Sometimes you’ve got to let your hair down. If you’re ready to experience some of the best nightlife in the United States, then check out this list of the best cities to spend a night out on the town. We’ve highlighted some of the top party spots in the country based on surveys by US News and World Report and Virtual Tourist.com.
Few would dispute that New York City is one of the best cities for nightlife, and that’s why both VirtualTourist.com and U.S. News and World Report ranked New York as the top spot for after-hours fun in the United States.
No matter what your scene, you’ll find it in New York. There are famous nightlife venues in every corner of this city. You can keep it classy and cultural with an upscale evening at Dizzy’s, a jazz venue with a spectacular view of the New York City skyline, or you can get the velvet rope experience at Avalon, a lush club housed inside a historic stone church. From clubs to dive bars, 24-hour eateries, and music venues, New York City has it all.
With a reputation as America’s adult playground, Las Vegas also ranks high as one of the best cities for nightlife in the United States. Over-the-top and glamorous, Las Vegas’ nightlife includes gambling, trendy clubs, risqué stage shows, high-end restaurants and exclusive bars. There’s no short supply of these hip hangouts all over the Strip. If glitz and glam isn’t your thing, you can still find plenty of nightlife away from the main drag in Old Las Vegas, where cheap buffets, cabaret acts, and plenty of bright lights await you.
Some of the most exclusive nightclubs in the world are in Miami, and that’s what makes this oceanside town one of the hottest places to party — both literally and figuratively. Miami’s nightlife scene is epic, as evidenced by the number of upscale clubs in the city. Among the most famous is LIV at the Fountainebleau Hotel. This 30,000 square foot club symbolizes everything that Miami clubs are about: luxury décor, multiple dance floors and DJs, a strict dress code, and high prices. It’ll cost you a pretty penny to party in Miami, but you’ll feel like a rock star.
Home of Mardi Gras, the biggest party in the United States, New Orleans’ French Quarter district is one of America’s most infamous places to let your hair down. Loaded with restaurants, bars and live music venues — and brimming with unique, laid-back charm — the French Quarter (in particular, its famous tourist spot, Bourbon Street) is the best place for a night of laid-back drinking and debauchery. Some of the most popular places to party in New Orleans include Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a piano bar that serves great drinks; Tropical Isle, home of a ridiculously strong drink called the Hand Grenade; and Pat O’Brien’s, a popular tourist spot that’s known for Hurricanes, TNTs, and a fire/water fountain.
The official motto of Austin, TX, is the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and it’s live music venues and comedy clubs that make this southwestern city one of the best places to hit the town. Nightlife in Austin is always great whenever one of the city’s many festivals are going on, but on any given night, you’ll find a party at the 6th Street downtown area.
Thanks to a reputation as one of America’s most colorful and culturally-diverse towns, San Francisco also landed on both the Virtual Tourist and U.S. News and World Report’s lists of the best cities for nightlife. Each of the many neighborhoods in San Francisco offers unique nightlife options, from stage shows to clubs to hip eateries, but most residents and tourists will agree that a visit to the Mission District always makes for a fun time, offering the usual bars and clubs in addition to some surprises, like live poetry readings.
Whether you want to paint the town red or chill out for a night, these cities are your best bets. Just bring your party hat and your sense of adventure!
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