Funky Buddha Lounge

You might not know the Funky Buddha. He is not much like his brother, the Buddha. While the Buddha enjoys being enlightened, the Funky Buddha enjoys sucking down double-apple-flavored smoke. The Buddha enjoys spirituality; the Funky Buddha is mostly interested in drinking fancy craft beers, downing kava, and listening to an acoustic version of "Bad Romance," jokes about masturbation, or whatever else might come up on open-mic night. Yeah, the Funky Buddha is a tiny bit cooler.

The Duck Tavern

The letters that spell out The Duck above the doorway to this neighborhood joint sit slightly askew, as if they were alphabet magnets stuck haphazardly to the refrigerator by a toddler's chubby hand. Inside, you'll find the usual suspects — groups of college-aged men throwing darts, a handful of focused drinkers with elbows propped on the polished bar top and eyes pointed at a TV screen or into a drink, a couple sharing a basket of wings. Nothing particularly remarkable about any of it, really, but then — that's kind of the point. In South Florida — a place flush with doormen, valet parking, and a palpable desire to impress — the Duck is an oasis of nonpretense and exceptionally strong cocktails that won't set you back a quarter of your daily earnings.

Green Room

Our tale started a few months ago, when we marched right into downtown Fort Lauderdale, demanding to dance. At the first dance floor we tried, napkins littered the ground, '90s hip-hop blasted out of the speakers, and the lighting made us feel like we were dancing at high noon. No, thank you, America's Backyard. We then strolled down Second Street, perked our ears at each door, and... next, next, next. Finally, we heard "Stayin' Alive," so we strutted inside, but that pitch-black dance floor was... dead. No, thank you, Tarpon Bend. What were we to do? We then traveled down SW Third Avenue — past VooDoo — and entered the Green Room. It was a sleek, dark, sexy venue — and full of dancing vixens, the indie kids that never made it to this side of downtown. Sure, Green Room still had the same owner — back when it was... sorry, I'm drawing a blank. Well, the owner is also the man also who runs Revolution Live and America's Backyard. But "Green Room" has a new "identity" and hosts a killer dance party called "Digital Love Thursday," when resident DJs Andie Sweetswirl and Mig play a cocktail of '80s, indie rock, electro, and dance gems. Eighteen-and-over are welcome to shake, but only those 21 and over can enjoy the $2 PBRs and $5 Jack Daniels shots all night.

The Hurricane Bar & Lounge

There are plenty of places in South Florida that cater to the home team and an exorbitant number of dives that welcome fans of Northeast teams like the Giants, Jets, and even Patriots, but where is a die-hard "Iggles" fan to go? With its tropical-storm-system moniker and nautical interior, Delray Beach's Hurricane Bar & Lounge isn't the most obvious of choices for an ex-resident of the City of Brotherly Love to take in a sports game. Heck, even its nondescript locale — on the backside of an Atlantic Avenue shopping plaza — isn't the easiest to find. But those Philly fans who are lucky enough to arrive here on football "Sundy" will discover a welcoming environment that celebrates all things Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers. They will feel very cozy in its modest-sized confines with its tiki-themed outside patio and take comfort in its cheap drinks and multitude of like-minded aficionados sporting their green-and-white jerseys, yelling various expletives at the referees projected on the multitude of screens. Warning to everyone else: Don't even think about coming inside here in a Santa suit.

Wreck Bar

"What's a mermaid show? Like, she has a tail — and she's underwater?" your friends from a boring state far away where the sun isn't always shining will ask, a bit skeptical of your plan. At this point, you'll have some explaining to do on your way to Wreck Bar, the shipwreck-style dark wooden bar with wide windows looking into the Sheraton's pool. Before the half-hour show begins, you can see, from the neck down, not-so-fit patrons bobbing along, an impromptu warm-up of humor. Soon they will be replaced by svelte, tailed women. The mermaids, with long hair and angelic underwater choreography, peek through the panoramic rope-framed windows. They move like belly-dancing flounders and flirt with patrons they undoubtedly can't see with eyes open in the chlorinated pool. Now your vacationing friends will wonder if one of the mermaids just blew a kiss their way. Yes, she did, you'll say, and remind them that you can't get this up North.

Deenie's Hideaway

So often your fantasies involving poolside playtime, alcoholic bliss, and barely clothed hotties don't turn out so well: You arrive on the scene only to find out that the daiquiri-vending bar has closed early and the local grannies are working on their water aerobics. Fortunately, Deenie's will never let you down. Yeah, you have to pay a member's fee and it's BYOB, but they provide the mixers, the pool, the Sunday-afternoon BBQ, the impromptu volleyball match, and, oh yeah, scores of naked, surgically enhanced sunbathers. And when you get sick of the naked pool party (like you ever could), you can always go back to the indoor bar and watch porn.

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