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Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

You don't have to travel far in America to find a good nightlife destination. The United States' vibrant cities offer everything from dive bars to swanky hotel lounges to trendy dance clubs, so it can be hard to decide where to start. That's why U.S. News considered in the amount of entertainment options, plus factors like accessbility, uniqueness and affordability to determine the country's best nightlife cities. Cast your vote below to help us identify next year's list of the best nightlife destinations. 

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#1 Las Vegas

#1 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go:Las Vegas has earned its reputation as America's playground for good reason. Some of the world's most riotous nightclubs reside in the city's glitzy hotels and casinos. Don't forget the lively entertainment of showgirls either. Travel to Fremont Street for a break from the Strip.  Read More »

Dusk on the Strip
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#2 Miami Beach

#2 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go:After spending the day admiring the beautiful people on the beach, Miami Beach's party scene heats up after dark. The chic South Beach is notorious around the world for its deafening dance clubs and posh hotel lounges. You'll find everything from plush lounges to dance clubs. Just note: A night out can add up quickly when you count cover charges and cocktails. Read More »

Ocean Drive
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#3 New Orleans

#3 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go:New Orleans is a destination with its own distinct identity – one that knows how to party – and that's most apparent when nighttime rolls around. TheFrench Quarteris infamous for its rowdiness, and a night out here can last until the wee hours. You won't want to skip the biggest party of the year: Mardi Gras. Read More »

Jazz in the French Quarter
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#4 New York City

#4 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go:No city in the world has a wider variety of nightlife options than New York. There are countless ways to spend a night out as the life of the party, from cocktail-sipping in a trendySoHolounge to a never-ending bar crawl in the East Village or belting out karaoke with your friends. Read More »

Buzzing Times Square
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#5 Chicago

#5 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go:Travel to Chi-town to take in live music and theatrical performances. But while the Windy City boasts a fair number of rooftop lounges, swanky hotel bars and booming clubs, most locals prefer a more laid-back night out at a neighborhood bar over a crowded party.  Read More »

Chicago Skyline
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#6 Los Angeles

#6 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go:LA boasts some of the most exclusive see-and-be-seen spots in the world. The "scene" is fiercely competitive for patrons as well as bar owners. Venues open and close at a speed that only the fast and fashionable can follow, so join the party while you can.  Read More »

Santa Monica Beach Houses
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#7 Austin

#7 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go:Austin's unofficial nickname is the "Live Music Capital of the World." And while it is true that music venues pepper the city, the more pertinent motto is "Keep Austin Weird." For a lively bar scene, head to Sixth Street. When UT is in session, expect a more exuberant crowd. Read More »

Before the Rock Concert
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#8 San Francisco

#8 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go:Every San Fran neighborhood has its own scene, so figure out which spots in the city suit your preferences. For starters, you can't go wrong with a night out in theMission District. And for those longing for the days of frat parties, you'll find the perfect bars near the Marina. Read More »

Golden Gate Bridge
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#9 San Diego

#9 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go: The city's bustling Gaslamp Quarter is home to comedy clubs, busy bars, dance clubs and smaller concert venues.Plus, the sunny SoCal weather lends itself well to lively rooftop lounges that are buzzing during the day. With such variety, you'll have no problem finding somewhere to enjoy a refreshing cocktail. Read More »

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#10 Houston

#10 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

Why go: Travel to Houston for a bevy of diverse nightlife options, offering everything from wine bars to Texas country honky-tonks. What's more, there's a there's a jitney service (The Wave) that safely shuttles revelers around Houston's various nightlife districts. Read More »

Houston Skyline
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Washington, D.C.

Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool

Washington, D.C.

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Atlantic City

Atlantic City Boardwalk

Atlantic City

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Key West

Busker

Key West

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Nashville

Steel Guitar

Nashville

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