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United States Nightlife

111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 974 1719

This large, warehouselike space is a gallery and performance venue as well as a bar and club. In the main room, eccentric local art is displayed. On the dance floor, a giant dragonfly dangles from the ceiling, and trippy visuals flicker on the walls. On Wednesdays from 5 to 10 pm, the club hosts Qoöl, the finest happy hour in the city; the after-work crowd dances to techno with a wild enthusiasm usually reserved for Saturday nights. Note that the place has no sign, so it's easy to miss. Look for the bright red door.

39 Degrees Lounge
Sky Hotel
709 E. Durant Avenue
Aspen , Colorado
Tel: 970 429 7860

Though it's named after the latitude of Aspen, come 3 o'clock in the afternoon, 39 Degrees feels like it's the center of the universe. Located inside the Sky Hotel, this is the most happening après scene in town for the youngish crowd. The lounge is retro, with spiky silver Sputnik chandeliers, low-slung sofas, and a fireplace. For après eats, try the Italian meatball sliders or the bruschetta with spinach and fontina cheese. Don't miss a peek at the pool area out the window—and bring your swimsuit if you'd like a piece of the action. The hotel hot tubs are open to all those with a 39 Degrees tab.

Open daily noon to 1:30 am.

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
398 Hayes Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 551 1590

With copper-topped tables, checkerboard-tile floor, and antique mirrors, genteel Absinthe evokes a French brasserie of the Belle Époque. Its excellent cocktail menu is in keeping with this theme, using recipes, such as the Ginger Rogers, culled from early 20th-century cocktail books. The bar has a separate menu from the adjoining restaurant—chiefly nibbles and small plates, ideal for a bite after the nearby symphony or opera. The soft, flattering light makes this a perfect date choice. Our only regret is the sometimes-snooty staff.

Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11:30 am to midnight, Thursdays and Fridays 11:30 am to 2 am, Saturdays 11 am to 2 am, and Sundays 11 am to 10 pm.

4356 W. Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 665 6810

This Moroccan-themed bar on the border of Hollywood and Silver Lake attracts a mixed crowd of casually dressed gays and straights. Often supercrowded, it can get downright suffocating on weekends. There's a great jukebox, with everything from '90s rock to Frank Sinatra, comfortable seating in the lounge behind the bar, and very stiff drinks. Regular themed party nights include Craft Night, where art supplies are provided for people to carve pumpkins, make finger puppets, and color outside the lines while getting soused.

23 South Main Street
Waterbury , Vermont
Tel: 802 244 4120

The Alchemist is the best brewpub in Vermont, worth the 25-minute drive from Mad River Glen, Sugarbush, or Stowe. You can always find a range of tasty suds on hand, eight or nine on tap and only served at the bar, including cask-conditioned (naturally carbonated) and Belgian-style ales. The food runs from daily fish specials to griddle-blackened prime Angus burgers with blue cheese and caramelized onions, doing what pub food should: show off the beer. Often packed on weekends with a young local crowd, it's just far enough from the resorts that it doesn't get overrun with ski bums.

Open daily 4 to 10 pm.

Altitude Skybar + Garden Lounge
660 K Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 446 6088

Perched 22 stories up, atop the Gaslamp Marriott, Altitude is San Diego's highest outdoor bar—a vantage point that affords sweeping views of the bay, Coronado Bridge, and the Padres' new ballpark. The beachy vibe, encouraged by a fire pit and wicker lounge chairs, is tempered by dance music and disco lights. Thursday through Saturday nights, it's overrun by the clubby masses, but most weeknights and during the day, you're likely to find an older, mellower crowd. Come during a Padres game when the bar is delightfully uncrowded and get a skyboxlike view of the baseball diamond below from the bar's southwest corner.

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.

Angel's Share
8 Stuyvesant Street, Second Floor
East Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 777 5415

One of the first "secret bars" to overtake New York (we're looking at you, PDT), Angel's Share is located upstairs from a grocery store and behind a Japanese restaurant on a quiet street just east of the hustle and bustle of Astor Place. Once you find your way in, try not to let it bother you that everyone else around you is on a date (due in part to the fact that the bar doesn't allow parties over four), and focus on the fanciful Japanese-inspired cocktails created by some of the city's most talented mixologists. Large windows onto East 9th Street framed by heavy drapes make it a cozy spot for people-watching. And the no-standing-room rule means that you'll never be fighting your way to the bar or screaming over your neighbor. An insider tip: The fresh-ginger-infused vodka is one of the bar's best drinks—but it's not on the menu. Make a special request, and they're likely to oblige.

Open daily 7 pm to 2 am.

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Angels and Kings
500 E. 11th Street
East Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 254 4090

Pete Wentz is a far cry from Joey Ramone, but if you're looking for a rocker bar in the East Village, Wentz's Angels and Kings is about as close as you'll get these days. The Fall Out Boy bassist co-owns the loungy spot, nicknamed "AK-47," with Travis McCoy of the Gym Class Heroes and clothing designer Jamison Ernest. The boys go heavy on the red velvet and have cheekily lined the bar with famous celebrity mug shots. As rock bars go, there's a solid drink selection, but the real attraction tends to be the celebrity sightings, including Pete and wifey Ashlee Simpson. Their crew is known to drop in for the bar's regular Monday-night karaoke parties, but most nights are great for kicking back to good music while sampling the bar's famous drink specials (their happy hour features $2 vodka drinks from 8 to 10 pm).

Open Mondays through Thursdays 7 pm to 4 am, Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm to 4 am, Sundays 8 pm to 4 am.

1337 India Street
San Diego
California 92101
Tel: 619 595 0300

A throwback to the golden age of swanky supper clubs, Anthology offers quality live music on a state-of-the-art stage in view of the three-level, Cotton club–esque dining room. From Latin beats and smooth jazz to acoustic classic rock and college a capella, headliners cater to the full gamut of San Diego's music scene. Bigger-name acts include Vonda Shepard, Fountains of Wayne, and Marc Cohn of "Walking in Memphis" fame, but the house band, which plays on open-seating Tuesdays, is also worth seeing. The rest of the week you'll need a reservation in addition to the cover charge to see the show. Happily, the food matches the energy of the music thanks to Four Seasons vet, chef Eric Bauer. Try his specialty: artichoke barigoule paired with white beans and yellowfin tuna.—Audrey Davidow

Opens Tuesdays through Fridays at 5 pm, Saturdays at 5:30 pm.

9 Doyers Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 406 0400

Located on a twisty Chinatown cul-de-sac in a former opium den, this apothecary-themed hideaway from cocktail master Alan Trummer boasts 250 specialty cocktails divided into categories like Stress Relievers, Pharmaceuticals, and Stimulants. The old-timey pharmacy vibe dominates the space—bartenders wear lab coats and use beakers to pour drinks—while the red leather banquettes pay tribute to the space's den-of-sin roots. Drinks like the Strawberry Fennel (featuring crushed fresh strawberries, vodka, and fennel oil) and the Pepper Infusion (made with green peppers, peppercorns, dill, and vodka) hover around $20 a piece, but, hey, they are medicinal, right?—Alexis Swerdloff

Open Mondays through Saturdays 6:30 pm to 2 am, Sundays 8 pm to 2 am.

Aqua Nightclub
711 Duval Street
Key West , Florida
Tel: 305 294 0555

Just look for drag queens with bouffant hair, à la Sarah Palin, taking a cigarette break, and you've arrived at Aqua Nightclub, a hotbed of frivolous fun where female impersonator acts play out nightly. It's a typical Key West scene, with the crowd ranging from 30 to 70 years old, give or take a decade, and every shade of the sexual preference rainbow represented. The open ductwork ceilings sparkle with the prisms thrown about by the disco ball, and curtained booth areas line the back wall ($25 gets you Champagne service and a private nook here). There are two bars that host dueling bartender karaoke, and after the shows the dance floor gets going with everything from '80s throwbacks to classic dance tunes. There's no cover charge during the day, but the nightly shows cost $15 per person—unless you happen to be from Columbus, Ohio (as are the owners), in which case you'll get free entry.—Terry Ward

Open daily 2:30 pm to 2 am, nightly shows at 9 pm.

Arnaud's French 75
813 Bienville Street
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 523 5433

Despite being attached to a landmark Creole restaurant, Arnaud's French 75 somehow maintains its own vibe and identity, especially among traveling cocktail geeks. Head bartender Chris Hannah presides over the sumptuous, parlorlike space with an encyclopedic knowledge of the classics and a penchant for experimentation. If you're in the mood for a refreshing cocktail, order up a frothy Ramos Gin Fizz or La Louisianne for a pitch-perfect rendition. Or if Hannah is behind the bar, tell him your likes and dislikes, and let him concoct an appropriate libation to match tastes.—Pableaux Johnson

Open daily 5:30 to 11 pm.

Art of the Afternoon Cocktail
New Orleans , Louisiana

New Orleans's reputation for colorful, high-octane libations—Hurricanes, Hand Grenades, Screaming Blue Orgasms—often overshadows one of the city's more civilized traditions: a long, leisurely cocktail sipped at a historic barroom. The 25-foot cypress bar at Tujague's is a quick trip back to 1856, when the French Quarter saloon first opened its doors. Order a whiskey-based Sazerac, a classic cousin of the Old Fashioned, and appreciate the towering ceilings and old-world vibe (823 Decatur St.; 504-525-8676; A few blocks away, the Napoleon House serves up its signature highball, the refreshing gin-based Pimm's Cup, in your choice of open-air venue. The intimate front room faces street traffic, for people-watching, while the shaded courtyard provides a suitably gracious alfresco experience (500 Chartres St.; 504-524-9752;

Asia SF
201 Ninth Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 255 2742

If you can't commit to the over-the-top drag dinner theater of Teatro ZinZanni, visit Asia SF to admire its gender illusionists. Unlike drag queens, these svelte odalisques in low-cut evening gowns try to look convincingly female. On the hour, they perform lip-synch revues on top of the bar. The vaguely Asian decor includes rice-paper lanterns and shoji screens that shift from pink to gold. Instead of paying an entry fee, customers must purchase one of three reasonably pleasant pan-Asian dinner menus. If you're bringing guests, don't tell them about the "girls," and see how long it takes them to figure it out.

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Atlantic House
6 Masonic Place
Provincetown , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 487 3821

The premier nightspot in gay-oriented Provincetown is the Atlantic House. Known locally as the A-House, it opened in 1798 as a tavern and stagecoach stop and eventually became a magnet for bohemian visitors, including the playwrights Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill. (O'Neill was arrested here one night during World War I for carrying a suspicious black box that turned out to contain nothing more sinister than a typewriter.) Today, the building is divided into a small, friendly bar called the Little Bar, a leather bar upstairs that is considerably more rowdy, and the town's most popular nightclub, where patrons wait in line less to crowd onto the tiny dance floor than to simply see and be seen.

Little Bar open daily noon to 1 am; Macho Bar and Big Room open daily 10 pm to 1 am.

The Aviary
955 West Fulton
Chicago , Illinois

If you can't snag a table at Grant Achatz's Next restaurant (and you can't if you don't buy a ticket online, far ahead of time), the second best thing sits right next door at The Aviary, the dinner theater's sister cocktail bar cum lounge. Taking the fashion for designer molecular cocktails to Achatz-worthy heights, this plush sanctuary features a vigilant doorman, concierge-like waiters, high-backed semicircular banquette pods, and lots of moony couples. The Bites menu is true to its word. These thumb-size dishes are very tasty (try the crab with avocado, mango, and almond), but the tab can run up quickly. However, it's the zany cocktail concoctions that are the big attraction, from a palette-rousing Huckleberry (that's lemon, Thai long peppercorn, and gin) to the Sweet Potato (orange, tequila, and smoked paprika). There is also a basement speakeasy, available for private parties, but The Aviary's biggest perk may be a simple one: A limited number of reservations are actually possible, if you follow orders and email in your request at precisely 6, 8, or 10 pm.—Raphael Kadushin

The Bacchus Pub
105 West Main Street
Suite 1a
Bozeman , Montana
Tel: 406 522 0079

Housed in Bozeman's historic Baxter Hotel, The Bacchus Pub has been a gathering place for thirsty locals since 1929. Though it's been through several renovations, the pub continues to have an old world, and inexplicably European, charm. Painted monk heads, wooden arches, and low-hanging medieval-style chandeliers adorn the ceiling, giving a warm, cavernous feel, made all the warmer by the pub's working fireplace. For a classic Montanan zing, try a Moscow Mule, a mix of vodka, ginger beer, and lime served in a copper mug. If ginger's not your thing, opt for one of the many huckleberry-infused vodka cocktails. From rowdy college students to retired ski bums, everyone is welcomed and well cared for, attended to by a refill-happy wait staff and heavy-handed bartenders.— Isabel Sterne

Open daily 11 am to 1 am.

The Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 693 8300

We're not sure Light nightclub at Bellagio needed a rehab, but its owners (who are also behind Jet, Stack, Fix, Bare, and Caramel) apparently thought it did. Thankfully, the simple rectangular layout and overwhelmingly positive energy remain, and efficient doormen and great resident deejays provide all the more reasons to keep loving it. The decor hints at opulence more than the previous incarnation (walls of Cristal flank the entry, strands of crystals drape from the ceiling, and floral motifs are etched into glass around the mezzanine). So does the drink menu: The table minimum has gone up to three bottles (that's over $1,200) on Saturday nights. Try booking Table 20 if a celeb hasn't nabbed it first: You'll have a great view of the entire club, yet you'll still be part of the action—that is, close enough to persuade a passerby to join you for a drink.

Open Thursdays through Sundays 10:30 pm to 4 am.

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1735 N. Vine Street
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 462 1307

Bardot is a swank bar/courtyard/tented lounge done up with old-school oil paintings, crystal chandeliers, and plenty of cozy conversation nooks. Start in the low-lit bar area, a golden-hued lounge with tufted banquettes and mosaic mirrors, before making your way to the always packed dance floor, where a mix of club kids and young Hollywood (Jessica Alba, Natalie Portman, and Paris Hilton have been spotted here, to name a few) bump elbows—and other assorted body parts—to a high-energy mix of Motown, electro, and indie beats. Downstairs is a crimson-tented patio where a rotating mix of live acts—burlesque dancers, jazz musicians, indie darlings—take the stage for intimate, salon-scale performances. For the best seat in the house, spring for bottle service (a mere $400!) at one of the patio tables. Bardot is certainly a scene, and the door can be tough, but unlike other insider-y spots around town, the vibe inside is surprisingly laid-back. Best bet for easy access? Make reservations for a late small-plates dinner then stay on for the show.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 pm to 2 am.

Bar Tonique
820 North Rampart Street
Faubourg Treme
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 324 6045

Perched on the Rampart Street border between the French Quarter and Faubourg Treme neighborhoods, this one-room bar serves up an amazing range of classic and contemporary cocktails in an appropriately funky ambience. The location is just far enough from the high-traffic tourist zones to feel secluded, but bustling enough to have solid energy, whether you're enjoying a nice afternoon relaxer or crowded, shoulder-to-shoulder cocktails on a Friday night. Tonique's specials board has an impressive list of more than a dozen standby cocktails that covers the basics (Sazerac, Dark and Stormy) and then some (Corpse Reviver, Last Word). Their Pimm's Cup is fruitier than most (with muddled citrus and fizzy water as a substitute for ginger ale) but a worthy take on one of New Orleans's classic summertime highballs.—Pableaux Johnson

Open daily 2 pm to 2 am.

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The Beachcomber
1120 Cahoon Hollow Road
Wellfleet , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 349 6055

With its fun, West Coast–style surfer vibe, the Beachcomber (just "the 'Comb-ah' " to locals) is a Cape Cod mainstay, and the only right-on-the sand beachside restaurant and bar. The food is mediocre pub fare, but the cabana-style bar opens right onto the high sandy cliffs and powerful surf of Cahoon Hollow Beach, and there's often live music. Hanging out here is also a good way to avoid paying for parking at the beach: They'll credit you the $15 fee on your food-and-drink bill.

Open daily 11:30 am to 1 am, mid-June through Labor Day; Thursdays through Mondays 11:30 am to 1 am, Memorial Day through mid-June.

541 Tremont Street
Boston , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 423 0069

An old-fashioned dinner club, the Beehive is always buzzing, whether at its weekend jazz brunch or at night, when patrons crowd three deep around the bar, and there's live music with no cover. The entertainment is diverse—jazz one night, bossa nova the next, even burlesque and belly dancing on occasion—and paired with themed menus. The regular menu is a mishmash of Mediterranean/American/Central European standards, such as seared zaatar-spiced swordfish, Moroccan couscous with chicken and lamb, and mustard-and-herb-crusted roast rack of pork. It's all served up in a 200-year-old space beneath the Boston Center for the Arts (formerly a theater and boiler room) with exposed brick and beams across high ceilings. Many of the servers are local artists whose work is on the walls. Tables fill up after 8 pm, and the line begins to stretch outside. Go early or on a weeknight to snag a spot, or just head for the bar.—updated by Jon Marcus

Open Mondays through Fridays 5 pm to 2 am, Saturdays and Sundays 10:30 am to 2 am.

Bella Rose
423 16th Street
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 673 8634

Bella Rose's Sunday-night bash is a more locals-driven alternative to Nikki Beach's tourist-heavy scene. The dark South Beach lounge is filled with transvestites, models teetering in vertiginous heels, and a "murderer" on the loose to make for a glam goth vibe. Party producer Lex Mincolla is on a mission to "kill" one club-goer every week, with all the gory (fake) action filmed in stop-motion animation in the club's bathroom and turned into a cult phenom on YouTube the following week. Thursday nights are themed Thuggery (think old-school hip-hop and 32-ounce beers), while Friday and Saturdays are more straightforward with dancing to '80s hits. And even though it's in the midst of South Beach's high-rolling club scene, this is definitely not the place to go for bottle service.

Open Thursdays through Sundays 11 pm to 5 am.

Belly Up
450 S. Galena Street
Aspen , Colorado
Tel: 970 544 9800

The place to go for live music, period. With long lines that sometime wind around the block, the club can seem like a scene from another city. But once you get inside the large, tiered room, with rich wood chairs lined up along the low bars overlooking the stage and round bar tables huddled into cozy booths, you'll know you're far from a dingy city club. And the acoustics are amazing, too. Go to the Web site for upcoming shows.

Opens nightly at 8 pm.

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81 S. Sixth Street
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 387 5389
Subway: J train to Marcy Avenue

A happy, multiculti crowd bucks the standard rocker-dive trend at this lounge in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. The interior, created almost entirely from aged hardwood salvaged throughout the city, strives to be "familiar to many people and their respective cultures," with global accents such as Cuban portraits and Colombian burlap coffee bags. Inclusiveness pays off in a borough as diverse as this: Each night, many single women looking for a dance partner pack the house for beats ranging from Afro-Cuban salsa to roots and reggae. A cask of watermelon rum punch and other fruit-based cocktails keep the party going, and conga drums are often at patrons' disposal (be warned, it's a bit of a democracy). And that high-pitched maraca? That's the bartender nailing a screw into a coconut so she can dump its milk (and perhaps some rum) over ice.

Open daily from 7:30 pm to 4 am.

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Bemelmans Bar
The Carlyle
35 E. 76th Street
Upper East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 744 1600

This swank uptown boite, named for the murals painted by former Carlyle hotel resident Ludwig Bemelmans, is unabashedly romantic in a 40s kind of way. And it serves great drinks: Mixologist Audrey Saunders has decamped to her own bar downtown, the Pegu Club, but Brian Van Flandern, formerly of Per Se, has taken the helm. The place is a classic in the true sense—but it doesn't feel dated in any way. There's a cover after 9:30 when the music starts but it's worth paying it to listen to the jazz group headed by Loston Harris, a singer-pianist who's as smooth as the room in which he performs.

Big Chicks
5024 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 728 5511

Don't be fooled by the name: This unpretentious uptown bar caters equally to lesbians, gays, and straights of all sizes (many are students from nearby Loyola and Northwestern). The narrow main room is awash in red light and decorated with artwork—some of it by extraordinary artists like Diane Arbus—featuring women in various stages of undress. (It's the personal collection of owner, and namesake big chick, Michele Fire.) Bartenders pick the tunes during the week, but DJs take over on the weekends, and the side room, called the Salon, morphs into a dance floor. Though there's no food served (except on Sunday afternoons), Fire's organic restaurant, Tweet, is right next door and open through dinnertime most evenings.

Open Mondays through Fridays 4 pm to 2 am, Saturdays 3 pm to 3 am, Sundays 10 am to 2 am.

Big Sky Brewing Company
5417 Trumpeter Way
Missoula , Montana
Tel: 800 559 2774

Sit down in any bar in western Montana, and pretty soon you'll hear someone order a Moose Drool. A strange-sounding order, but a great beer from this brewery five minutes outside Missoula. The taproom is open until early evening Monday to Saturday. (Brewery tours are available on Fridays.) Besides the Moose Drool, a best-selling brown ale, try the award-winning Scape Goat Pale Ale.

Billy Bob's Texas
2520 Rodeo Plaza
Fort Worth , Texas
Tel: 817 624 7117

Billy Bob's bills itself as "the world's largest honky-tonk." And with three acres under cover and 32 bars (they once sold 16,000 beers during a Hank Williams, Jr., concert), nobody's arguing. In what was once a vast indoor barn for thousands of prize cattle, you now find an undercover small town where multigenerational crowds of 6,000 can gather to play billiards, video games, and slot machines, or watch live bull-riding competitions in the in-house arena—not to mention two-stepping to the A list of country music on a dance floor you could land an airplane on. Concerts here have been staged by the likes of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. The rough-hewn honky-tonk decor is enlivened by Vegas-style neon signs glimmering everywhere, just to make sure you don't get lost going from the dry goods store to the in-house BBQ restaurant. Did we mention that Billy Bob's is really, really big?

Open Sundays noon to 2 am, Mondays through Thursdays 11 am to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am to 5 pm and 6 pm to 2 am.

Billy Goat Tavern
430 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 312 222 1525

The classic Saturday Night Live skit where native Chicagoan John Belushi played a harried Greek line cook—shouting, "Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger. No Pepsi. Coke!"—brought this Chicago institution (which the skit was based on) to national fame in the late '70's. But it's been a local landmark since its original owner, William Sianis, was forbidden by the Chicago Cubs management from bringing his house goat—yes, a real live goat—to Wrigley Field during a 1945 World Series game. Located across the street, and practically beneath, the stately Tribune Tower on a gloomy stretch of Lower Michigan Avenue, the place is immensely popular with tourists. Even so, it's still a haunt for local reporters and advertising execs, and it still serves good, greasy cheeseburgers on fluffy buns. Take time to peruse the yellowed newspaper clippings and Hall of Fame photos that decorate the walls—they're a crash course in Chicago history.

Open Mondays through Fridays 6 am to 2 am, Saturdays 10 am to 3 am, Sundays 11 am to 2 am.

Black Bottle
2600 First Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 441 1500

Belltown has become a bit of a dumping ground for trend bars, but Black Bottle, a latecomer to the worldwide "gastropub" obsession, is a welcome addition to the scene. "Gastrolounge" might be a better descriptor, as the focus here is on wine and specialty cocktails, and there's a rather limited beers-on-tap selection. The small-plates menu, which ranges from cumin pork tenderloin to octopus carpaccio, is hit-or-miss, but at $8 a pop, you can afford to experiment. Attractive without being showy, this small boxy space has wood floors, exposed brick walls, and a few simple wooden tables. It's packed and loud on weekends, but much more sophisticated and fashionable (and far less obnoxious) than most of the neighborhood's fratty bars.

The Black Cat
1811 14th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 667 4490

The Black Cat is hipster ground zero in D.C. The music venue has an impressive pedigree: Foo Fighter Dave Grohl is an investor, and it has played host to a veritable who's who of musicians from Pavement to Modest Mouse to the White Stripes. Downstairs in the Red Room bar, the vintage-clad masses sip Pabst and play pinball, while the upstairs venue alternates between indie rock shows and the occasional dance night. Try to catch Mousetrap, the club's legendary Brit-pop party, held the second Saturday of each month. Popular bands tend to sell out, so be sure to check the club's Web site to get tickets in advance.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 8 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 7 pm to 3 am, and Sundays 8 pm to midnight.

Blue Agave
20 E. Cota Street
Santa Barbara , California
Tel: 805 899 4694

Gen Xers to boomers love the elegant but relaxed atmosphere of this cool bar/restaurant with rich leather couches, dark woods, high ceilings, an upstairs fireplace lounge, and a smoking balcony. Come here for reasonably priced food with a continental drift, an incredible tequila selection, and designer drinks, such as the French Lemonade, Blood Orange, and Mexico City martinis (tequila, cranberry juice, triple sec and a twist of lime).

Open daily 4:30 to 11:30 pm.

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Bluebird Café
4104 Hillsboro Road
Nashville , Tennessee
Tel: 615 383 1461

Shhh! Even a whisper will get you the evil eye from one of the music purists who keep this fabled singer/songwriter Mecca filled night after night. Many of the shushers are Music Row professionals, coming to check out untapped talents who have earned a spot to perform at the Sunday Writers' Night. (Garth Brooks and Kathy Mattea were both discovered here.) Most nights there are two sets, typically starting between 6 and 9 pm. Cover charges are usually $10 or under, with a $7 food and drink minimum for table seats. Reservations are accepted up to one week in advance.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 5:30 pm to 1 am, Sundays 6 pm to 12 am.

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250 N.W. 13th Avenue
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 226 3394

Bluehour isn't exactly the sort of spot you'd expect to find in Portland. The minimalist high-ceiling room is punctuated by massive floral arrangements; sparkling mirrors and high windows create a glittery effect; and a bar lined with shiny liquor bottles is set up along one wall, complete with white leather chairs and ottomans for prime see-and-be-seen lounging. This is Portland at its most trendy, and it attracts a fashionable young crowd who come to drink and socialize, as well as older couples looking for a New York–style night out. The food here is excellent—heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad, seared salmon in a red wine glaze, berry panna cotta—but the real draw is the bar, which starts hopping after work and continues late into the night.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to midnight, Saturdays 5 pm to 1 am, and Sundays 10 am to 9 pm.

