Few pursuits tap into the pleasures of nightlife more than dancing. Giving yourself over to the rhythms, the lights, and the energy is a total release. When you want that feeling, we'll introduce you to the best dance clubs in Fort Lauderdale, and there many. Top DJs get things moving, and other patrons ensure that there's plenty to see along the way. To follow the crowds, head to Cafe del Mar and see what lies in store; for a more subdued experience, give YOLO (You Only Live Once) a try. Downtown Fort Lauderdale is home to many sizzling clubs such as America's Backyard and the Art Bar so plan a weekend to perhaps try both. For pure fun of dance and atmosphere with a welcomed diverse crowd head to the very happening Wilton Manors and visit Hunter's and The Manor just up the street. For the sophisticated crowd that settle for nothing but the classiest establishments, there is Christopher's and the very popular Blue Martini. These Fort Lauderdale landmarks have gained such an incredible reputation over the years as the place to have fun and dance the night away. Either way, 10Best will make sure you know the best places to go in Fort Lauderdale.
10 Sidelines Sports Bar
For the gay sports enthusiast, Sidelines Sports Bar is waiting for you. While there may not be a lot of sports bars that cater to the gay crowd, Sidelines has a huge following who pack the house to the seams. This smoke-free bar has 16 flat screen TVs, three pool tables, 3 three dart boards, Wi-Fi access, Buzztime Trivia and Texas Hold 'Em Poker along with other video games. Located right on the very popular and always active Wilton Drive, this favorite night spot proudly proclaims that this is "Where Sports Comes First", and why not? Great cozy outdoor seating in the alley. Look for their ads in the local gay publications or go online to see a list of games shown at the bar, put on your favorite sports team's jersey and come on in, get your favorite drink and join in on the fun. ((954) 563-8001)
9 Blue Martini
Blue Martini has earned a reputation as a sleek and sophisticated gathering place for those who know a great thing when they find it. Weekday happy hours, nightly live bands and dancing make this sleek cocktail bar a winner. Try the bar's signature blue martini (a mix of vodka, Cointreau, blue curacao, sweet 'n sour mix and orange juice) or select your favorite martini from a menu of 14. An assortment of appetizers such as sushi, hummus, a steak sandwich martini, seared tuna and even chocolate cake satiate the hungry. Hang out on the outdoor patio, or if you're willing to pay the freight, sip a cocktail under the blue skylight in the VIP lounge. Located at the upscale Galleria, Blue Martini is a wonderful stop after hours, after shopping or for an exceptional night out. (954-653-2583)
Recently renamed to Hunter's (their other location is in Palm Springs, California), this dance club exudes passion and energy in its throbbing multi-level dance bar which attracts a predominantly gay clientele. Located at the always happening Shoppes at Wilton Manors, in the same parking lot as Georgie's Alabi, Hunter's comes alive with its large dance floor and wall-length mirror. Take in the action from the overhead balcony, and or enjoy the video lounge's laid back vibe. Darts, billiards and video games only add to the fun. Friday and Saturdays Hunter's is especially lively as the bar offers free drinks for an hour, usually 10 to 11 PM, and DJ Bryan Reyes whips the crowded dance floor into high gear. The excitement does not end until 3 a.m. (954-630-3556)
7 Cafe del Mar
Frozen cocktails, an oceanfront setting and live music help create a festive atmosphere at this popular beach spot. Cafe del Mar is known as the place that truly stirs the senses. Grab a patio table and cool off with a delicious classic, strawberry or mango margarita, or hop up and dance to the sounds of jazz, the enticing flamenco guitar, reggae, Latin jazz, pop tracks and blues music. Specialty cocktails and a selection of popular martinis are also available. Dining at Cafe del Mar is Mediterranean in style with an Italian flair. The extensive menu for lunch and dinner offers flavorful pasta, seafood, meat dishes, soups and entree salads. (954-767-8233)
6 Exit 66 Ft. Lauderdale
Located on the very happening and playful Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard just north of Las Olas Boulevard, Exit 66 could not be more of an example of the fun and excitement that visitors and locals expect right here on this world-famous beach. Its laid-back and diverse atmosphere welcomes everyone with its enticing three unique spaces to host a variety of events, and a unique blend of other fun-enthusiasts. Exit 66 offers a tri-level oceanfront nightclub with a very fitting outdoor terrace, perfect to feel the sub-tropical breezes as well as the sizzle of the club itself. Be sure to get on their list to receive advanced notice of special events and of their locally-famous Sunday Funday pool Parties. (954 357 9981)
