Ask anyone what the biggest draw in Miami is and it's no contest. The overwhelming majority would vote the beaches as tops, namely one that bears the city's name and South Beach. The famed shorelines attract tourists like Milk Bones draw dogs and you can especially see the masses enjoying the surf and sand during Spring Break, although the spots are pretty much busy year-round.

And once you've taken in all that sunshine, what better way to relax than at hundreds of clubs throughout Miami, especially those within strolling distance of the beaches. Some go out of their way to showcase the city's unique entertainment culture, while others focus on being a swanky hangout with a selection of drinks that might overwhelm what's in your neighborhood pub back home.


TripAdvisor, which has made a name for itself as the world's most popular online travel guestbook, has let its visitors do the talking about their favorite watering holes in the Floridian metropolis and have ranked them according to popularity. For the sake of convenience, that field has been narrowed down to five.

Ball & Chain: Cool jazz & even cooler mojitos

This legendary live music venue is at least 20 blocks away from any beach, but that's not something its regular patrons care about. At Ball & Chain, there's only one thing to seek out and that's some of the best live music you'll find anywhere in the city. Back in the '50s, it was a regular venue for such touring legends as Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

While that means Ball & Chain has a lot of musical history to live up to, that's not to say you can't go there to enjoy their eclectic menu of tapas, tacos, fritos, quesadillas, and sliders, which they call Los Sliders. Drinks include mojitos, daiquiris, margaritas and one curious gin and apricot liqueur combo called the Jam Session. That one's probably best for sitting in one one of many free live shows the clubs stages.

Salsa Mia: Dance the night away on South Beach

It's not every place that Trip Advisor visitors cite a salsa instructor as a top amenity in a nightclub. But then not every place operates like Salsa Mia, where true to the name of the shingle outside, the music and dance discipline is treated as gospel. That adherence to such a cultural discipline means quality entertainment because unless folks are interested in a revamp of The Gong Show, nobody wants to go out to see bad salsa dancing.

Besides an abundant drink menu with appetizers, including the flatbread pizza that's popular with the regulars, the club ensures neophyte get into the experience by providing salsa lessons in an adjoining room which also serves food and drink. Once you get the moves down, venture into the nightclub arena, where you can put those steps to the test and groove all night long.

Blue Martini Brickell: Shaken, stirred or savored

Here's where James Bond wannabes can really be at home. Just like the backlit Blue Marini Brickell outside signage, you won't be disappointed with 42 varieties of the concoction that's synonymous with 007 folklore. Choose from a variety of regular vodka Martinis, like the Bellini and Cosmopolitan or go all out with ones labeled Dirty, Creamsicle, Chocolate and even Cucumber.

And what better way to kick back from a hard day of sleuthing than in a venue that prides itself in being upscale, with some of Miami's more vibrant patrons? Adding to all that action, live entertainment from such appropriately-named acts as Extasy and Higher Ground play popular tunes to keep the folks in the mood throughout the wee hours.

Mango's Tropical Cafe: A chill vibe and world-famous dancers

By now, you've probably realized that Miami clubs don't trifle when it comes to dancing, and Mango's Tropical Cafe on Ocean Drive is no exception. Heck, they even have an in-house troupe proudly dubbed Mango's Dancers, no strangers to mainstream fame thanks to their ethno-enjoyable moves being documented on such media as ABC, CBS, and The Travel Channel.

You can join all that fun by showing off a few steps of your own, hoofing away at an array of salsa, bachata, reggae ad even pop piped through the club sound system. Or you can watch the revelry from the sidelines and nosh on such menu favorites as mambo wings, popcorn shrimp and five different varieties of flatbread. Of course, the night's not complete until you wash all that down with your choice of mojitos, lemonades, and daiquiris.

Wood Tavern: Free tacos and tasty tunes

The Wood Tavern would like everyone to show up for the free tacos and stay for its dynamic club atmosphere courtesy of the live entertainment that frequents the joint. One of the more casual nightspots in the city, there's no dress code or cover charge. All you need is an appetite and a hunger to let it all hang out all night long.

There's a bit of a boho vibe given its location in Miami's Wynwood Art District and evidenced by some of the bench seating that's built into old, hollowed-out cars, where you can quench your thirst from what's available on a full bar selection. The pub grub is also a favorite with regulars, particularly those who show up on Tuesday for free tacos.