Blue Martini
Galleria Mall
2432 E. Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
Tel: 954 653 2583

This burgeoning Florida chainlet of upscale lounges is stashed unprepossessingly on the ground level of the Galleria Mall. It's a shame about the location, because Blue Martini is a friendly, dressy setting for a drink or two; the martini list (half price daily from 4 to 7 p.m.) is heavy on sweet, exotic blends (try the Black Cherry Cosmo) and the snack menu offers finger food like jumbo-shrimp martinis or an assortment of sushi rolls. Among the dark wood and warm lighting, grab a table inside if you want to listen to the nightly live music show, usually light jazz or smoky vocals, or opt for one of the shaded patio spots if you'd rather chat.

Blue Note
131 W. Third Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 475 8592

Don't come here expecting some smoky Village jazz club of romantic legend. This is a far glitzier affair, with offshoots all over the world. You can't argue with the talent, though. The crème de la crème of the jazz world performs here, and on a typical night, you might find Milton Nascimento or the Clark Terry Quintet or David Sanborn or a glittering group of all stars saluting Dizzy Gillespie.

Boatyard Bar & Grill
400 Fourth Street
Annapolis , Maryland
Tel: 410 216 6206

There's good reason so many boating magazines consider this cheery Eastport hangout one of the top bars in the country. Inside the Key West-style structure, dugout canoes and ship's ensigns hang from the rafters while the walls are filled with photographs of old salts, vintage boatyard signs, and taxidermied game fish. It's not all for show, either: there's a ClearPoint high-def weather display of real-time wind conditions on the Bay. Though Boatyard's a yachtie favorite, landlubbers won't feel out of place listening in on tall-ship tales and fishy stories. In addition to the fully stocked bar, a kitchen turns out entrees and excellent munchies, like the baked blue-crab dip, an addictive blend of lump crabmeat, Parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach, and onion.

Open Mondays through Fridays 7:30 am to midnight, Saturdays and Sundays 8 am to midnight.

Bonfire Brewing Co.
127 West Second Street
Eagle , Colorado
Tel: 970 306 7113

This small-batch microbrewery and taproom in nearby Eagle is worth the 30-minute drive from Vail. Opened in December 2010, the bar's 10 taps feature the house brews, with an emphasis on IPAs (try the Firestarter), brown ales, and wheat beers. If you like what you're drinking, look for Bonfire's label at local restaurants and bars, including Larkspur and Bully Ranch in Vail Village.—Samantha Berman

2321 18th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 332 0800

Adams Morgan on the weekends can vacillate between a rowdy bar crawl and a frat party gone too far. But if you're willing to brave the crowds stumbling down 18th Street, you'll find solace in Bourbon, a laid-back but chic bar that caters to a (slightly) better-behaved crowd. In the summer the back garden is a hidden oasis, and in the winter you can warm yourself with the more than 100 whiskeys on offer.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 6 pm to 2 am, Fridays 5 pm to 3 am, Saturdays 11 to 3 am, and Sundays 11 to 2 am.

Bourbon & Branch
501 Jones Street
San Francisco , California

Situated in an authentic 1920s speakeasy, Bourbon & Branch is SF's answer to New York and London's Milk & Honey—an unmarked watering hole in Tenderloin that requires an online reservation (the phone number is unpublished) and a password at the door. Okay, now that you've heard the spiel, here's the real deal: If you want a primetime table in the front room on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, then by all means make a ressie. Otherwise, walk-ins are accommodated in the modish mezzanine lounge, secret library room with vintage tomes, and antique tractor seats at the bar. Despite a glam atmosphere—pressed-tin ceilings, velvet wallpaper, and a custom blown-glass chandelier—the artisan cocktails, crafted with homemade ingredients and fresh produce, are the real draw.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 6 pm to 2 am.

Bourbon St. Pub
724 Duval Street
Key West , Florida
Tel: 305 296 1992

Of all the gay bars on Duval Street, this is the most inclusive and is packed with as many locals as tourists. There's always a party going on here, with video screens, underwear-clad barkeeps, go-go dancers, and theme nights ranging from wigs to turbans to togas. Bourbon Street is part of a five-level complex that also includes a men-only guesthouse and the Garden Bar, a tiki torch–lit garden with a hot tub.

Bourbon Street
New Orleans , Louisiana

Most locals don't spend a lot of time here, but just about every first-time visitor gets drawn into the neon-lit vortex of Bourbon Street. Whether you're looking to relive college-day glories around the piano bar at Pat O'Brien's (718 St. Peter St.; 504-525-4823; or you're lured in by the bands at the Famous Door (339 Bourbon St.; 504-598-4334), this after-dark pedestrian zone provides all the frozen hooch and sensory overload that the law allows (and toting alcohol on the street is legal). If you go, know one thing: Beads outside of Mardi Gras season are best left to socially challenged conventioneers.

Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey Street
Lower East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 533 2111

Bowery enthusiasts go on and on about this concert hall's intimate stage, stellar acoustics, and Beaux Arts charm, but what they're really after are the bragging rights that come with catching the most buzzed-about bands of the moment. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wilco, and Interpol all played the Bowery before moving on to mega-venues. Catch current hot young things like Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling, and No Age before they burst into the national spotlight. Tickets are available online at Big-buzz acts sell out quickly, but you can often score a ticket on Craigslist or in front of the bar the day of the show for relatively little markup.

Call or visit Web site for showtimes.

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The Bowery Electric
327 Bowery
Lower East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 228 0228

It seems like with each sunrise there comes a new condo, hotel, or trendy boutique on the once slummy stretch of the Bowery. Gritty CBGB has been transformed into a John Varvatos store hawking $100 tees, and the flophouses of yesteryear now sport $500-a-night price tags. But some new spots have managed to walk the line between the street's raucous past and its more swank future. Bowery Electric is one of the best. Yes, the space is dark and sparse and there's a suit-clad bouncer, but the door policy is democratic, the DJ is known to play Iggy Pop, and buying a drink won't require you to take out a second mortgage.

Open daily 4 pm to 4 am.

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The Box
189 Chrystie Street
Lower East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 982 9301

Leave it to Simon Hammerstein—grandson of musical titan Oscar—to dream up a theatrical nighttime playground that lures even the most jaded of celebs out of rehab. Antique divans, oversize cushions, and secluded VIP alcoves suggest a Victorian-era bordello, but not without a detour through vaudeville. The stage is the main event here, a spectacle of fire-breathing, striptease, and rotating acts that might include, say, a brass troupe covering Nirvana. Bohemian cabaret this is not; an elitist door policy all but assures you'll be making a pricey bottle service reservation unless you're very well connected (another Box partner also runs hot spot La Esquina). After all, they're entertaining the likes of Madonna and Justin Timberlake here. And while it calls itself a dinner theater, the Box can easily slip into Club Row mode when models and banker types leave their cliquey booths to dance between shows (the first of which starts at 7 pm on weekends).

Open Tuedays through Thursdays 11 pm to 4 am, Fridays and Saturdays 7 pm to 4 am.

Bozeman Brewing Company
504 N. Broadway
Bozeman , Montana
Tel: 406 585 9142

You're not going to find the Bozeman Brewing Company's taproom by accident, which is fine with the regulars who pack the place most weeknights. The bar is five blocks off Bozeman's main strip, next to a lumberyard, and has no real sign, except for a neon light and a few bumper stickers on the gray metal front door. For the last two years, Todd Scott has been brewing in this north-side neighborhood, with a small bar that's open until eight and often has at least five beers on tap, like its signature Bozone Select Amber Ale or summertime Belgium Wit, an oat-and-wheat beer with hints of coriander and orange.

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Brandy Library
25 N. Moore Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 226 5545

Despite the impressive collection of single malts and cognacs, this clubby Tribeca den is neither overly rarefied nor hypermasculine. You're just as likely to find a group of Japanese women decompressing from a Soho shopping excursion as a pack of celebratory bond traders swirling Riedel snifters to a soundtrack of big band music. The 1,000-bottle selection can be intimidating, but a "spirit sommelier" is on hand to guide you, and the kitchen prepares tasty snacks, such as Gruyère cheese napoleons and buttery croque monsieurs, late into the evening.

Open Sundays through Wednesdays 5 pm to 1 am, Thursdays 4 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 4 pm to 4 am.

City Place
700 S. Rosemary Avenue
West Palm Beach , Florida
Tel: 561 366 9753

Shopping mall City Place is full of the suburban staples (Banana Republic, Ann Taylor), which makes it all the more random a place for this brewpub. There are six microbrews on tap, including the dark-brown, chocolaty Black Duke and the crisp, refreshing Boca Blonde lager. The food is no great shakes, but the Gorgonzola-crusted chips are the best snack food in town. The patio gets pretty rowdy on weekend nights, so stick to the dark-wood bar if you are looking for something more low-key.

Bridgeport Brewing Company
1313 N.W. Marshall Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 241 3612

Portland is well-known for its obsession with microbrews, and there's no better place to try them than right at the source. Bridgeport Brewery is among the best of the local options, with a pub, bar, and full restaurant all housed within the cavernous building where the beer is brewed. With exposed brick and beams, this trendy Pearl District space caters to a variety of needs. A café counter at the entrance serves up lattes and baked goods in the morning, the ground-floor pub is suited to groups and families, and the main dining room serves ambitious pub fare, such as house-smoked wild salmon melt and shepherd's pie with stout-braised lamb. But the inviting mezzanine bar, with its high ceilings and spirited crowds, is the most atmospheric place to sample some of the award-winning brews (the India Pale Ale is an excellent choice). It's a popular spot for the clean-cut young techie guys who work in the nearby lofts and converted warehouses.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 7 am to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 7 am to 1 am, and Sundays 7 am to 10 pm.

Broken Spoke
3201 S. Lamar
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 442 6189

Don't come to the Broken Spoke looking for Kenny Chesney or Shania Twain. This is a gen-u-ine honky-tonk with low ceilings, longnecks, and two-steppers shuffling around the dance floor in tight-fittin' jeans and ten-gallon hats. C&W torchbearers like Bruce Robison, the Derailers, and Dale Watson keep the joint jumping. The restaurant serves burgers, enchiladas, and one of the best chicken-fried steaks in town.

Brooklyn Social
335 Smith Street
Carroll Gardens
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 858 7758
Subway: F train to Carroll Street

No password is required to enter Brooklyn Social, once a members-only Sicilian men's club. But once inside, you get the feeling that the young professionals who have invaded the old Italian neighborhood of Carroll Gardens consider the bar their private meeting ground. Regulars huddle up against the long counter, chatting with the bartender over a Peroni, or sit out back in the stone-tiled patio enclosed by a vine-covered green fence. In keeping with the joint's roots, the jukebox has a '50s and '60s selection of Motown and Frank Sinatra tunes, the muddled-fruit cocktails are branded with names like Amalfi and Palermo, and the wine list is exclusively Sicilian. Be sure to raise a glass of grappa to the original members of the Società Riposto, whose framed photos and painted portraits grace the walls.—Douglas Wright

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

Buck 15
707 Lincoln Lane
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 534 5488

Buck 15 occupies the upper floor of popular Asian restaurant Miss Yip's on Lincoln Road, but setting is more akin to a friend's basement than a South Beach nightclub. Vintage velvet lounge chairs are scattered about, and aquarium-like rectangular windows lined with low banquette couches peer onto the street below. Graffiti covers the walls, and metal rafters webbing the ceiling are the perfect place to perch your beverage as the DJ spins long-forgotten AC/DC, Erasure, and Bon Jovi hits. The crowd consists of local musicians, Russian models in jeans and sneakers, and Scandinavians on shore leave from the big cruise ships. Besides lacking typical South Beach pretensions, Buck 15 never hits you with a cover charge.

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 10 pm to 5 am.

Bull & Whistle Bar
224 Duval Street
Key West , Florida
Tel: 305 296 4565

You wouldn't be caught dead at Duval Street's big-name watering holes (Sloppy Joe's, Margaritaville), but there's no shame in making your way to this long-standing come-as-you-are bar. The Bull & Whistle occupies a stately white building with delicate balconies that would look right at home on Bourbon Street. Likewise, drinking and live music are the main themes here. The ground level tends to be crowded with tourists and cruise ship escapees who get rowdy with sing-alongs (it's more mellow during the daytime). Upstairs, at the Whistle Bar, it's a more local scene, with two-for-one well drinks offered all day. People play darts and foosball under lazily spinning fans, to the strains of classic rock 'n' roll (think Crosby, Stills & Nash and Bruce Springsteen ballads). Angle for a stool on the second-floor balcony, which offers one of the best views over Duval Street. If it's your thing, head one level up to the rooftop Garden of Eden bar, a clothing-optional, open-air environment that is not for shy types.—Terry Ward

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 4 am and Sundays noon to 4 am.

