Miami White Party Survival Guide

White Party Weekend is one of the biggest events in the gay social calendar—attracting thousands of men from around the world to partake in several days of events, dusk to dawn. For those who are making their virginal voyage into the revelry–or for the party vets who need a refresher course–GayCities compiled the ultimate survival guide to help you navigate your way through the waves.

Plan your attack. You may be surprised at how many events are packed into one weekend, both in South Beach and in Miami. Having fun is serious work. But don’t get performance anxiety—most partygoers choose to attend only some events, and then visit the local bars, and we are here to help you make great decisions. Here are the highlights (just reading the list can be exhausting!):

  • Friday kicks off the big events with White Dreams, a late-night event at the legendary club Space.
  • Saturday’s events begins early in the afternoon, with the Heatwave Pool Party at Shelborne Beach Resort. The celebration culminates that evening with the actual White Party at Vizcaya, and then White Starz at Mekka.
  • Sunday also gets going early in the afternoon with Muscle Beach Party, and that night is the Latin-infused Noche Blanca at Cameo.
  • Satellite events at local bars throughout the week.

You’re here for the White Party, so go to the actual White Party–dressed in white. If it’s within your budget and schedule, definitely go to the White Party at Vizcaya. Due to rising costs and shrinking budgets, this is the last year the White Party main event will take place among the lavish gardens of the Vizcaya mansion, where you can dance by the moonlight glistening on Biscayne Bay. (And yes, everyone really does wear all white, so dress accordingly.) The party moves elsewhere next year, but the magic may well be lost.

Get some energy. Do you want to stay awake for three days? Skip the line at Starbucks, go to any of the little mercados lining the streets, and order a café con leche: a shot of coffee stronger than espresso, mixed with a cup of steamed milk and lots of azucar. WHAMMO! One sip, and you’ll understand why people in Miami speak so loudly all the time and end up dancing all night.

Don’t drive. Parking in South Beach is an even bigger bitch than your ex-boyfriend, and deciphering the complexities of parking zone restrictions is far too stressful when you’re running on too much caffeine, no sleep and/or a colossal hangover. If you park in the wrong place, you WILL be towed, and it’s at least $150 of invaluable party dollars to get your car back. The moral of this story: Don’t bother renting a car. From the airport, take the Airport Flyer bus for $2.35 straight to South Beach–a cab will be about $30. Once you are here, almost everything in South Beach is within walking distance. The big nightclub events are on the mainland in Miami, not Miami Beach. Cab it when necessary.

Shave your chest and pack your best Speedo. At the Heatwave Pool Party (Saturday), not many people will actually dip toe into water—but the majority of men will bare glistening chests and display their banana hammocks. It’s the perfect opportunity to wear that mankini you’ve been saving for a special occasion. At Sunday’s Muscle Beach, ironically, many attendees prefer more-modest board shorts, but bare chests and plenty of tats are still de rigueur.

Keep the “party” in “circuit party.” Despite the reputation of circuit parties, you may be surprised to discover most people at Miami’s White Party Weekend do not use narcotics on the dance floor (GHB is so last millennium, anyway). Alcohol, specifically Vodka cocktails, is the social lubricant of choice. However, there will always be a pretty young thing who will unknowingly mix synthetic drugs with alcoholic beverages, causing him to collapse into a twink puddle on the dance floor. If this does happen, don’t panic: Keep him awake and call an ambulance.

Step away from the party once in a while. You have one of America’s greatest cities outside your hotel room door—get out and enjoy it! In need of a different, equally-scenic scene, Zeke’s Roadhouse offers $4 drinks. Or maybe indulge in your other poison: fashion. Take a stroll along Ocean Drive, and go shopping on Collins Avenue at the fabulously opulent Webster. Lincoln Road is a favorite among visitors and locals alike, where everyone walks around to show off and look cool. Make sure you check out Base and Pink Palm while there. Thanks to Miami’s horrible, inexcusable sense of “fashion,” the people watching on Lincoln Road is the best you’ll find anywhere.

Don’t get food poisoning. There are some fabulous restaurants in South Beach Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive—but there are lots of tourist traps, too. Some restaurants have a hostess standing outside, barking at passers-by: Would you like to look at our menu? We have drink specials for you. Do NOT eat there. The tables outside may look nice, but you’ll be tortured with bad food and bad service. The good restaurants don’t need to beg for customers. For lunch, try Burger and Beer Joint. For a rowdier dinner, Miami’s Sushi Samba is a nightclub is disguise. And of course, it wouldn’t be gaycation without brunch. Get treated like a party king at The Palace.

Had enough? Of course not, you came here to party till your blood turns white! Remember that every hotel room is not only a place to rest and reapply some bronzer, but also a last-minute lounge perfect for pre- and after parties. Regardless of your budget, Miami has great options for when the homos come home: the reasonably-priced Clay Hotel, the more modern Angler’s Boutique Resort and the bohemian and sexy Lords.

Have fun, boys, and play safe!

Former Major League baseball player turned activist Billy Bean shares his take on the White Party

Check out the complete GayCities guide to Miami

Photos courtesy White Party

One Comment

  • jakemyers2001

    haha GHB really IS so last millenium!