tied up at the side. A couple of stiff vodka and
cokes gave us both that little bit of Dutch courage.
A short taxi ride takes you out to Vizcaya where the white party
is held. Vizcaya which is normally a museum was a former luxury
house and gardens built at the beginning of the century. With
the whole place decked out in little white fairly lights, everyone
wearing white, the scene is absolutely amazing. We are talking
sheer glamour here. Even though its cost $150/£80 to go
its probably one of those nights you won't forget for a long time.
After the White Party a lot of the people head back into town
for the final big event called Noche Blancha (white night). This
year the event was held at Level
which is the brand new club located at 1235 Washington Avenue.
As with all the all the sanctioned White Party club events, they
don't come cheap but are all in a good cause. Most club events
are in the region of $80 with the White Party itself costing $150.
Given these prices the event has been classed at elitist with
"the average punter" not being able to afford some of
the events. If you can afford it, the white party itself is something
for full details, tickets etc.
your hotel/guesthouse. If you wish to promote travel to Miami
or offer gay friendly accommodation in Miami please feel free
to contact us by e-mail
or click here
for advertising rates.
Funmaps - www.funmaps.net
White Party Week - www.whiteparty.net
for full details about whats on.
Genre Magazine www.genre.com
has a useful gay
for the latest update on US circuit parties.
heady mix of a fabulous winter climate and kicking gay scene means
Miami South beach is bound in increase in popularity as a holiday
destination not just for Americans but for Europeans looking for
a change from old favourites such as Ibiza and Gran Canaria. The
White Party more than lived up to expectations and if you can
sort out cheap flights/ accommodation then we can thoroughly recommend
it. If you want to spend longer than a week then you might want
to consider including several nights down in Key
West which is fabulous in itself to driving up to Orlando
for all the Disney theme parks/Universal Studio attractions. Any
excuse to escape the British winter should be justification in
itself for checking how many days holiday you've got left.