If there’s one thing that’s certain about the American people, it’s that they definitely know how to party! You’ll never be too far away from a lively nightlife scene while you’re in the U.S..
You could party it up in almost every big city in the country, but there are a few cities that stand out among the rest with nighttime activities you won’t find anywhere else.
Put your dancing shoes on and get ready to spend your nights sipping on the finest cocktails and mingling with the lively locals at these 30 cities with the greatest nightlife scenes in the United States!
Table of Contents
- 1. New York City
- 2. Los Angeles
- 3. Miami
- 4. New Orleans
- 5. Nashville
- 6. Seattle
- 7. Las Vegas
- 8. San Francisco
- 9. Chicago
- 10. Austin
- 11. San Diego
- 12. Boston
- 13. Houston
- 14. Denver
- 15. Portland
- 16. Memphis
- 17. Atlanta
- 18. Tampa
- 19. Jacksonville
- 20. Oklahoma City
- 21. Dallas
- 22. Charlotte
- 23. Mesa
- 24. Tucson
- 25. Columbus
- 26. Indianapolis
- 27. Phoenix
- 28. Milwaukee
- 29. Atlantic City
- 30. Myrtle Beach
1. New York City
Known as the “city that never sleeps”, it’s no question that New York City has some of the finest nightlife experiences in the country.
Whether you’re looking to spend the night vibing to some classical jazz or dancing the night away to the latest hits, the city has got you covered.
Over the years, the city has expanded and evolved to meet the times while also maintaining classic venues that keep all party-goers happy across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Head over to House of Yes for a roller-disco extravaganza, practice your funkiest dance moves at the Outpost, and keep it classy in hopes to run into a famous celebrity at One Oak. If meeting celebrities is what you’re after, check out the Top 10 Spots In New York To Spot Celebrities.
2. Los Angeles
The leading competitor for nightlife fun, Los Angeles, is overflowing with bars, nightclubs, and music venues that’ll keep the party going until all hours of the night.
LA is made up of a multitude of neighborhoods, all boasting their own kind of party scene, with attractions so close together that you won’t have to haul a cab to get from one bar to another.
Stay the night in Downtown Los Angeles at one of the many adorable boutique hotels and spend the night bar hopping from one classic to another.
Head to Hollywood if you’re looking for some diversity and grab a drink at an affordable dive bar before heading to a high-end hotel for a nightcap.
Get ready to grab a mic and sing the night away at the large selection of karaoke bars in Koreatown and once you work up an appetite, enjoy a delicious selection of late night food. Be sure to check out the Top 10 Best LA Restaurants to enjoy all of what LA has to offer.
Known as a vacation hotspot for college students, Miami is booming with a young party scene and a selection of nightlife venues that’ll keep you partying all night long.
The city is known for being flashy, from the neon strobe lights at the nightclubs to the wealthy visitors showing off their expensive cars filling the streets – and it’s also one of the 11 Cities with the Most Beautiful Women!
In a place where the weather is always warm and humid, it’s no surprise that you’ll find a lot of your nightlife experiences around rooftop pools and beaches (perhaps even nude beaches!).
Grab $1 beers and watch an intense game of jai alai at Calder, play bingo with a drag queen at Gramps, or grab tacos before heading into the hidden speakeasy at Taquerias el Mexicano.
4. New Orleans
Although the city of New Orleans is known for getting the party started early, (like 10 in the morning early) that doesn’t mean that veteran partygoers won’t keep the party going through the night.
The cool thing about New Orleans is that much of the excitement happens right on the streets – so feel free to spend the night enjoying the live music on Frenchmen Street.
Things can get a bit rowdy when people are drinking from day to night, but if you’re looking for something more relaxed, you can enjoy a few drinks while catching a midnight movie at the Prytania Theatre, the oldest theater in New Orleans.
If you find yourself ready to keep the party going as the sun is getting ready to rise, the city has your back with the iconic Kajun’s Pub. Sing karaoke and drink cheap beer 24 hours a day!
