Miami Beach may very well be the world capital of gay circuit parties, and the grand dame of all these events is Miami White Party Week, which was begun in 1984 and is organized by Florida's most noted HIV/AIDS service organization, Care Resource. This week-long fundraiser of truly sensational, high-voltage parties takes place each year in late November in South Beach. The dates for 2013 will likely be Monday, November 18, through Monday, November 25, 2013. If you've never been to a gay circuit party, or haven't yet attended this one, it's well worth adding this to your travel calendar - ardent revelers would never miss the White Party.
Miami's White Party is celebrating its 29th year in 2013 - details will be posted when they become available, but in the meantime, here's a look back at last year's event:
The host hotel is South Beach's glamorous National Hotel, a classic art deco beauty overlooking the ocean, and situated at 1677 Collins Avenue - steps from the dining, retail, and nightlife action of Lincoln Road and the rest of South Beach. Each day of White Party Week, there's a Welcome Center set up in the hotel, where you can buy tickets and merchandise, schmooze with fellow attendees, and sip cocktails at the Sponsor Sampling bar. The National is also offering comp admission to the Heatwave Pool Party, if you book a room during the White Party (Saturday night stay required).
Every day during White Party Week, you'll have the chance to attend at least one party - some are pool parties held during the day at various hotels and beach locales, while others are dance events hosted by some of the world's top DJs and held at restaurants and clubs throughout South Beach. Some favorites include the Heatwave Pool Party (Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm), the Cirque Blanc X - Women's White Party (Friday from 9 pm to 4 am, and hosted by the cast of The Real L Word), the Muscle Beach Party (Sunday from 1 pm to 9 pm), and the Swan Song finale on Monday, from 9 pm until 5 am. Of course, the must-attend event is Friday's actual White Party, held from 8 pm to 4 am at a new venue this year, the Miami Seaquarium, which is followed immediately by White Horizons Party, at Discotekka Nightclub - this massive fete thumps from 3:30 am until 10 am the following morning. There's a full calendar of White Party Week events and parties at the official website.
Hotels tend to be packed this weekend, so book as soon as you can. The host hotel, the National, is especially popular, of course, but there are other hotel sponsors offering special White Party packages - click on the travel link on the official website for more suggestions.
Tickets to White Party Week are available for individual parties, starting for as little as $8 for some of the less prominent events, and costing as much as $60 ($40 for ages 18 to 25) for the main-event White Party. If you're planning to attend multiple events, consider buying one of the several different kinds of passes, such as the comprehensive White Party ULTRA-VIP Pass, which costs $350 and gets you into all of the key gatherings.
Additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels and gay resorts, and shops will be making GLBT visitors feel extra welcome throughout the week. Check helpful gay websites, such as SoBeGayInfo.com, Mark's List on South Beach, and SoBeSocialClub.com for information. You can also obtain gay-specific tourism information on Miami and Miami Beach from the excellent GLBT Travel Site produced by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as the site of the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.