Best Beaches

Miami's best beach bars

Helen Anne Travis, for CNN Published 17th June 2015
(CNN) — Miami Beach's bar scene isn't all bikini-clad bartenders serving overpriced shots to sunburned spring breakers (though there's a lot of that).
Leave Ocean Drive behind and you'll find a craft cocktail lounge, a '90s punk rock bar and a basement dance club complete with a bowling alley and ice rink.

The Rum Line

On a balcony of the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, The Rum Line is a little hard to find.
But once you find the tiki-themed bar -- and its 100-plus rums -- you'll be glad you made the effort.
Mai tais are served in giant crystal spigots and the pina coladas are shaken by hand.
The bar's name is a salute to Prohibition days when ships sneaked contraband Caribbean rum to the Florida coast.
Rob Ferrara, hailed as the city's best bartender, runs The Rum Line now.
Feeling indecisive? Ferrara will concoct a special drink based on your mood and favorite flavors.

The Broken Shaker

Broken Shaker: One of the most comfortable decks in Miami.
Broken Shaker: One of the most comfortable decks in Miami.
Broken Shaker
What started as Miami's first pop-up cocktail lounge in 2012, The Broken Shaker developed a reputation for serving high-end cocktails at a surprisingly low price.
The bar eventually found a permanent home in Freehand Miami, an upscale hostel located near the Bass Museum Of Art.
The highlight of the space is a tropical courtyard where strings of globe lights drape over citrus trees and a garden full of mint, rosemary and lavender.
The ability to grow drink ingredients on-site helps The Broken Shaker keep prices relatively low.
Their "Bobby & Whitney" punch is a mix of celery and ginger-infused vodka, peach and lemon.

Basement Miami

Developed by the legendary Ian Schrager of New York's Studio 54, the nightclub to end all nightclubs, Basement Miami exudes disco fever for the new century.
The dance club has a bowling alley, ice skating rink and a lighting system designed by Patrick Woodroffe, the same guy who created the light show for the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Dancing is the top priority here -- the vibe is all-inclusive.
You won't find velvet ropes or VIP sections.
But you may run into a man wearing a dress made of Barbie dolls.
"We have a few characters who wander around through the night," says Chelsea Olson, Basement Miami's marketing manager.

Monty's Sunset

Monty's Sunset is the place to be at happy hour.
Monty's Sunset: You don't have to go West, just face west.
Monty's Sunset: You don't have to go West, just face west.
Monty's Sunset
Drinks are cheap (for Miami) and the view can't be beat.
This marina-side raw bar is one of the few Miami Beach hangouts that faces west.
That means you can watch the sun set over a harbor full of some of the world's finest yachts and luxury boats while downing a Painkiller (Monty's signature drink), a blend of gold rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juices.
The vibe is come-as-you-are.
You're as likely to sit next to a table of professionals in suits and ties as you are to hang out under the tiki bar with spring breakers in shorts and flip flops.

Kill Your Idol

Kill Your Idol pays homage to the underground music and art movement that influenced so much of American pop culture in the late 20th century.
A life-size Bruce Lee hangs above the bar next to a shark head from "Jaws."
An upside down astronaut dangles from the ceiling and the jukebox features the best of Miami's punk and rock bands.
There are nightly $3 beer and $5 liquor specials -- it's a break from the city's more uppity bar and club scene.
Depending on the day of the week, you're likely to stumble in on a burlesque show, an indie film screening or a local band thrashing on the bar.

The Abbey Brewing Company

Raymond Rigazio was laughed at when he announced he was opening a brewery.
In this land of frozen daiquiris and chocolate martinis, who would want to sip on a hand crafted ale?
Twenty years later, Rigazio's having the last laugh, and a good beer.
The Abbey Brewing Company is the oldest and only brewpub on Miami Beach.
Stained glass, wall sconces and church pews match the Belgian monastery-inspired beer lineup.
IPAs, Trappist-style doubles and triples, and oatmeal stouts are some of the brews on tap.
The Abbey also serves cocktails.
"But no frozen drinks or frou frou drinks!" says Rigazio.

1930s House

Plenty of Miami Beach's hotels have a bar on site, but few can say their amenities include a freestanding single family home.
The 1930s House is a hacienda located in the backyard of the Thompson Miami Beach.
In the early 2000s, the home was moved from across the street to make room for a parking garage.
Craft cocktail connoisseurs will get a kick out of the 1930s House's drink program.
The Spanish Cobbler and Buena Vista cocktails celebrate Miami's Latin heritage.
The bar's signature drink is the Hemingway Royale, a mix of rum, fruit juice and prosecco.