New Orleans is also one of the best places to visit in November, with it’s Caribbean Culture Festival taking place early in the month
Known as the music capital of the country, Nashville attracts visitors from near and far for its lively scene with a strong focus on country music – so grab your cowboy boots and get ready to dance!
Music can be heard throughout the city at any time of day or night, but Nashville really comes alive at night with its abundance of honky tonks.
Enjoy the pleasure of no entrance fee bars with folks clearing the floor for swing dancing, but make sure to tip the band when the hat makes its way over to you.
Head over to the Station Inn for a chance to get on stage with the band, enjoy all the country classics at Robert’s Western World, or opt for something different at House of Cards where you can enjoy a high-class magic show with a drink in hand.
Just because Seattle isn’t boasting a scene of late-night ravers and flashing lights doesn’t mean they have nothing going on after dark, especially since it gets darker here sooner than most places.
In fact, the city of Seattle ranks as one of the best nightlife scenes, not for its late-night attitude – and a simple fact is that you won’t find attractions more unique than the ones you’ll find here.
A tourist attraction by day, the Space Needle boasts a lively lower level known as the Laser Dome, where you can jam out to live music while enjoying an insane light show.
There is no shortage of entertainment with bars sporting games like ping pong at SPIN, mini-golf at Flatstick Pub, and vintage video games at West Seattle’s Vidiot.
There are also an abundance of day time activities to do the next day, even if it rains!
7. Las Vegas
Nicknamed “Sin City”, Las Vegas is an obvious choice for nightlife entertainment of all kinds. People save up years in advance for even just a weekend partying it up in this expensive yet thrilling city.
Whether you spend your days walking the strip, visiting the Top 10 Best Attractions in Las Vegas, or partaking in a lively pool party, you’ll want to make sure you save enough energy for when the sun sets – because Vegas is bursting at the seams with it’s nightlife.
As a hotspot for bachelorette/bachelor parties, 21st birthdays, and any other occasion that warrants an excuse to visit the city, it’s no surprise that the selection of bars, clubs, casinos, and music venues can be a bit overwhelming.
Wherever you decide to go, be it Omnia and its massive chandeliers or Hakkasan and its 3-level clubs, you’ll be immersed in a lively scene hosted by some of the hottest (and highest paid) DJs in the world.
8. San Francisco
One of California’s largest cities is hidden in the shadows of Los Angeles when it comes to party scenes. San Francisco doesn’t get nearly enough credit – but those who do know about it know that it’s one of the coolest nightlife venues in the country.
Made up of a variety of unique neighborhoods, there is a nightlife scene for all kinds of partygoers in this lovely city – from classic speakeasies to underground raves.
One of the oldest and greatest clubs in the city is easily the DNA Lounge, where you can hop amongst its 2 stages, 4 dance floors, 7 bars, and pizza shop – all while being dressed in your favorite costume.
Looking for something more laid-back? Make your way over to the Monarch, where you’ll be hanging with the locals while sipping prohibition-themed cocktails in its vintage basement.
Known as the birthplace of disco music with a focus on bass and drums, Chicago is the place to be if you’re looking enjoy a night of dancing to music both old and new.
Although you won’t be able to party it up in the house and blues clubs that once shaped the city, you’ll have the opportunity to hop across a large selection of clubs, bars, and music venues that are constantly trying to fill its large footprints.
Check out one of the oldest clubs still running, The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, and try some of the best cocktail creations in the city while listening to live jazz.
Enjoy your fair share of underground nightlife scenes like The Underground, known for its celebrity appearances, Spybar, for techno music in an intimate setting, and The Apartment, which makes you feel like you’re partying at a friend’s house.
Everybody knows about Austin’s iconic Sixth Street and its lively party scene, but there is so much more that one of the Largest Cities In Texas has to offer, from cheap dive bars to classy cocktail bars.
If you’re looking for a good time, you can’t go wrong with spending the night on Rainey Street, where an entire strip of old homes have been transformed into a line of bars and restaurants perfect for bar hopping.