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Bungalow 8
515 W. 27th Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 629 3333

Editor's note: Bungalow 8 is currently closed for renovations.

Meant to evoke a prime bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, this perennial hotspot bedecked in palmy decor is genuinely glamorous—a surprisingly rare feat in New York nightlife. And the crowd is often equally alluring—movie stars seem to love owner Amy Sacco, a six-foot-something Glamazon well on her way to achieving her goal of becoming a New York character. First though, you'll have to get past the notoriously tough door policy. Dress fabulously—and try to ensure that your party is predominantly young, female, and attractive.

Café Marc Aurel
28 North Market Street
Wailuku , Hawaii
Tel: 808 244 0852

This lovely French-style coffeehouse and wine bar would be more suited to New York, if it weren't for the tropical smoothies—ice cold, all-fruit creamy concoctions—that are perfect for a hot Maui afternoon. The organic espressos and killer gourmet cheese plates are a good change from the more typical island offerings, though most people come here for the wines—there are over 80 selections by the glass and an open tasting every Saturday. This cafe is a good place to get a snack (try the delicious salads and sandwiches) after 9 pm, and there's live music with no cover charge (Monday night's open mic can be hit or miss, try Tuesdays for Brazillian jazz). Be warned, this Market Street strip gets a little seedy at night.

Café Saint-Ex
1847 14th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 265 7839

Café Saint-Ex started as the ultimate neighborhood spot when it opened in 2003, serving the then gentrifying U Street neighborhood as a combination bistro, bar, dance spot, and sidewalk café. But the Parisian vintage decor, the cozy vibe, and edgy DJs turned it into a destination for people citywide. Now young Hill staffers mingle with the Converse-and-skinny-jean crowd over Chimay and Delirium Tremens beers. On weekends, the tiny downstairs dance floor gets packed with the young and intoxicated grinding to Top 40 and hip hop. Weeknights tend to attract an artier set with indie rock, Brit pop, and occasional surprise DJ sets by rockers dropping by after shows at the nearby Black Cat.

Open Mondays 5:30 pm to 1:30 am, Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays 11 am to 1:30 am, and Fridays and Saturdays 11 am to 2:30 am.

580 Sutter Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 398 0195

Dozens of votive candles cast a honeyed glow upon coppery tequila-hued walls and neo-tropical wallpaper inside this cozy Latin art salon and "culinary cocktail" lounge near Union Square. It's a comfortable hole-in-the-wall with cowhide armchairs and wine-barrel tables. Owner Duggan McDonnell is known for his artisanal drinks, and bartenders from around town grab stools at the long bar to watch him mix up exotic cocktails. The blackberry and cabernet caipirinha—available by the pitcher—is a blend of Three Thieves Cab, cachaca, and fresh fruit. Other libations play with hints of pastis, riesling brandy, and sangiovese. If you're stumped about what to order, the margaritas are superb. Deejays spin most evenings, and if you're so moved, there's a tiny space to dance.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am.

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Carousel Bar
Hotel Monteleone
214 Royal Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 523 3341

This ornate watering hole couldn't be more aptly named: Every chair rotates at a glacial pace around the circular carnival-themed bar, making exactly four revolutions an hour. A subdued atmosphere, leering jester heads, and a star-speckled ceiling make it a suitably Dalí-esque place for a nightcap.

Open daily 11 am to 2 am.

Casanova Italian Restaurant & Deli
1188 Makawao Avenue
Makawao , Hawaii
Tel: 808 572 0220

This is good as it gets on Maui—a modest Italian restaurant in the little cowboy town of Makawao that turns into a funky bar–disco late at night. The crowd is sometimes very young—mostly early to mid-20s—but it's a sun-kissed and fun-loving scene. It's not a standing around or standing-off kind of place: People get up and dance (albeit to some really predictable music). Ladies Night (currently on Wednesdays, but call to confirm) is the hot ticket—women get in free and visitors (new blood) get a lot of attention.

Casino Wharf FX
286 Grand Avenue
Falmouth , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 540 6160

Casino Wharf FX is slightly more decorous—and attracts a slightly older crowd—than the raucous Casino nightclub it replaced in 2007. But it's still fun, with a friendly staff, live jazz on many evenings, and unparalleled sunsets. There's a (pricey) seafood menu, but come instead for its two hopping bars—one on each balcony, overlooking the beach and (in the distance) Martha's Vineyard. Floor-to-ceiling windows guarantee the view, even if the weather's chilly.

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Catalina Jazz Club
6725 W. Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 466 2210

This dinner club is L.A.'s premier spot for big-name jazz—in the past, the diverse list has included Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Betty Carter, and Tony Williams. Now in a newer space that's bigger than the cramped original spot, the club can seat 250 and the larger stage can accommodate bigger groups. The vibe is grown-up—think of an elegant supper club with tablecloths on round tables. The acts are the center of attention.

142 Hana Highway
Paia , Hawaii
Tel: 808 579 9453

This divey saloon and pool hall, ceremoniously decorated with pictures of its patron saint, country singer and local resident Willie Nelson (who is rumored to be part owner), throws down a makeshift dance floor on the weekends. It's a haphazard sort of party, but the locals love to let their hair down here, making it the perfect spot to begin an island-style lost weekend. On occasion, Nelson does play here, sometimes with friends like Bonnie Raitt, who might be in town to perform at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. It's unlikely you'll get into one of these private shows, but just stand in the parking lot for a free concert.

Open Mondays through Saturdays.

Chez Jay
1657 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica , California
Tel: 310 395 1741

This 45-year-old bar and steak 'n' seafood joint right next to the Third Street Promenade is an institution. The place hasn't changed much since Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen used to drop in; the decor, with its red-and-white overhead awnings, red vinyl booths, and a wooden ship's wheel, is still maritime-funky; peanut shells still crunch underfoot as you walk across the floor. The vibe is completely laid-back, which is why everyone from failed screenwriters to A-listers (Sean Penn, Julia Roberts) still considers it a favorite hangout.

Chicago Blues

Chicago blues music is justifiably famous; some of the best-known living blues performers—including Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, Koko Taylor, and Junior Wells—cut their teeth in the music clubs here in the '50s and '60s. These days, there are still plenty of places where you can catch top-notch blues acts.

Downtown, you can get two clubs for the price of one at Blue Chicago's two locations. The Blue Chicago store holds an all-ages set every Saturday. On the South Side, Buddy Guy's Legends presents live blues acts seven nights a week. In Lincoln Park, bands play on two stages till 5 a.m. Sunday morning at Kingston Mines, one of Chicago's largest clubs, with the tagline "Hear blues, drink booze, eat food".

The annual Chicago Blues Festival, the largest free-admission event of its kind, attracts 750,000 fans to Grant Park each June.

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18 Little W. 12th Street
West Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 645 5700

Hip locals no longer congregate in the Meatpacking District—they moved on when word got out. But that doesn't mean this liquor-fueled playground should be avoided altogether; it still swarms with energy after dark. Cielo holds its own, largely because of its singular focus on booking top-notch DJs. François K spins at the Deep Space party on Monday nights, and Junior Vasquez makes an appearance at least once a month. The club's sunken dance floor is great for voyeurs and exhibitionists alike, and—bucking the district's standard MO—there is no cordoned-off VIP section. Early in the evening, you might find wide-eyed tourists and an older crowd trying to stay hip, but as the night wears on, the dub and deep-house grooves eventually coax even the most jaded scenesters through the doors and onto the dance floor.

Closed Tuesdays and some Sundays.

Universal Orlando
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 363 8000

The CityWalk entertainment plaza is notably hipper than the tame offerings at Disney's Pleasure Island. An outpost of New Orleans mainstay Pat O'Brien's ladles its strong Hurricane rum cocktails; there's live reggae at Bob Marley: A Tribute to Freedom; and a deafening dance lounge called The Groove thunders into the wee hours. Some of the clubs only admit patrons aged 21 or over, which adds to the cool factor, but the zone maintains its all ages-vibe with carnival games for the kids and margarita booths for the adults, since alcoholic beverages can be consumed anywhere on the premises, including outdoors.

Clover Club
210 Smith Street
Cobble Hill
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 855 7939
Subway: F train to Bergen Street

Mixologist Julie Reiner, co-owner of Pegu Club in Soho, brings her tested formula for a classic cocktail spot to Cobble Hill. The Clover Club is a wood-paneled lounge named after the Philadelphia journalists' organization so renowned for its drinking habits that it inspired a namesake libation. The centerpiece is an 18th-century miners' bar transplanted from Virginia; there's ample space for dining on oysters on the half shell and steak tartare at the wooden tables out front, and a sunken living room in back is perfect for lounging on couches. The leather-clad menu has long-winded descriptions and lengthy lists of sours, swizzles, Collinses, and fizzes—if you can't decide, the skilled bartenders will simply whip you up something tailored to your likes, cracking the ice, mixing those liquors and mystery nectars, adding perhaps a wisp of egg white for a foamy finish, and shaking out some of the tastiest cocktails this side of the East River.—Douglas Wright

Open Mondays through Thursdays 11 am to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am to 4 am, and Sundays 11 am to 12:30 am.

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The Colony
1743 N. Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 525 2450

Colony has an indoor-outdoor scene that aims to bring the Hamptons to Hollywood with a spiffed-up nautical vibe. Decor includes wood-plank floors, hammocks, and even a boat-shaped swing hanging from the ceiling. For hassle-free entry, arrive early (that means 10ish) to stake out your space on the cabana-style seating. After an alcoholic "sushi" (Jell-O shots wrapped in rice paper) or five, it's inevitable you'll end up on the outdoor dance floor, jumping around with the young Hollywood set to a bouncy mix of house, hip-hop, and Top 40.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10 pm to 2 am.

Columbia Room
1021 7th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 393 0220

If you can get a much sought-after reservation, you'll find tiny Columbia Room hidden away behind sister bar the Passenger, through multiple doorways. This 16-seater is part apothecary, part Japanese omakase experience. Owner and master of ceremonies Derek Brown chips ice from a wooden hangiri while holding forth on the chemistry of tinctures and the history of tiki. Tipplers tend to linger, taste-testing new recipes, mellowing out to the acoustic indie soundtrack, and ordering one last cocktail. We suggest the martini, the perfect marriage of precision (Brown uses a thermometer) and flair (that cut crystal coupe!).—Colleen Clark

Columns Bar
Columns Hotel
3811 St. Charles Avenue
Garden District
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 899 9308

If you're staying near the Quarter, take the classic St. Charles Avenue streetcar uptown and enjoy a cocktail and the view from this classic Garden District veranda. The indoor bar—all dark wood, with plenty of canoodling nooks—sometimes gets packed with a college-age and younger set on weekend nights, so plan off-peak sipping or a morning-shift Bloody Mary.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 3 pm to midnight, Fridays 3 pm to 2 am, Saturdays noon to 2 am, and Sundays noon to midnight.

Continental Club
1315 S. Congress Avenue
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 441 2444

Austin's best live-music venue is also one of its oldest, having opened in 1957. The late, great blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan often unleashed his guitar solos here, and the bands—local mainstays and touring acts alike—are usually rootsy rock. The club exudes retro cool, from the vintage roadsters parked out front to the decked-out couples spinning around the postage-stamp-size dance floor. Every Tuesday, R&B diva Toni Price sings along to a guitarist and fiddle player, as she's done for 15 years.

Coyote Cafe
210 The Plaza
Beaver Creek , Colorado
Tel: 970 949 5001

This isn't your boss's Beaver Creek. The slope-side Coyote Cafe, a fave of the mountain staff, is a refreshing alternative to the swank that's been steamrolled across the village. Inside, you'll find a Corona logo–bedecked kayak and a disco ball hanging from the ceiling, and a buffalo head mounted on the brick wall. The clientele can be as colorful as the decor: Lift operators, ski school instructors, and snow bunnies stream in at 4 pm and again after 10 pm for late-night action until 1 am. The tap selection includes Dos Equis and Fat Tire along with the standard Bud and Bud Light, or you can try your luck with a $58 pitcher of Cougar margaritas made with Corzo Añejo tequila.—Sarah Tuff

Open daily 8 am to 1 am.

Cucina dell Arte
257 Royal Poinciana Way
Palm Beach , Florida
Tel: 561 655 0770

Dinner service at this restaurant ends at 10 pm: That's when the tables are cleared and the place morphs from brassy but fun Italian eatery into one of the Island's scenier bars, which goes until a very un–Palm Beach 3 am. There's a huge patio out front on the street—ideal for rubbernecking—and usually a reliable, mainstream DJ. Expect a crowd that's much younger than at most nightlife spots here, and dressed in everything from flip-flops to a tux (it's a benefit after-party staple).

