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Arizona Nightlife

718 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix , Arizona
Tel: 602 258 6122

Hands down, the friendliest bar in Phoenix. Aimed at the gay and lesbian crowd, it has an "everybody's welcome" vibe. There are more than 300 martinis on the cocktail menu, and the tropical-feeling, tree-covered patio is the ideal place to enjoy them when it gets packed inside on weekend nights. You never know when the next drag show might be or which porn star is making an appearance, so tap the Web site before you go.

Open Sundays through Thursdays 4 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 4 pm to 4 am.

Jade Bar
5700 E. McDonald Drive
Paradise Valley , Arizona
Tel: 480 948 2100

This elegant green-hued bar inside the Sanctuary resort attracts a slightly more sophisticated crowd than the nightlife spots in downtown Scottsdale. This is where the Prada-clad jet set watches the sun go down over Paradise Valley, sipping cantaloupe martinis or French cosmopolitans, the specialty of the house.

Kazimierz World Wine Bar
7137 E. Stetson Drive
Scottsdale , Arizona
Tel: 480 946 3004

Something you're likely to overhear: "This doesn't feel like Phoenix at all." Something you're not: "I'll have the house merlot." Kazimierz has a mere (ahem) 3,000 wines to choose from—ask the quite knowledgeable servers for a recommendation. On a quiet path between a parking lot and Stetson Drive, the door to Kazimierz is marked only by a plaque reading "The Truth Is Inside." Check out the candlelit wine cave motif, with its stained glass windows and faux stone walls (hence the "anywhere but Phoenix" vibe). No matter the time of day, it's dark and filled with a refreshingly conversational crowd.

Open daily 2:30 pm to 1:45 am.

Old Town Scottsdale Nightlife
Scottsdale , Arizona

Old Town Scottsdale, just south of Camelback and Scottsdale roads, was once the city's epicenter of huge techno nightclubs. For the most part, those places have made way for a newer breed of nightlife venue, geared to revelers in their late twenties to mid-thirties who want to dance—but not necessarily on a smoke 'n' laser dance floor. Mabel's on Main is the sexiest bar on the scene, with a vibe that strives for Mad Men cool while taking design inspiration from old-timey speakeasies. Cocktail devotees should go on a Tuesday night, when owner Aaron May mans the bar. If you can stump his mental encyclopedia of libations, your drink is on the house. Looking for something a little less complicated? At the Coyote Ugly–look-alike Shotgun Betty's, dancers in Daisy Dukes take to the poles and platforms to the accompaniment of classic rock tunes. If Dirty Harry wanted to wet his whistle, he'd do it at Revolver Lounge, modeled after an Old West saloon (distressed leather, beat-up wood). But he'd be sure to down a Jack or two early, before the DJ sets up and the vodka bottle service crowd floods in after 10 pm.—David Tyda

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.