5 The Manor
The Manor, a restaurant, ultra lounge and nightclub, is one of the top stops for those seeking dance clubs in Wilton Manors, just north of Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Chic and sophisticated, The Manor's Epic Nightclub has DJs spinning a sublime mix of sounds sure to please dancing divas and discerning music lovers alike. Whether they're hosting fashionable theme nights or entertaining stage shows, the club exudes a modern sense of style. VIP booths are available for a more intimate experience. Wilton Manors is known for being South Florida's premier gay destination with its many bars, clubs, boutiques and gay-owned restaurants. (954-626-0082)
4 YOLO (You Only Live Once)
You Only Live Once, and by this place's name YOLO, you can see why, especially at Happy Hour. It's hard to imagine that in just four short years the amazing Yolo has become the talk of the town. And that's a tough thing to do in Fort Lauderdale. But there is good reason why. Located on the very chic and elegant Las Olas, this beautifully designed night spot and eatery welcomes its patrons in its modern and comfortable setting and presents its delightful lunch menu consisting of delicious starters, soups, sandwiches and specials. And don't rush back to the office before trying their delectable desserts and topped off with your favorite coffee. And remember the restaurant's name is short for You Only Live Once, so enjoy! Happy Hour is M-F 4 p.m.-7 p.m.and $2 off all drinks at the main bar or O Lounge. ((954) 523-1000)
3 Americas Backyard
Join the others in America's Backyard for South Florida's largest outdoor party. Located in the very happening Downtown Fort Lauderdale, America's Backyard is the place to go for its fun and playful setting, and the ideal location for your next party or group gathering. Just call to book your event. Also, everyone is invited to get on their guest list. Plan a great night with friends at America's Backyard and by being on the guest list you get a complimentary cover and one free drink upon arrival. You just can't beat that! Ask about their 99-cent Drink Specials, and be sure to stop by for their Country Power Happy Hour! (954-449-1025)
2 Art Bar
Fort Lauderdale's popular Art Bar an eclectic mix of furniture and art give this upscale club a funky twist. Twenty and thirty-somethings jam to Top 40 hits in the front room, which features a two-story ceiling, columned partitions and pristine hard wood floors. A bar, red-on-red décor, and colorful modern art adorn a separate lounge, and velvet curtains and Art Deco furnishings embellish the VIP room, where the service is exceptional. But don't let the museum theme fool you -- patrons party hard at this sultry spot. And keeping with the name, original art and prints are available for sale. Remember that every Saturday night Y100 broadcasts live with Mack @ Nite and DJ JPS. (954-525-0044)
Having been a popular mainstay in upscale Fort Lauderdale nightlife, Christopher's is a sophisticated club that is popular with the upper echelon of the 30+ crowd, who come for salsa dancing, cocktails, a bite to eat, and weekly live music. The bar offers reasonably priced beverages, including a wide variety of martinis, and various drink specials are available throughout the week. Most nights, DJs provide the entertainment while patrons cut loose on the large dance floor. Live salsa band on Thursdays. Food is served through 1 a.m., and menu items include burgers, salads, wings, nachos, chicken fingers and fries. So if you haven't already experienced this legendary night spot, why not start now? (954-561-2136)
About Dale Mack
Dale Mack has been involved in Fort Lauderdale tourism and promotions for over twenty years. Working for Travelhost Magazine in Dallas, Texas, he was especially drawn to the edition published by the Fort Lauderdale Associate Publisher; the city's beauty, its energy and the fun-in-the-sun atmosphere. When an opportunity came to relocate to Fort Lauderdale by another company, Dale accepted. He has spent the last eight years discovering "the Venice of America" and South Florida itself.
Dale is the author of three children's books and numerous articles. He has also worked as a copywriter for the South Florida real estate market.
Read more about Dale Mack here.
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