4905 Freret Street
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 302 2357

When Cure opened in 2009, it became a linchpin in the development of Uptown's Freret Street district, now one of the city's fastest-growing nightlife areas. Located in a renovated firehouse, this contemporary cocktail bar sports an airy, smoke-free vibe with plenty of elbow room, cozy banquettes, and an intimate courtyard for alfresco imbibing. The rotating staff features some of the most creative mixologists in town, with a constantly changing cocktail list that reflects both the season and their collective tastes. "Winter Is Coming" pairs a heady rum with mellow walnut liqueur, cream, and chocolate bitters. A tiny kitchen runs late into the night (Monday through Thursday until midnight, Friday and Saturday until 2 am) serving small plates and sophisticated bar food from Sazerac-roasted almonds to a more substantial short-rib sandwich layered with shiitake mushrooms and gruyère.—Pableaux Johnson

Open daily from 5 pm.

D.O.C Wine Bar
83 N. Seventh Street
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 963 1925
Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue

D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) is a quality assurance label of sorts for Italian wines, and this namesake neo-rustic enoteca in Williamsburg takes similar care in choosing varietal blends that make the grade. Sardinia is a well-represented region on the list—the blackberry-nosed Perdera Monica di Sardegna and the Sella e Mosca are both pleasant quaffs. Better still, many wines are sold by the marzianetto (tasting shot), so you can attend to gaps in your knowledge of Sardinian vintages quickly. Rough-hewn woodblock tables and plank floors strike a casual tone, and the bar area becomes home to a lively, air-kissing scene as the evening progresses. There's a small plate selection to absorb the sulfites—crostini with pâté and goat cheese, for example, or a tagliere spread of Italian meats and cheeses—all delivered with a charming "Salute!"

Open Monday through Thursday 6 pm to midnight; Friday and Saturday 6 pm to 1 am.

Dallas Bars

<p>It wasn't that long ago that you couldn't legally buy a drink in Dallas; now the city's nightlife is enlivened by a plethora of imaginative bars. <strong>Double Wide,</strong> is a wry ode to trailer-park culture, done up with old car parts, Astroturf, macram&#233;, and paintings on velvet; this is a place to quaff domestic beer and listen to live local rockabilly favorites. For something more upscale, try the inimitable <strong>Inwood Lounge</strong> inside the lobby of the art house Inwood Theatre. The gray slate and soothing Zen water wall make it ideal for quiet post-art-flick conversations over vodka martinis. At <strong>Ghostbar</strong> in the W Hotel, gussied-up pretty people down cocktails in a bar that sometimes borders on too trendy, depending on your scenester tolerance. <strong>Trece</strong> boasts a tequila bar with hundreds of selections. <strong>Bar Belmont</strong> is all glass, retro furniture, pastel cushions, martinis&#133;like an Arab harem done up in 1950s swank. An expansive if pricey wine selection packs Dallasites into <strong>Cr&#250;,</strong> a West Village wine bar with Francophile styling. One of the hottest new restaurants in Dallas, <strong>Sangr&#237;a Tapas y Bar,</strong> might nonetheless be better simply as a place to nibble on bacon-wrapped Medjool dates stuffed with Cabrales, take in the scene, and drink the aphrodisiac for which the bar is named.

Dargan's Irish Pub
18 E. Ortega Street
Santa Barbara , California
Tel: 805 568 0702

You can get your Guinness, Murphy's, Smithwick's, and Irish whiskey here, along with shepherd's pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. A lively pub with four pool tables, Dargan's has themed fun, such as dart night on Tuesdays and Irish fiddlers on Thursdays. Foggy Dew, a local Irish folklore and music band, plays regular Saturday gigs.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 4:30 pm to 2 am, Fridays through Sundays 11:30 am to 2 am.

618 Frenchmen Street
Faubourg Marigny
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 942 3731

Great beer, live music, and a deep list of premium spirits make this storefront bar a hipster destination (it's an outpost of the New York City joint, after all). Most evenings, half of the dark cypress space is sealed off until bands take the tiny rear stage. For a fish-eye view of passing street traffic, jockey for a front booth by the aquariumlike wraparound windows.

Open daily; hours vary.

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Deep Ellum
Dallas , Texas

Alas, Deep Ellum's trendsetting days are over. Formerly the haunt of legendary bluesmen such as Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter during the 1920s, Deep Ellum's funky music clubs produced platinum acts like Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians in the '80s; art galleries, art bars, and quirky shops soon followed. Although the scene has mostly moved uptown to areas like the West Village and Victory Park, and although parts of the area can be unsafe, it's worth the trip to experience Club Dada. The bar preserves the raw feel of Deep Ellum in its heyday, with entertainment ranging from quirky rockers to blues to poetry readings.

Democratic Republic of Beer
255 N.E. 14th Street
Miami , Florida
Tel: 305 372 4565

Just what downtown Miami's nightlife scene needed—that's the universal refrain about the Democratic Republic of Beer, which opened to the hops-happy public in October 2009. The owners (two friends who met on Miami's hospitality scene) shared a common love for exotic beers that couldn't be quenched—so they built their own temple to the cause and stocked it with more than 400 types of beer. The perpetually updated menu includes everything from Bulgarian, Haitian, and Polish brews to Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, which costs about 20 times as much as the $2.50 Pabst Blue Ribbon. And in true egalitarian spirit, you can vote online for the house favorite, which is the only beer they keep on tap. The food offerings, such as bangers and mash, chicken tikka masala, and tilapia en papillote, are as worldly as the brews. The DRB's unlikely location, in a cinder-block building across the street from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, adds color to the clientele: At night, the crowd morphs from pretheater patrons to tattooed and pierced sound crews; journalists wander over from the nearby Miami Herald building, and artsy types come hither from the nearby Design District. In addition to the granite bar, banquette couches, and small tables that line the narrow interior, a couch and a few tables are usually pulled onto the sidewalk, adding a retro-chic yard sale vibe to the fun, casual atmosphere.—Terry Ward

Open daily 5 pm to 5 am.

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Dexter's of Thornton Park
808 E. Washington Street
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 648 2777

Tourists in Orlando usually party at theme park–linked complexes like Downtown Disney or Universal's CityWalk, or along International Drive's tacky, neon-lit corridor. But savvy out-of-towners know that the real place to be is downtown. Dexter's in Thornton Park is one of those exposed-ductwork industrial spaces with concrete floors. Tables, booths, and high-tops surround a large rectangular bar, where most of the settle-in-and-stay-a-while hanging out takes place. The food here is solid, as well, and the brunch crowd descends on Saturday and Sunday for Bloody Mary specials and flavored mimosas, while on Tuesday nights the $1 burgers are the draw. Regardless of the day, classic rock pumps through the speakers, and while the decibel level of the music stays relatively sane, the ambient chatter creates quite a din when the place is packed. Overall, it's an Orlando scene far more organic than in theme park world.—Terry Ward

Open Mondays through Wednesdays 7 am to 10 pm, Thursdays 7 am to 11 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 7 am to midnight, and Sundays 7 am to 10 pm.

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District Restaurant & Lounge
180 Lincoln Street
Boston , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 426 0180

To avoid the college fray, thirtysomethings with manicures, polo shirts, and cash to blow on $10 lemon-drop Martinis head to this lounge on a nondescript street in the Leather District, near South Station. The interior gleams with silvery birch trees lining the walls and white leather banquettes beneath white chandeliers, and you can chat without screaming over the electronica and hip-hop that's piped in. It's a little slice of New York, but don't worry about that doorman checking his clipboard: As long as you're business-casual (a Chanel bag wouldn't hurt), you'll make the cut. And the line usually tops out at a 15-minute wait. There's a restaurant, but come for drinks instead.

Open Mondays and Tuesdays 4 pm to 2 am, Wednesdays through Saturdays 7 pm to 2 am, Sundays 10 pm to 2 am.

Dive Bars in the Hamptons

Locals rarely mingle with the summer set, so if you want to shoot a game of pool with your lifeguard or plumber, seek out a dive bar. In Sag Harbor, Murf's Backstreet Tavern is the place to go for beer, sliders, and pizza. Just don't drink too many pints—the Sag police station is next door. In East Hampton's Springs neighborhood (largely inhabited by locals), Wolfie's Tavern pours an all-American selection of beers and entertains with satellite TV, a jukebox, and a horseshoe pit. Dress down or you will stand out, and how.

Doraku Waikiki
Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Third Floor
2233 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 922 3323

Waikiki is striving to become the new South Beach, so it's fitting that Kevin Aoki chose it as the location of his outpost of Lincoln Road sushi mainstay Doraku. Aoki, son of Benihana's Rocky Aoki, serves only mediocre food, but this large, comfortable restaurant and bar on the top floor of the refurbished Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center has found its niche as a place to see and be seen. It's often the first stop on the nightlife crawl, so order up a flight of sake (there are 20 options) or a classic cocktail, and see where the night leads. DJs spin on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays starting around 9 pm.

Sundays through Thursdays 11:30 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 2 am.

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Doug Fir Bar and Lounge
830 E. Burnside Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 231 9663

With bands almost every night of the week and a state-of-the-art sound system, this is one of the city's premier live music venues. Get here early to mingle with local indie music fans and enjoy a drink in the ground-floor bar, a sort of urban lodge with retro accents (gold beaded curtains dangling from raw timbers). On a warm summer evening, the casual outdoor terrace is packed. The vast, spare basement lounge was decorated by the same cosmopolitan lumberjack. But once you're down there, it's all about the music, which has included shows from hometown heroes like the Decemberists and Spoon. Doors generally open at 8 pm and the music starts at 9, but it's wise to get tickets in advance (order through Tickets West, Although the Doug Fir also has a restaurant, you're better off dining elsewhere. Plan ahead and book a room at the affiliated Jupiter Hotel—at the end of the night, you can tumble straight into bed.

Open daily 7 am to 2:30 am.

Downtown Cocktail Room
111 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 880 3696

In an era when even airport bars have a signature cocktail, it's reassuring to know that the true art of mixology hasn't been lost. The Downtown Cocktail Room, a dimly lit joint with a hidden entrance well off the Strip, is a haunt for local artist types that nonetheless takes its drinks seriously. As your bartender playfully squabbles with the cocktail waitresses, he's running obscure ingredients through his head to make your drink. When we visited, we gave George the bartender a test: Make a gin-based cocktail that would convert an avid anti-gin type in our group. He passed with a fresh and fragrant cucumber-tinted concoction. We also recommend his Le CHAIse Sipper—a cocktail of Ketel One, elderflower liqueur, ruby red chai tea, cherry juice, and agave nectar. Served in a cognac snifter, the drink is as much about smell—a piece of sage and a cinnamon stick floated on top—as it is about taste.

Open Mondays through Fridays from 4 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 7 pm.

Driskill Bar
604 Brazos Street
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 391 7162

This venerable Austin hotel is known for its rooms and its restaurant, but the very best part of it might be the evocative bar, which transports you to the days of the Old West. Everything's done up in cowhide and polished copper, the barmen are genteel, and the crowd is all Texas money. There's live piano music some evenings, and always enough activity to make the place feel lively, even on a weeknight when the rest of downtown Austin's bars are empty. The Scotch selection and small but well-chosen beer list are the highlights drink-wise.

Open Sundays through Thursdays noon to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays noon to 2 am.

Dry Creek Saloon
4812 Mount Bonnell Road
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 453 9244

A ramshackle dive bar with a million-dollar sunset view. Leaning drunkenly by the side of the road near the top of Mount Bonnell, just west of town, Dry Creek has a rooftop deck that looks out over Lake Austin and the Hill Country. The tables are rickety, the beer is cheap, and the jukebox is always playing Willie or Waylon. It's owned by a cranky old lady who insists if you take a bottle up to the deck you won't get another until you bring the empty down. Don't believe us? Just try her.

Duckpin Bowling

Legend has it that this esoteric sport, with its squat pins and light, melon-size bowling ball, was invented a century ago in Baltimore. It's been a popular mid-Atlantic pastime ever since. Just east of Little Italy, Mustang Alleys sports four duckpin and eight regular lanes. A classy venue with a well-stocked bar, high-def TV screens, and upscale comfort-food menu (crab nachos, lobster mac 'n' cheese), it's open daily until midnight and attracts an under-30, professional crowd. About a mile east, on the outskirts of Fells Point, family-friendly Patterson Bowling Center has been setting down pins since 1927, making it the oldest operating duckpin alley in the nation. Its 12 lanes are open for league play as well as walk-ins. There's a small snack bar, but you can also bring in your own food—and beer.

Mustang Alleys open Mondays through Wednesdays 4:30 pm to midnight, Thursdays through Sundays noon to midnight.

Patterson Bowling Center open Mondays 1 to 9:30 pm, Tuesdays 9:30 am to 9:30 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 1 pm to 9:30 pm, Fridays 10 am to 12:30 am, Sundays 2 pm to 9 pm.

Dusty Boot Steakhouse & Saloon
304 St. James Place
Beaver Creek , Colorado
Tel: 970 748 1146

A chain bar and restaurant with three other locations in Colorado, the Boot is kicking from 3 to 5 pm, when for just $6 patrons can get some pretty decent grub (quesadillas, fish tacos) along with a draft beer. Like the Coyote Café, it's got an over-the-top margarita (the 46-ounce Platinum for $200). But mostly it's an island of good value—where mostly regular Joes tip back cans of PBR and shots of tequila—in a sea of Veuve Clicquot and caviar. Though the blond wood and bright lights don't scream Alpine coziness, the tin ceiling and cowboy posters are nice touches, and there are 16 beers on tap.—Sarah Tuff

Open daily noon to 10 pm.

