Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

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. But some locales cater to night owls better than others. Considering the number of entertainment options, plus factors like accessibility and uniqueness, U.S. News determined the best nightlife cities across America. Cast your vote below to help determine next year's list.

  • Las Vegas
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    Las Vegas

    #1 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    Las Vegas has earned its reputation as America's adult playground for good reason. Some of the country's most well-known nightclubs reside in the city's glitzy hotels and casinos. And DJs from around the world come to Sin City to treat visitors to bumping beats all night long. If you need a break from the Strip, Fremont Street can be just as much of a thrill.

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  • Miami Beach
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    Miami Beach

    #2 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    Miami Beach's party scene heats up after dark. The chic South Beach is famous for its deafening dance clubs, posh hotel lounges and the extravagant clientele it caters to. You'll find everything you need along Ocean Drive. Just note: A night out here can add up quickly when you count cover charges and pricey cocktails.

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  • New Orleans
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    New Orleans

    #3 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    New Orleans is a destination with its own distinct identity – one that knows how to party. The French Quarter is infamous for its rowdiness (especially every February during Mardi Gras), and a night out here can easily last until the wee hours. If you're wanting a more authentic New Orleans experience, hit up Frenchmen Street, the choice place for local musicians to jam.

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  • New York City
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    New York City

    #4 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    No city in the USA has a wider variety of nightlife options than New York. From trendy cocktail lounges in SoHo to pub crawls in the East Village and rooftop bars in Brooklyn, there are countless ways to enjoy a night out in the Big Apple. 

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  • Los Angeles
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    Los Angeles

    #5 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    LA boasts some of the most stylish see-and-be-seen spots in the USA. Hit up Hollywood for an unforgettable night out, cruise the swanky rooftop spots and speakeasies in downtown, or for something more low-key, do as the locals do and seek out finely crafted cocktails in Silver Lake or Santa Monica.

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  • San Francisco
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    San Francisco

    #6 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    Every San Fran neighborhood has its own scene, so it's easy to find spots that suit your preferences. Downtown is where you'll find the biggest parties and the Mission District is where you'll find all the hipsters (and their cool bars). For something more refined, head for the restaurants located along the Embarcadero.

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  • Chicago
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    #7 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    Travel to Chicago to take in live music and theatrical performances. Though 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.

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  • Key West
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    Key West

    #8 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    Key West is probably the most unassuming nightlife spot in the USA thanks to its reputation as a vacation destination for retirees and families. But the city is home to plenty of clubs, bars and unique events, including the yearly drag queen "drop." Mimicking the Times Square Ball drop, the Key West version involves a drag queen lowered in a giant stiletto to mark the new year. 

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  • Austin
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    #9 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    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.

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  • Memphis
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    #10 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA

    The blues capital of the world and the home of Graceland, Memphis was made for music fans. Kick off your visit on Beale Street, the live music hub where icons like B.B. King and Isaac Hayes got their start. Here you'll find lively bars and loads of local musicians belting out their songs. 

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