For something more local friendly, make your way over to East Austin, where you can enjoy an up and coming neighborhood of social clubs, music venues, and breweries.
Check out the wine bars on South Congress Avenue, drink and shop at the Domain shopping center, and enjoy some of the tastiest craft beers along South First Street.
11. San Diego
Known for its abundance of locally brewed craft beers, San Diego is a safe-haven for hipsters – and its many tropical themed bars provide a paradise feeling that is hard to beat.
Although the city isn’t bustling with cars all hours of the night, that doesn’t mean the nightlife is lacking. Many people make their way to the nearest bars after spending the day taking in the sun on one of the many beaches.
You’ll definitely get a laid back vibe from most of the beach towns in the area, but one step inside one of the local bars will have you ready to drink the night away with newfound friends:
- Head to the False Idol to enjoy drinks inside a cave-like setting that screams vacation at every turn.
- The Coin-Op Game Room pairs drinks with your favorite childhood games.
- Slurp on a rosé slushy next to the rooftop pool at The Pendry.
You’ll find a bouncing night life in San Diego, and you don’t want to miss it!
The city of Boston may be known for its historic significance – but that doesn’t mean that it lacks a party scene when the sun goes down.
From its highly acclaimed restaurants, rooftop bars, and rapidly expanding nightclubs, there are plenty of places in Boston to bust a move, mingle with the locals, and try unique cocktails.
If you’re really looking to dance the night away, make your way over to The Grand – which is not only the hottest nightclub in town, but is constantly featuring celebrity performers.
If you’re looking for something more elegant, head over to The Royal with its massive dance floor and VIP balconies – or stop by The Tunnel to drink expensive champagne in a vibrant setting.
Another of the largest cities in Texas, Houston is home to one of the most diverse selections of bars, restaurants, and music venues and it is constantly expanding to become even bigger and better.
Bring your furry friend and head over to the Axelrad Beer Garden for a night of live music and craft beer in an adorable outdoor setting.
Cezanne is the place to be for jazz lovers, whereas The Flat is a fan favorite for hip-hop lovers. Numbers is where you’ll find all the disco fans getting their groove on!
Although this Mile High City is geared more towards outdoor activities, the continued growth of young travelers and residents alike has given Denver a thriving nightlife scene you don’t want to miss out on.
If you’ve visited Denver in the past, you’d know the city is overflowing with life – and the creative energy can be felt from all corners of its vibrant neighborhood. It should come as no surprise that the bars fit that same quota.
One of the most loved activities by young locals is spending the weekend bar hopping along Colfax Avenue, where bars and lounges dominate the street.
Check out a midnight movie at The Esquire, laugh until your stomach hurts at the Bug Theater’s Comedy Club, and finish the night with a gyro at Pete’s Kitchen which is open 24 hours.
Known to be one of the most beautiful cities in Oregon, you’ll definitely be in for an interesting (and possibly strange) time at just about any of the nighttime establishments in the lively city of Portland.
Although its nightclubs have seen better days (especially after the tragic fire in a warehouse club in 2016), the bar scene in Portland has become more and more popular.
If you’re into indie music and laid-back vibes, you’ll most likely find yourself at Rontoms, jamming out with locals of all ages and drinking classic cocktails.
There’s something for everyone in Portland, like the High Water Mark for lovers of metal, The Lovecraft for the fantasyland enthusiast, and the Multnomah Whiskey Library for guests who prefer to sit back with a fine glass of dark liquor.
Home to rock ‘n roll king, Elvis Presley, the roots to a booming nightlife scene was planted early on and have only continued to flourish with an overflowing amount of bars, nightclubs, and music venues.
Aside from the obvious choice to party the night away, you’ll find your fair share of speakeasies if you know the right people and do your homework before hitting the town.
One of the best in town is easily The Blind Bear, with its stellar cocktail creations featuring moonshine and late-night bites to keep you going through the night.