Eagle Tavern
398 12th Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 626 0880

The Sunday afternoon beer bust at the Eagle Tavern is—by far—the biggest daytime boy-bar scene in the city. Everyone from leather-clad biker dudes to bicycle shorts–wearing gymheads shows up to swill all-you-can-drink beer on the huge outdoor patio. (If you're still recovering from the night before, you can also take refuge in the always-dark billiards room). It's dinner time when you see a tiny Mexican woman carrying a red cooler; she's the famous “Tamale Lady” and makes some of SF's tastiest. Say yes when she asks if you want hot sauce. The scene peaks between 4 and 6 pm, then dies when the sun goes down.

Open daily noon to 2 am.

Ear Inn
326 Spring Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 226 9060

A vestige of old New York, this bar, which opened in the early 19th century, has been known by various names. The current moniker—said to be taken from a music magazine named Ear, published in one of the rooms above—may have been chosen for its convenience alone: the owners simply painted out part of the "B" in the sign that said "BAR." Whatever the name, it's the antidote to all the stylish spots popping up around town, a real, old fashioned tavern, complete with live bluesy music several nights a week, regular customers who've been coming for decades, and waitresses who've seen it all.

Open daily noon to 4 am.

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East/West Lounge
8851 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood , California
Tel: 310 360 6186

A sophisticated lounge on the spot of the old Revolver, East/West has light bamboo floors and intimate seating on couches and plush chairs. The mixed drinks here use fresh ingredients (try the summery Ambrosia cocktail, made with Smirnoff watermelon vodka and wonderfully tangy guava juice). There's a members-only VIP area overlooking the activity downstairs, but the place is just as much fun for nonmembers. The crowd is predominantly gay but has a mix, and celebs like Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore have been known to drop in.

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The Edison
108 W. 2nd Street
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 213 613 2000

The Edison, an Art Deco–inspired cocktail spot housed in a revamped power plant, is what the Machine Age might have been if there were better couches back then. You can sit inside an old boiler, hang out between Frankenstein-lab-like gauges and generally feel like Edison himself amid inventive nooks and crannies. It's cavernous (in the sense that it's both big and subterranean) but there are lots of little spots within for closer encounters. Stick around for the Eddies—a lively flapper showgirl revue—on Fridays and Saturdays.

Open Wednesdays through Fridays 5 pm to 2 am, Saturdays from 6 pm to 2 am.

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Eighteenth Street Lounge
1212 18th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 466 3922

The unmarked entrance, long lines, and strict door policy (women: channel your inner Sienna Miller; men: come with those women) scream exclusivity, but inside, 18th Street Lounge is a pretension-free zone. Make yourself at home on shabby-chic couches lit by roaring fireplaces and ornate candelabra, catch the sunset on the back deck, or chat over a jazz combo in the upstairs lounge. Because it's home base for local DJ act Thievery Corporation, you can expect a mix of trip-hop, acid jazz, and Brazilian beats as well as a good-looking mixed crowd (the bouncer is there for a reason).

Open Tuesdays through Thursdays 5:30 pm to 2 am, Fridays 5:30 pm to 3 am, Saturdays 9:30 pm to 3 am, and Sundays 10 pm to 2 am. Closed Mondays.

Elbo Room
241 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
Tel: 954 463 4615

First opened in 1938, the Elbo Room hit headlines in the early 1960s when it became ground zero for the wholesome hipsters who flocked to Fort Lauderdale in its beach party heyday. The Elbo Room's popularity came down to one thing: the fab movie Where the Boys Are, in which the watering hole co-starred with Paula Prentiss and a young but already tanned George Hamilton (the less said about 1984's Lorna Luft-starring remake, though, the better). These days, the Elbo Room—now run by Miami's Penrod company, which created the tiki-themed Nikki Beach—is a firm frat-party favorite; unpretentious, beer-chugging, and flip-flop-friendly. Would dapper George approve?

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El Dorado Cocktail Lounge
1030 Broadway
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 237 0550

These days, anyone with a strainer seems to call him- or herself a mixologist, but the spirit slingers behind the bar at El Dorado Cocktail Lounge are the real deal. The ice there is perfectly cubed, and there's a daily selection of freshly squeezed juices and a seasonally changing menu—the fall selection highlights one-off recipes such as the Honey Badger (premium rye, honey, and bitters). In spite of the barkeeps' waxing poetic about black rum and a DJ scene that constantly tries to drown them out, El Dorado is the most welcoming hipster saloon this side of Brooklyn. Locals in the red booths or at the long bar welcome visitors with neighborly hellos, while a wall-mounted white buffalo gazes fondly down at the indie kids and revival-rock bands below.—Audrey Davidow

Open Saturdays through Thursdays 7 pm to 2 am, Fridays 5 pm to 2am.

Elevation Bar
304 East Hopkins Avenue
Aspen , Colorado
Tel: 970 544 5166

Snag a seat in the lounge and peruse the lengthy list of hard-to-find wines, selection of creative cocktails and late-night menu—slow-roasted rum-and-coke pork tacos, ahi pizza, and more—served till 11:30 nightly.—by Samantha Berman

Enzian Theater
1300 S. Orlando Avenue
Maitland , Florida
Tel: 407 629 0054

No one goes to the Enzian just for a movie, although it's possible. This unique institution's patio bar, made of Brazilian walnut and shaded by Spanish moss, embodies the laid-back Florida lifestyle in a way no other movie theater attempts. In addition to the usual cocktails, you can order Cuban rum made before the embargo, 1901 Scotch, and 1916 bourbon, all from the private cellars of the founder, the granddaughter of an Austrian princess. Inside the theater, seating is exclusively at tables, and a discreet staff serves a full menu during the show (BLTs with house-made bacon, mushroom burgers, a house coffee blend). The lineups alternate between mainstream and independent screenings, indulging in little of the haughtiness of other art-house cinemas. Considering it also hosts six major film festivals a year, the Enzian could be the envy of cineasts in any city.

Visit Web site or call ahead for showtimes.

EOS Lounge
500 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara , California
Tel: 805 564 2410

EOS is a sleek party lounge that morphs into a dance club hosted by the area's hottest DJs around 10 pm. This place is one of downtown's scenier spots, but the vibe—and the door policy—is as relaxed as the beach town itself. You're just as likely to find a red-nosed tourist knocking back a Heineken as you are a local in Hugo Boss flip-flops sipping organic cocktails inspired by seasonally correct ingredients. Guests gravitate to the heated outdoor patio, decked out in Mediterranean island scheme with burbling fountains, an al fresco fireplace, and plenty of pillow-strewn booths for kicking back.

Open Thursdays and Fridays 5 pm to 2 am, Saturdays 8 pm to 2 am.

The Estate
1 Boylston Place
Boston , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 351 7000

An over-the-top dance club wrapped around a two-level atrium, The Estate is where Boston's club kids (meaning largely international students and visiting celebrities) hang out. The prices and cover charges are high, and you can expect a line behind the velvet rope—but the people-watching is unbeatable. The decor can best be described as baroque, with lots of chandeliers, curtains, and full-length mirrors in gilded frames. Opt if you can for the separate dance floor in the basement, which is open Saturdays and is slightly less pretentious.—Jon Marcus

Open Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 pm to 2 am, Fridays 10:30 pm to 2 am.

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2208 Elliston Place
Nashville , Tennessee
Tel: 615 321 3340

Exit/In is the jewel in the crown of Elliston Place, a.k.a. the "Rock Block," a dingy stretch of road near Vanderbilt packed with bars, a few decent restaurants, and some small retailers. Dark, smelly, and a dive in every sense of the word, it's Nashville's version of CBGB. It's even hosted some of the same bands as the now-defunct New York club, including the Talking Heads and Sonic Youth, as well as R.E.M. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers before they broke big—not to mention country rebels George Jones and David Allen Coe. On nights when smaller bands play, cover is taken at the door. For larger shows (usually featuring national touring bands), advance tickets are sold online and via Ticketmaster. Capacity is 400, and hot shows tend to sell out quickly.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 8 pm to 3 am.

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Loews Regency Hotel
540 Park Avenue
Upper East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 339 4095

Grammy winner, singer, and pianist Michael Feinstein's cabaret lounge, located at the Loews Regency Hotel (aka "540 Park"), is as much a New York institution as cabaret itself. Lots of wood and lots of velvet surround the main stage, as diners (the space fits 140) can practically reach out and touch big-name class acts along the lines of Betty Buckley, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Patti Lupone, and, of course, Feinstein. There's a $40 minimum per diner, which doesn't include ticket price (which ranges from $50 to $110 depending on the act); jackets are suggested, but not required.

Shows at 8:30 pm Sundays through Thursdays; shows on Fridays and Saturdays are at 8 pm and 10 pm.

The Fillmore
1805 Geary Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 346 6000

Once a 1920s dance hall, the Fillmore is decorated with concert posters dating back to its heyday in the mid-'60s, when legendary rock producer Bill Graham lured some of the biggest names in music here. Santana and the Grateful Dead played the Fillmore before they were widely known. Today, it's still the place to see big-name rock and alt-rock groups, and, strangely, free apples are always provided (a tradition started by Graham). Barring a few balcony seats, admission is standing room only; you can snag a place up front if you arrive early. Don't miss the million-dollar collection of psychedelic concert posters in the upstairs gallery.

Fireside Lounge
Peppermill Restaurant
2985 Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 735 4177

A 30-year-old dive bar located behind a greasy spoon restaurant on the Strip? Now you're talkin'. Walk into the front door of the Peppermill Restaurant and turn left—yep, that's a sunken fire pit and black-light-lit, dark-as-night room full of red velvet couches. The Fireside Lounge is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the vibe never changes no matter the hour. Fake foliage, electric candles, and fruit-topped tropical drinks never go out of style here. You're guaranteed to see all types of humanity, from the guy that got stuck in Vegas back in '72 to furtive couples who are married (but not to each other). Insiders know there are a few off-the-menu cocktails such as the Scorpion—a killer mix of two vodkas, two rums, two brandies, and OJ, served in a massive bowl.

520 Flat Shoals Avenue S.E.
Atlanta , Georgia
Tel: 404 688 8864

Where adults go to drink in East Atlanta: This bar rises admirably above the hipster fray surrounding its Flat Shoals address and cultivates a laid-back, neighborhood-pub feeling. Above-average bar food is available (burgers, wings, and vegetarian options).

Foreign Cinema/Laszlo Bar
2534 Mission Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 648 7600

One wall of this restaurant's expansive heated courtyard functions as a screen for art-house foreign films—but most patrons don't actually watch the movies. Rather, the flickering frames of Antonioni's Blow-Up and Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi serve as a glamorous nighttime backdrop for cocktails and flirting. The California-Mediterranean cuisine is reliably good, although—again—it plays second fiddle to the scene. The adjoining industrial-chic Laszlo bar has rotating DJs. The whole ensemble makes this a great date spot.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open Mondays through Fridays 6 pm to 2 am, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am to 2 am.

Formosa Cafe
7156 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 850 9050

Across the street from the former Goldwyn Studio, this boxy red bar with an ersatz Chinese interior has been a favorite drinking spot for decades. There's still an air of bygone glamour; more than 200 black-and-white photos of celebrities who've graced the place line the walls, and the bar is still used as an occasional movie location (a scene from L.A. Confidential was shot here). When an encroaching development threatened to raze Formosa a few years ago, the outcry of fans kept it from becoming a parking lot.

Frenchmen Street
Faubourg Marigny
New Orleans , Louisiana

Don't worry about "checking local listings": The music in this up-and-coming entertainment zone in the Faubourg Marigny district (just beyond the French Quarter) practically washes through the streets on weekend nights. Jazz hounds make a beeline for pianist Ellis Marsalis's home in the city, Snug Harbor (626 Frenchmen St.; 504-949-0696), while the salsa and world music crowds congregate at Café Brasil (2100 Chartres St.; no phone). Blues trickles through the doors of the Spotted Cat (623 Frenchmen St.; 504-943-3887) and the dingy Apple Barrel (609 Frenchmen St.; 504-949-9399). Before you settle in for a show, take a quick walk and sample the sounds, then choose one that fits the night's mood.

Frolic Room
6245 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 462 5890

This nicotine-stained serious drinker's bar sits right next door to the Pantages Theatre. Rumpled hipsters sidle up alongside old-timers and knock 'em back. If you like dives, this place is the real deal. (Isn't that Bukowski's ghost over there?)

536 E. Lionshead Circle
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 476 3789

With its enormous deck at the bottom of the Eagle Bahn gondola, the bar is an après-ski people-watching magnet—especially during the March–April spring season. ("Is she wearing a bikini?") It's also known for its daily drink specials and overall kicked-back vibe.

