Whether you’re new to the area or have always lived here, you know that Miami is a city geared towards those blessed to be 21 and over. For those that are months away from showing that ID to a bouncer or just turned 18 and still excited about buying lottery tickets, here are some places to go that’ll prove the city is more than just the clubs you see on Instagram.
For the friend who wants to learn salsa: Open Door Stage Club
Close to campus in the heart of Coral Gables, Open Door Stage Club has a different theme for every night of the week, but go on Friday and it’ll be a nonstop Latin party. Whether its bachata, salsa or reggaeton, prepare to hear all kinds of Spanish songs and see people doing karaoke on-stage or dancing their hearts out. If you simply want to sit and watch your friends try to dance, they offer a full menu with sushi, chicken and empanadas. Promise it’ll be fun and a good workout to make up for the one you didn’t do this week.
2325 Galiano Street – Coral Gables, FL 33134
For the friend that wants it all in one spot: Lincoln Road
Whether you’re there during the day or at night, Lincoln Road has something for everyone: the shopper, the foodie, the movie junkie, the beach-walker. The mile-long mall stretches between 16th and 17th street and it’s a great place to window shop or just walk around. Don’t forget to take Snapchats of the street performers or any celebrities spotted trying to have dinner. The mall even hosts an antique show every second Sunday until May 2016, featuring art, jewelry, furniture, clothing and Miami memorabilia. If you’re on a date night and already had dinner and a movie but don’t want to go home yet, walk a bit further until you’re suddenly walking on sand and get cozy by the waves of Miami Beach.
Lincoln Rd Mall, Miami Beach, FL 33139
For the one that loves to trash talk: Bird Bowl
Around for 60 years, Bird Bowl has become a staple in Miami as a place for bowlers to trash talk and engage in the never-ending debate: bumpers or no bumpers. Not just a bowling alley, it turns on its disco lights and blasts music after 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Go on a Tuesday for “College Night” and only pay $9.99 for an hour of bowling and shoe rental. Each day of the week has different specials and themes, so you and your friends can take your pick of when to visit this other part of Miami and never forget how you got that strike dancing under party lights.
9275 SW 40th Street, Miami, Florida 33165
Since you’ve heard so much of it: Monty’s Raw Bar
If you think Monty’s is only for those with an ID, you’re only half-wrong. Sure, everyone always talks about PK3s and Miami Vice, but that’s not the only thing to do here. Go with friends and indulge in the fresh seafood by the water, look at the yachts parked nearby and think “goals.” Although Happy Hour might be from 4-8 p.m., the dance floor gets full around 7 p.m. and can usually stay that way long after. Don’t be discouraged by the drinks; the brick of fries will occupy your time. The best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, anyway.
2550 S Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL 33133
For the squad that likes to find Miami’s ‘holes in the wall’: Buck’s Beer Garden & Bonfire
Miami is a city with plenty of unique places to explore and the Raleigh Hotel is no exception. Every third Thursday of the month from 6:30-11 p.m., the hotel transforms its backyard into a relaxed space with backyard comfort food, s’mores and lawn games. There’s no cover for entrance but if you want to buy food or drinks, guests buy tickets ($1 each) and use them as currency for the evening. Food includes soft pretzels, sausage with toppings, fish and veggie sandwiches and burgers that’ll make your taste buds want more. Don’t think about forgetting about the German potato salad or roasting s’mores over the fire pit. While hanging out, find a spot to play giant Jenga, ping pong or corn hole (which is a lot harder than it seems).
1775 Collinis Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
For the friend that wants to be cultured: Adrienne Arsht Center
Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Adrienne Arsht Center is a great place for a date night to see famous plays such as Phantom of the Opera or acts you’ve never heard of before. Call in and ask about the student discount to get the most out of this experience. Don’t want to pay for a ticket? Then pay attention to your e-mail because, once a semester, there’s a trip to have dinner and go to the Arsht Center for an evening – even better, it’s all free. It’d be a waste to not experience one of Miami’s most treasured places.
1300 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132
For the one that complains about late-night dining: RA Sushi
Sushi-enthusiasts, get ready to share this with everyone you know: RA Sushi has reverse happy hour, which means from 10 p.m. to midnight, you can eat your favorite dishes from $3.49 – $8.99. Whether it’s the Viva Las Vegas Roll or Shrimp Tempura, RA will not disappoint with prices or taste. With tables to seat all your friends or just a table for two, the dim lighting and eccentric décor will make dinner seem more like an experience than just food at the dining hall.
5829 SW 73rd St., Miami, FL 33143
Alina Zerpa is a junior majoring in journalism and psychology, a major Oreo enthusiast, and spends way too much time on Tumblr.