Taste wine from around the world at the Knifebird Wine Bar, listen to the newest up and coming artists at Lafayette’s, or channel your inner child at the Memphis Rec Room where you can spend the night playing classic video games.
The city of Atlanta is all about the latest trends – and because of that, its clubs and bars seem to rotate at a much faster rate than most.
Aside from the newest establishments that are constantly popping up, the city has a handful of staples that have shaped the city’s nightlife into what it is today and have managed to stand strong in a quickly changing world.
Spend the night dancing until you can’t any longer, with the rest of the crowd at the popular MJQ Concourse – which has made a name for itself as the hottest club in town.
Feel like a celebrity at the flashy Gold Room, hide away at El Bar – which boasts a massive dance floor behind its typical Mexican restaurant – or feel the base pounding through your body at The Basement.
The city of Tampa is known for its many nightclubs, sports bars, and music venues, and its growing development of wine and cocktail bars cater to the even more laid back night scene.
Regardless of the weekday you choose to visit, you’ll find a place to do your thing – whether you’re looking to spice things up midweek or spend the weekend raging.
Sit back on a comfy couch or get your heart racing on the dance floor at Club Prana with its 5 levels of fun, including a rooftop bar.
Enjoy a pirate-themed club scene at Gaspar’s Grotto, see some of the most popular artists at The Ritz Ybor, or drink high class drinks while listening to soul music at CW’s Gin Joint.
Whether you’d like to spend the night dancing on the beach or within the depths of a historical landmark, Jacksonville has got you covered with a large variety of venues that have visitors coming back for more.
Just when you think the city can’t get any better with its extensive beaches, boutique shops, and tasty restaurants, the bars and clubs that light up the night can’t help but draw you in.
“The Elbow”, as the locals call it, is known as the intersection where all the hottest bars and music venues meet to create the perfect bar hopping experience.
If you can’t pull yourself too far from the sandy shore, the Beaches Town Center is revving and ready to go with its line of bars sporting frozen tropical drinks with ocean views.
20. Oklahoma City
Composed of over 10 different popular nightlife districts that are equally awesome (but completely unique), you’ll be guaranteed a good time regardless of your music preferences.
You’ll find your greatest blend of tourists and locals in Bricktown – where some of the oldest bars and restaurants in Oklahoma City have laid their roots, creating a lively atmosphere from the moment they opened their doors.
Listen to the sound of jazz playing as you walk the streets of Deep Deuce. One step on the patio of the Deep Deuce Grill will have you ready to party the night away.
Check out the large selection of local wine scattered across Automobile Alley, go bowling with a drink in hand at the Dust Bowl in Midtown, and play corn hole as you mingle with the young crowd on Uptown 23rd.
Sneaking its way up to being one of the best nightlife scenes in the country, you’ll be amazed by the abundance of nighttime activities that fill the streets of Dallas.
You’ll find something exciting to do around every corner, and the hardest decisions you’ll have to make will be which awesome venue to hit up first.
A fan favorite is The Foundry, where you can relax on the outdoor patio while contemplating which of the 50 beers you want to try next. Head next door to grab some tasty grub at Chicken Scratch.
Many underestimate the extent of Charlotte’s nightlife scene, but one step on its bustling streets after the sun sets will have visitors doubting everything they knew about the quiet state of North Carolina.
The city has everything you could hope for in a nighttime scene, including craft breweries and their large tap beer selections or speakeasies with their creative cocktail menus.
Dress up nice and head over for some classy cocktails at The Cotton Room, get your game on at the Abari Game Bar, watch the game while pounding some refreshing beers at Duckworth’s Grill and Taphouse, or enjoy the company of your furry friend at The Dog Bar.
Combine year round warm weather with a bustling nightlife scene and you’re in for a grand time in the up and coming city of Mesa, Arizona.
Since the area isn’t known for its rainy days, you’ll notice that a lot of their nightlife is based around outdoor activities – but regardless of where you are, you’re sure to have a drink in hand.