Gay Bars

The gay scene in Dallas is concentrated uptown, around the intersection of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs. Havana Bar & Grill is a Latin-themed bar with cute Latin boys and enough dancing to go around. Dance your way over to JR's Bar & Grill for a more preppy crowd and more diverse entertainment options; pool tables and large TV screens round out the experience. Thumping music drives the crowd at Station 4; also check out the drag shows at the adjacent Rose Room. For daytime kicks, Barney's New York pours free wine on Saturdays, and the store turns into a great place to find a date.

Gay Bars
Dallas , Texas

The gay scene in Dallas is concentrated uptown, around the intersection of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs. Havana Bar & Grill is a Latin-themed bar with cute Latin boys and enough dancing to go around. Dance your way over to JR's Bar & Grill for a more preppy crowd and more diverse entertainment options; pool tables and large TV screens round out the experience. Thumping music drives the crowd at Station 4; also check out the drag shows at the adjacent Rose Room. For daytime kicks, Barney's New York pours free wine on Saturdays, and the store turns into a great place to find a date.

Gay Nightlife

New York City gay nightlife is as much about the stereotyped scene as it is driven by novelty. For guys, at least, choices abound: East Village dive, or Hell's Kitchen young professional haunt? Chelsea jock, or Williamsburg hipster? Promoted night at a straight club, or a seven-day dose of gay?

The latest bars to draw and sustain a crowd are in Hell's Kitchen, a.k.a. Hellsea. At Industry, leather couches, faux-fur rugs, and mismatched settees set against resin screens and steel create a steampunky ode to the gay lounge. Think pop music, drag shows, and a busy any hour (355 W. 52nd St.). Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge heats up after 11 pm, particularly on weekends, with two chic whitewashed rooms and a tightly packed dance floor (642 Tenth Ave.). In Chelsea, Boxers draws otters, twinks, muscle bears, professionals, and men who like men who like sports, particularly at happy hour. Loud and capacious with cheap beer and mini pizzas, it's like any other sports bar you'd find in the 'burbs (37 W. 20th St.). Coming out of the closet in the post-frat wasteland of the East Side from the 40s to 14th Street, Vig 27 remains a popular beacon for the whole cocktail-lit family—gay, straight, girl, guy, bi, drag queen. The atmosphere is low-key, with cush seating, beaded curtain walls, and hot bartenders that know how to mix a drink (119 E. 27th St.).

Shamefully, NYC hasn't had a proper gay club since the Roxy shut down in 2007. The 11,000-square-foot XL Dance Bar (part of the Out NYC hotel, restaurant, and shopping gaygaplex) on far West 42nd Street is set to fill that void in summer 2011. But with delay rumors swirling, the best bets for thumping club nights are the slicked-up straight haunts.

Rockit Fridays lures Gay List lookers with an open vodka bar before 11 pm (Web site gives current location), while Sundays at Griffin in the Meatpacking District skew younger and fashion-forward (50 Gansevoort St.). The latter tapers off round midnight, at which point Vandam at Greenhouse is blowing up; it's a sweaty, tricked-out vestige of Manhattan's club kid heyday, with electro beats and hallucinogenic decor (50 Varick St.). To a lesser degree, with more deep Vs and chest hair, Spank melds Williamsburg hip with an infectious art-fag sensibility and super randy boys. What started as a queer art zine's series of release parties has morphed into more or less monthly dance fests.

For the ladies, choice is limited: two bars, or else the 40-plus gay-guy bars. In the West Village, petite Cubbyhole offers a chill choice for cocktails and chat amid a riot of overhead decorations (281 W. 12th St.), while Henrietta Hudson's trends busier, if rougher at times, with two small rooms and a dance floor with go-go cages (438 Hudson St.).

Of course, in the city that never sleeps (because everyone is out drinking), nightspots change quicker than Gaga's outfits. Pick up free bar rag Next Magazine for the most comprehensive and up-to-date listings, plus a handy tear-out map. Gayletter, an irreverent take on the week's more alternative offerings, is e-mailed every Tuesday.—Justin Ocean

Gay Nightlife
Miami Beach , Florida

Although South Beach has a huge gay population and draws a lot of gay tourists from all over, much of the nightlife has actually migrated north to Fort Lauderdale. But there are still a few homo hot spots on the Beach. For daytime, join the refreshingly diverse crowd for drink specials at the Palace restaurant and bar, just opposite the gay beach at 12th Street (1200 Ocean Dr., South Beach; 305-531-7234; Come evening, watch the locals strut along Lincoln Road from an outdoor table at video bar Score. Weekends are livelier, when big-name DJs play inside; Saturday is lesbian night in the upstairs lounge (727 Lincoln Rd., South Beach; 305-535-1111; Halo Lounge, just off Lincoln, attracts a young, good-looking crowd of locals and visitors with its white decor, creative cocktails, and a lighting system that bathes the walls in pinks and blues (1625 Michigan Ave., South Beach; 305-534-8181; Sundays belong to Click at Aero Bar, where a rotating roster of DJs and promoters host the boys in two futuristically designed rooms (247 23rd St., South Beach; 305-674-1110; Then there's the old standby, Twist, a friendly, labyrinthine bar with two dance floors, seven bars, video screens, and even a garden out back; go-go boys and drag queens perform regularly throughout the week (1057 Washington Ave., South Beach; 305-538-9478; For the latest listings, check out

The Palms
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 938 2666

Because there's no dance floor, Ghostbar attracts a slightly older clientele who like to step outside on the terrace for a cigar. But be careful: If you plan on heading up to this rooftop lounge at the 56-story Palms before heading to Rain nightclub, you may never actually make it. Designed in a retro-futuristic motif, it's famous for the window in the floor of the terrace that looks straight down over the Strip. On weekends, the crowd is shoulder-to-shoulder, so seats are hard to come by. This was the spot where Britney Spears decided to get married—so you know the drinks are strong.

Open nightly from 8 pm.

The Gibson
2009 14th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 232 2156

It's become acceptable these days to take 15 minutes to make a cocktail. Fortunately, the ones at The Gibson are worth the wait. Washington's latest neo-speakeasy mixes up both classics and more modern inventions, like the Salad Days Sour, a creamy blend of celery-infused pisco, lemon, and celery bitters, streaked with burnt cinnamon. Even a drink like the Violet Fizz, which in less capable hands can so easily taste like Aunt Daisy's lingerie drawer, shines here. The mix of gin, lemon, and crème de violette, thickened with egg whites, is delicately fragrant and decidedly flirty. Too bad the service can be so surly: In one almost comical episode, I was begrudgingly granted a table that had been reserved for later that night (the bar has a no-standing policy). And in the precious minutes I possessed it, the server reminded me of the deadline three times, then—with 10 minutes still on the clock—she unceremoniously swept away my half-finished Manhattan. My advice? Reserve early. And often.—Jane Black, first published on

Open daily from 6 pm.

432 41st Street
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 604 9798

Eurotrashy, big-boobed lovelies adore the been-there-forever Forge restaurant and the permatanned locals who fill it. The club space next door is equally jet-set glam: Once the site of Jimmy'z, run by Parisian nightlife guru Regine, it has morphed into a slick lounge/club called Glass. The renovation was helmed by local designer Alison Spear, who doused the place in white and added overstuffed leather sofas and contemporary art as an upscale distraction. Best nights: Wednesdays, when one of the Beach's longest running promoters, Michael Capponi, lures in his posse of multilingual millionaire types, and Saturdays, a lively house-heavy night.

Hotel Photo
The Grand Ole Opry
2802 Opryland Drive
Nashville , Tennessee
Tel: 800 733 6779
Tel: 615 871 6779

For country artists, being invited to perform on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry is akin to being knighted. The rest of us can revel in their glory at two-hour performances three nights a week. Most weeks the two-hour show is held at the "new" (as of 1974) Opry building in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel complex, about ten miles from downtown. From November through January shows are held in the Ryman Auditorium, the Opry's more famous home (it's an annual move, born of sheer nostalgia for the Opry's grand old days). Photography is allowed—even encouraged!—during shows; feel free to leave your seat to get the best angle of Little Jimmy Dickens, "Whispering" Bill Anderson, Loretta Lynn, or any of the other living legends that still drop by from time to time. The backstage tour after the show is well worth the it if only to see the late Porter Wagoner's luxurious dressing room. Tickets for the tour and for shows are available online or at the box office.

Shows: Tuesdays, 7 pm; Fridays, 8 pm; and Saturdays, 7 and 9:30 pm.

Granville Moore's
1238 H Street N.E.
Washington, D.C.

Washington's newest nightlife destination stretches along a formerly rundown section of H Street in northeast DC. Crowds descend each night to check out theme bars like Red Palace, play skee ball and mini-golf at H Street Country Club, or grab a pint of He'brew ale at the Jewish-deli-meets-Irish-pub Star & Shamrock. And while those spots are all a blast, our favorite is the bells-and-whistles–free gastropub Granville Moore's. Sturdy wooden beams, exposed brick walls, and fixtures salvaged from old taverns and farmhouses make the place feel like they've been drawing pints here for centuries. A chalkboard lists the Belgian beers and American craft brews on offer, and the tiny kitchen turns out excellent moules frites. It's the ideal place to kick off a night of revelry before venturing on to the street's other watering holes.—Colleen Clark

Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 pm till midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm to 3 am.

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
4802 N. Broadway Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 878 5552

If we had to pick one place in all of Chicago that epitomizes the city's rich and gritty history, it'd have to be the Green Mill. Al Capone used to hang out here in the 1920s, when it was a speakeasy during Prohibition. Then and since, the smoky, dark-wood-paneled, and dimly lit joint has been one of the best places in the country to see every flavor of jazz—Dixieland, traditional, bebop, contemporary, progressive, you name it—by local and legendary outfits alike. The seasoned bartenders are consistently cranky and it's elbow-to-elbow by 8 p.m. most nights, so get there early and snag a booth opposite the bar—it's the best spot to see and hear the music but still be able to have a (hushed) conversation. As it has since 1986, every Sunday night the lounge hosts the fabled Uptown Poetry Slam.

Open daily noon to 4 am.

The Green Parrot Bar
601 Whitehead Street
Key West , Florida
Tel: 305 294 6133

A few blocks removed from the Duval Street madness, the Green Parrot is arguably the most authentic watering hole on the island (the building dates from about 1890). Follow the absinthe-hued glow into the bar cooled by tropical breezes flowing through the screenless windows. And whatever you do, heed the "No Sniveling" mantra that hangs over the bar. It's a no-frills kind of place, with friendly bartenders; stiff drinks; and classic bar games like pinball, pool, and darts. The small stage hosts blues and rock bands on weekends; during the rest of the week, the jukebox pumps out classics from James Brown and B.B. King. The decor is a cozy hodgepodge—an open parachute over the bar, wooden parrots, a photo of Abe Lincoln, and random trophies stuffed onto shelving here and there. Your fellow bar mates are likely to be similarly diverse, from commercial lobstermen back from the catch to local dentists grabbing after-work drinks.—Terry Ward

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 4 am and Sundays 12 pm to 4 am.

Gritty McDuff's
396 Fore Street
Portland , Maine
Tel: 207 772 2739

Gritty McDuff's is Maine's original microbrewery and a Portland institution. It opened in 1988, but with its copper-topped brick bar and wood-beam ceiling, you'd think it had been around at least a century. Gritty's Best Brown, Black Fly Stout, and six other home brews are mainlined from the tanks in the basement. Live bands play on the weekends—mostly original bluegrass or rock 'n' roll covers—and draw a boisterous crowd of locals and out-of-towners. For a little breathing room, head downstairs, past the brewing quarters, to the basement bar and its barrel tables for a more intimate communion with your handcrafted ale.

Open daily 11:30 am to 1 am.

Haleiwa Joe's
66-011 Kamehameha Highway
Haleiwa , Hawaii
Tel: 808 637 8005

This North Shore standard with great sunset views over the harbor is a hub for local thirtysomething surfers, who come to sit at the bar and order pupus (appetizers), brag about the waves, and flirt with the few women in the room (in prime surfing season, men outnumber women here ten to one). This is sometimes fun for the ladies, sometimes not, but what action there is thins out significantly after 9 p.m. If you're hungry for more than a snack, there's a hearty dinner menu of island favorites like peel-and-eat shrimp and fried whole moi fish.

817 W. Peachtree Street N.W.
Atlanta , Georgia
Tel: 404 962 7333

Halo is a case study in lounge management. Tucked inside the basement of the former Biltmore Hotel, this bar-club sidesteps the anxiety-provoking music and bone-crushing crowds one normally associates with venues of this size. Its spacious, split-level layout means that patrons can dance and mingle into the early-morning hours without stepping on each other's toes. A planned 2007 renovation will spruce up existing spaces and add another bar.

Closed Sundays.

Hamilton's Tavern
1521 30th Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 238 5460

San Diego is now the craft beer capital of the country (take that, Portland), and its genesis may very well be Scott Blair's 75-year-old watering hole, Hamilton's Tavern in South Park. This dimly lit joint, where the decor amounts to little more than a few pool tables and a shuffleboard court, is your classic no-nonsense neighborhood tavern. But the beer list, one of the most impressive in town, sets Hamilton's apart—there's a huge selection of both local micro brews and exotic imports. The crowd, while wall-to-wall on the weekends, is friendly and chilled, more flip-flops and baseball caps than skinny jeans and fedoras. Still, best to come on a weekday, in the late afternoon, when the bartenders are happy to share the 411 on beer-brewing basics along with unlimited free samples before you buy.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Fridays 3 pm to 2 am, Saturdays and Sundays 1 pm to 2 am.

