Miami's 7 Hottest Pool Parties

It’s all Champagne wishes and cabana dreams at South Florida’s splashiest bashes.

With nature’s greatest swimming pool right at our back door, it took Miami a minute to catch up to the pool party prowess of landlocked Las Vegas. But catch up we have, as visiting one of our many hotel pools during daylight hours brings the same models, bottles, and general debauchery you’ll find going out at night. But you can’t just drop by any old South Beach swimming hole and expect to find the great Miami vacation fantasy in action. First rate pool parties are few and far between, and these seven represent the best of the best in all of South Florida.

Nautilus by Arlo

South Beach

This longtime Art Deco gem has suddenly risen to the “it” spot for South Beach pool parties, boasting a weekly rager from 4 to 9 pm that’s become the destination for those who routinely don’t get out of bed until 2 pm. The deck is surrounded by thick tropical foliage, giving the impression the outside world won’t see whatever’s going on inside. With two pools, a live DJ, and no shortage of cabanas, revelers have plenty of space to spread out. And the food here is a marked notch up from usual party fare.
When to go: Saturdays, 4 to 9 pm
Cost: Reservation and menu prices vary

Mondrian South Beach
Baia Beach Club Miami | Baia Beach Club Miami

The Mondrian’s pool party has definitely moved in phases, as it’s been everything from the hottest Sunday in the city to a scenic afterthought of a hotel amenity. With the opening of Baia Beach Club, it put itself squarely back on the pool party map, as the swanky bayside Mediterranean eatery has once again made the Mondrian a top choice for rosé all day. You don’t have to drop hundreds at Baia to be part of the action, but having a table definitely helps recruit any sunbathers you think might enjoy a light lunch.
When to go: Saturdays and Sundays, noon to sunset
Cost: Reservation and menu prices vary

The pool party at Hyde Beach offers more ways to cool off than any other splashy bash in Miami. Yes, you can take a dip in the spacious waters while downing endless pitchers of mojitos. Or just wait for one of the servers—or high-rolling guests—to spray you with a perfectly good bottle of Champagne. It’s also the only pool party where you can snack on bites from Katsuya, just a smidge healthier than the usual chicken-fingers-and-fries routine. A weekly rotation of A-list DJs covers both day and night parties, so you might find yourself grooving to Sofi Tukkler under the sunshine Saturday, then closing out the weekend with a night set from Kaskade.
When to go: Friday to Sunday, noon to 6 pm
Cost: Ticket prices vary; table reservations start at $500 each

The Goodtime hosting a fantastic pool party is about as expected as a summer afternoon thunderstorm. And like clockwork, Pharell and company come through, delivering weekly day parties that rival any waterlogged shindig in town. LIV founder David Grutman is pulling the same class of DJ talent to Strawberry Moon, where the palm-strewn deck is a constant parade of beautiful people and big spenders. It’s a pool scene like Miami’s never seen (outside of Miami Music Week), and even over a year in, it’s still a go-to for anyone seeking daytime action in South Beach.
When to go: Saturdays and Sundays, starting at noon
Cost: Reservation and menu prices vary

Those who’ve been around Miami for a minute may remember when Arkadia was a low-ceilinged dance club that felt a little like an upscale cruise ship disco. Since then, it’s ditched the cavernous vibe and moved the fun outside, transforming itself into the hard-partying adults-only alternative to the sometimes family-centric Fontainebleau pool. Here you can post up in a private cabana with a flat screen TV, atop a daybed, or on one of Arkadia’s oversized tiki chairs for four while sipping cold drinks and dancing to the sounds of DJ K Razor.
When to go: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 pm
Cost: Reservations start at $800 each

Daer Day Club
DAER Dayclub | Photo courtesy of The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

DAER Dayclub

Hollywood

Directly under the giant guitar you’ll find some of South Florida’s most insane pool parties (at least among those that don’t involve finding parking in South Beach). The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s Vegas-style dayclub draws some of the biggest DJs in the world to its Broward County bacchanals, with Cash Cash and Markus Schulz highlighting this spring. They’ll be performing in front of Daer’s 40-foot LED screens spread across 21,000+ square feet of deck and dipping pools. There are, of course, no shortage of VIP cabanas there too, if you want to enjoy the show and not have to, ya’ know, mingle.
When to go: Occasional Fridays and every Saturday and Sunday, noon to close
Cost: Reservation and menu prices vary

The Clevelander

South Beach

Despite the glut of upscale pool parties with gourmet chefs and high-thread-count cabanas, sometimes you just wanna kick back with a Miami Vice and some second-hand weed smoke. And for that experience, no party will ever top the venerable Clevelander, who's been throwing chlorinated ragers since South Beach was a retirement playground. They still know how to put on a solid daytime bash, though, with great food, an unpretentious crowd, and a frozen drink machine so the bartender can never tell you “sorry, the blender’s broken.” And if poolside beer pong is your jam, the Cleve has you covered there, too. The best part is if you can bust out an ID proving you live in Miami-Dade, they’ll knock 20% off your bill.
When to go: Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm
Cost: No cover before 2 pm; menu prices vary

Matt Meltzer is a Miami-based contributor for Thrillist, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, former pageant judge in the Miss Florida America system, and past contributor to Cosmopolitan magazine.