Take your pick from comedy clubs like the popular Hollywood (which is also known for its classic hits and retro games), or sit back on an outdoor patio like the one you can find at The Monastery.
Don’t forget about the wonderful mountain views that will follow you everywhere you go!
The more well known nightlife choice in Arizona, Tucson is a playground for college students and older locals alike – so you’re guaranteed to find something to fit your scene.
Located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Tucson is also a tourist town – and the city has continued to grow with lush hotels and restaurants to fit the needs of its growing popularity.
With it’s up and coming night scene comes an abundance of hotel bars and restaurant cocktail lists that’ll have you begging for more!
Midtown is popular amongst the Latin American community with frequent late night salsa and mariachi bands. The saloons are filled with swing dancers vibing to country music, and a festival is held on the city streets once a month to really get things going.
This one might come as a shock to those who see Ohio as a quiet state, but the city of Columbus is booming – and their nightlife scene is about as trendy as it gets.
Whether you’re looking for a retro vibe, want to play games with a drink in hand, or feel like getting dressed up for a live show while sipping on the finest glass of scotch, Columbus has got you covered.
Hit up the Route 33 Brew Trail where you can hop from one brewery to another in seconds, head over to the North Market Night Market where you can shop while you drink, or unwind after a stressful day at Columbus Ax Throwing.
One of the Most Beautiful Small Towns in Indiana, Indianapolis is jam-packed with nightlife venues that make it easy to walk from one hotspot to another. You’ll find your fair share of nightclubs, music venues, cocktail bars, breweries, and dive bars all within walking distance of each other.
The most popular place to be when the sun sets is BLU, which is a lively lounge that portrays modern style and boasts multiple areas to party the night away.
The Red Room is a fancy cocktail bar by night and a top notch club with the city’s best DJs, but isn’t the only place with this kind of flow. Check out The Vogue, Metro, and Subterra Lounge for even more of the best Indianapolis has to offer.
With beautiful weather nearly 24 hours a day, all year round, it makes sense that the city of Phoenix has come up with some pretty cool things to do when the sun sets.
The bar scene is no joke – and you could easily spend your nights dancing until dusk – but there’s so much more than this scenic city has to offer.
- Go for a glow-stick-filled boat ride along Tempe Town Lake.
- Make it a game to find some of the many hidden bars scattered about.
- Head over to the Desert Botanical Garden to enjoy a live concert among the flowers.
The nightlife and bar scene in Milwaukee is a force to be reckoned with, and the best way to admire it is by spending the night hopping from one eccentric bar to another.
You’ll have way too many bars to choose from along your journey – with tiki bars and snazzy fireplaces calling your name – but make sure you fit in time to visit the city’s oldest lounge, Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge.
You’ll feel right at home at Bittercube Bar, you can try alcoholic milkshakes at At Random, and you can jump between beer and coffee at Vennture Brew Company.
29. Atlantic City
Nicknamed “America’s Playground”, Atlantic City is filled with casinos, beaches, and boardwalks – and what makes it even better is its thriving nightlife.
There’s no shortage of nighttime venues in the city. In fact, there may even be too many to choose from when you step outside your hotel room. All you can hear is party music blaring from every direction.
Test out your funky dance moves at Boogie Nights, get dressed up and ready to spend all your money at HQ2 Nightclub, or hang in the pool after hours with a drink in hand at The Pool After Dark.
30. Myrtle Beach
Known as a popular tourist destination for folks looking to escape their hectic lives and spend the week beachside with their kids, Myrtle Beach is the place to unwind – and when the sun sets, the adults get to play.
There’s plenty to do along the waterfront, so you’ll always have a gorgeous view while sipping on your fruity cocktail. Head inland for dinner theaters so that the kids can tag along with you.
Regardless of how you like to spend your time, you’ll find something to enjoy at Broadway on the Beach, which is overflowing with bars, clubs, shops, and drink stands like Wet Willie’s and its 20+ flavored daiquiris.