Hard Rock Live
CityWalk at Universal Orlando
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 351 5483

Situated on a promenade between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, the world's largest Hard Rock Café adjoins this live-music venue. Its enormous 2,800-seat performance space, loosely modeled on the Colosseum in Rome, frequently hosts A-list television tapings, stand-up performances, and concerts, so call ahead for schedules and tickets.

46 Minna Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 777 1077

Named for the Barbary Coast–era prostitutes who dominated SoMa back in the day, Harlot is situated on shadowy Minna Street behind a velvet rope and mysterious facade. Until nightfall, it's a moody happy-hour hangout, then it morphs into an ultralounge. The interior features a black-on-black palette, 24-foot onyx bar, leather banquettes, and cowhide accents. Harlot further entices revelers by spoiling them with rare amenities like valet parking and a well-edited wine list, by sommelier Mark Bright (of restaurant Michael Mina); bottles come with olives, nuts, and local chocolates. There's also a white-on-white upstairs VIP lounge with table service. Wednesdays and Thursdays draw a mostly local crowd, particularly at happy hour; on weekends, the place gets overrun by Bacchanalian suburbanites. Finicky bouncers pick who comes in: To avoid getting stuck outside, dress smartly.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open Wednesdays through Fridays 5 pm to 2 am, Saturdays 9 pm to 2 am.

Harry O's
427 Main Street
Park City , Utah
Tel: 435 655 7579

This is where you go to make the scene in li'l ol' Park City. The Paris Hiltons and Diddys of the world have been known to make appearances at this dance hall/lounge/concert venue, the town's largest. Live acts (big names like John Legend as well as local reggae and hip-hop bands) and DJs spinning house appeal to both the ski-bum and celeb sets. New York designer Steve Lewis (of the Palladium and Twilo) created the lounge. Saturday night brings in DJs from L.A. and Vegas.

The lounge is open daily, though the concert hall is closed Sun–Tues.

Hawaii Theatre
1130 Bethel Street
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 528 0506

This beautiful old theater, a hub of entertainment since 1922, is still the place to go to catch live performances. The nightly shows range from big-name indie bands like Sigur Rós to traditional hula and Hawaiian music; there are also limited runs of Broadway musicals. It's the perfect venue for a romantic date or a cross-generational night out.

Hotel Photo
Aria Casino
3730 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 693 8300

A very smart design trick makes Haze nightclub at the Aria Casino feel like a hot spot every night of the week: The upstairs level, which surrounds the main dance floor, can be closed so the space still swirls with good energy on slower nights. There's also a semiprivate bar where you can meet friends before heading into the dance floor madness. The night we stopped by, girls on stilts dressed in exaggerated Victorian costumes passed through the crowd of twentysomething Red Bull– and vodka-fueled revelers, and Estelle, who had reserved the upstairs for her birthday celebration, popped down for a surprise performance of "American Boy." As at most Vegas clubs, be ready to spend—two shots of Patrón Silver and two waters ran us $56—and long lines form outside early, so you might find springing for the $300 bottle service to be worthwhile. Surprisingly, for an establishment run by Light Group vets (The Bank at Bellagio, Jet at Mirage), there have been complaints of disorganization among the door staff and table hostesses. We'll be watching to see if Haze can nip these problems in the bud before they escalate.—David Tyda

Open Thursdays through Saturdays 10:30 pm to 4 am.

1354 W. Wabansia Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 227 4433

Finding this aptly named bar can be a major challenge. Don't even attempt to take public transportation here; just get in a cab (your taxi driver will know where it is) and look for the glowing "Old Style Beer" sign that's a beacon of light in this warehousey no-man's-land. It's quite literally a hole in the wall: Faded beer cans rust on the windowsills, and the backroom "lounge," with its thrift store–quality furniture and makeshift "stage," feels more like a college dorm room than a bar displaced Chicagoans get all misty-eyed about. But the legendary place is also ground zero for the city's fertile alternative country/postpunk music scene. There's live music every night; local outfit Devil in a Woodpile plays a raucous mix of ragtime, acoustic blues, and jug tunes with no cover charge every Tuesday. If members of your party prefer fancy drinks, head elsewhere; there's a limited selection of spirits here. Cans of PBR, however, are a mere $2 (and worth every penny).

Open Tuesdays 7 pm to 2 am, Wednesdays through Fridays 4 pm to 2 am, Saturdays 7 pm to 3 am.

Higher Ground
1214 Williston Road
South Burlington , Vermont
Tel: 802 652 0777

Cool bands do come to Vermont (some even start up here), and they seem to enjoy playing at this outwardly nondescript, inwardly intimate venue in South Burlington. In 2004, the former movie theater morphed into three separate spaces kitted out with recycled white columns from nearby Norwich University, bowling-alley bar tops, and state-of-the-art acoustics. Now, it draws such artists as Rilo Kiley, the Black Crowes, Sharon Jones, and the Green Mountains' own Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Arrive during the opening band to grab some good pub food (the kitchen is generally open until shows end) and a beer from one of three bars. Big artists sell out early, but otherwise tickets are usually available the day of the show. The only drawback? It's two miles from downtown Burlington—a bit too far to walk in the winter.

Hi Tone Café
1913 Poplar Avenue
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 278 8663

At this funky, 1950s-themed bar in Midtown, beer-swilling twentysomething hipsters and older music obsessives take in Memphis's current crop of music pioneers. Both regional favorites, such as emotive singer-songwriter Garrison Starr and bluesy rockers the North Mississippi Allstars, and national acts take the stage. Elvis—Costello, that is—filmed a 2004 concert video here with Emmylou Harris. The small stage area gets jam-packed at concert time; arrive early, or you might not get in.

Hookah Lounge
4147 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 731 6030

There was a time when the Hookah Lounge was known only to a privileged few, and even weekends saw empty velvet sofas. Now it's packed with the stiletto-and-halter-top set, but nothing can take away from the dark, mysterious ambience. The room feels like a scene from a Bond film, with people smoking hookahs as house music pulsates in the background. You'll get a choice of some 20 flavors of tobacco; there's also an exotic cocktail menu and a menu of mezes from the Mediterranean restaurant next door.

Open daily 5 pm to 1 am.

Hop Garden
565 Mountain Village Boulevard
Telluride , Colorado
Tel: 970 728 7467

This bar at the base of the Village Express gondola is where fresh-off-the-slopes locals down German beers while people-watching from the patio. Nibbly? The Bavarian pretzel with sweet mustard or a cup of Biersteiger's beef chili should tide you over.—Samantha Berman

Hotel Delmano
82 Berry Street
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 387 1945
Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue

Don't let the fogged-glass windows and locked accordion gate in front of this Williamsburg speakeasy fool you. Slide around to the side entrance and you'll find the Hotel Delmano's leather booths packed with neighborhood hipsters and in-the-know Manhattanites supping potent cocktails with names like Devil's Garden. Roughly translated from the Spanish "of hands," Delmano is furnished with pieces handcrafted by its artist owners, from the curved marble bar to the custom-built tables and cut-stone tiles in the bathroom. The overall aesthetic? Rive Gauche meets 1950s Havana. Grab a wooden stool at the bar for a front-row view of the black-aproned bartenders who craft their cocktails with the patience of an apothecary. Arrive early in the evening if you want a seat on Friday or Saturday night—the lounge is exclusively first-come, first-serve.—Douglas Wright

Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm to 3 am.

Hotel San José Bar
1316 S. Congress Avenue
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 693 9317

The romantic outdoor garden of this Austin institution is every bit as hip as the hotel itself. It's really only worth it in good weather, when you can sit at the dimly lit tables around the pool, take in the retro vibe of the architecture, and sip from a very basic selection of beer and wine (no liquor is served here). The place closes down fairly early; it's not a party joint, just a great place for a relaxing drink. This is probably the only hotel bar in Austin where you'll find more locals than out-of-towners. So make new friends, then head to the bars along South Congress.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 5 pm to midnight, Fridays through Sundays 3 pm to midnight.

House of Blues
225 Decatur Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 310 4999

Say what you want about this ubiquitous chain nightclub—the sound is always good, and clear sight lines provide universally great views. Big-ticket national acts from Steel Pulse to TV on the Radio share billing with local favorites on the main stage; a smaller companion club, the Parish, hosts more intimate shows.

Open only on show nights; call ahead for schedule.

House of Blues Sunset Strip
8430 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood , California
Tel: 323 848 5100

Not just blues, but rock, jazz, and gospel too. This flagship of the successful chain, whose exterior has been done up like a raggedy tin shack, hosts performers ranging from reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry to emo-hipster James Blunt, and former Pixies frontman Frank Black to now-receding '70s hair bands like Styx. The venue itself has the usual L.A. division between hoi polloi (who stick to the Music Hall and the Porch Restaurant) and VIPs (or "Foundation members," who get to schmooze and booze in a series of swanky private rooms). Much more inclusive is the Gospel Brunch, held every Sunday, where the entry fee gets you a Southern-style brunch buffet and enough live gospel music to satisfy your soul.

I.O. Theater
3541 N. Clark Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 880 0199

Formerly called the Improv Olympics, the I.O. is the city's "other" famous comedy club (it plays second fiddle to the better-known Second City). Upstairs you'll find stadium seating in the Del Close Theater, where the set shows are performed, while downstairs, the Cabaret Theater's tables have room for around 100 people. It's here you'll find the improv for which the club is famous. The experience here is far more intimate than at Second City; you feel like you're practically on stage with the comedians. Drinks and pizza are available in both theaters.

Performance times vary; call ahead.

434 State Street
Santa Barbara , California
Tel: 805 962 0154

A departure from those lower State Street bars filled with college kids wearing shorts and backward caps, Indochine is a boutique Champagne-and-vodka lounge/club with Chinese and Thai furnishings, gigantic terra-cotta statuary, and Santa Barbara's coolest bar top, a mosaic of crushed glass salvaged from old stoplights in San Francisco.

Open Wednesdays through Sundays 9 pm to 2 am.

J's Oyster Bar
5 Portland Pier
Portland , Maine
Tel: 207 772 4828

Want to drink like a sailor? Look no further than this perennial favorite where lobstering and fish-hauling captains—along with a few local landlubbers—come to slurp fresh oysters and down pints of Allagash and dirty martinis. From the outside, the harborside shack isn't much to look at, but the shiplike interior is all polished mahogany, antique nautical maps, and a beautiful brass bar. Tourists sometimes get the ugly eye when they step through the door, but after your fifth drink, a round of oysters, and a few rambling tales of the open water from the surly lobsterman seated beside you, you'll feel as if you're part of the crew. Arrive early if you want a seat on the patio.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11:30 am to 1 am, Sundays noon to midnight.

Jack's La Jolla
7863 Girard Avenue
La Jolla
San Diego , California
Tel: 858 456 8111

Like a playground for scene-chasing 30- and 40-somethings, Jack's is a 17,000-square-foot multilevel nightlife and dining "destination" with four distinct bars and three restaurants. Like a landlocked cruise ship, it's clean and stylish, albeit overproduced. The ground-floor Wine Bar is most popular with the happy-hour crowd for its well-populated wine list and piano lounge. As the night wears on, the action shifts to the slick Wall Street Bar, the casual Beach Bar, and ultimately the open-air Ocean Bar. A crooning cover band routinely packs the Wall Street bar on "Sinatra Sundays."

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.

James Joyce Pub
616 South President Street
Baltimore , Maryland
Tel: 410 727 5107

A literary Irish pub may seem incongruous amidst the condos and hotel construction in Harbor East, but this six-year-old establishment manages to feel authentic. Owner Jimmy Fagan, an Irishman who formerly managed The Dubliner, one of Washington, D.C.'s most popular bars, had this pub designed and built in the Emerald Isle then shipped over and fitted on-site. The padded-leather bar stools, wooden booths, and beaded-glass panels provide a hale atmosphere for sipping a well-built pint of Guinness draft or a dram of single-malt Scotch. Pub grub includes beef and Guinness stew, and the Molly Bloom salad (grilled Atlantic salmon over greens, cherry tomatoes, and hard-boiled egg, tossed with onion relish dressing). Live music makes things a bit rowdier on the weekends.

Open daily 11 am to 2 am.

J Bar
330 East Main Street
Aspen , Colorado
Tel: 800 331 7213 (toll-free)

This bar is quintessential Aspen. The Victorian woodwork and authentic pressed-tin ceiling tiles at the 1889 bar inside the historic Hotel Jerome will make you feel like you are calling at a Wild West saloon. Even with the heavy history, the vibe is bustling and fun, though. Order a J Bar burger and a signature Aspen Crud (a boozy milkshake made with bourbon and vanilla ice cream) and enjoy the local buzz.—by Samantha Berman

Joe's Pub
425 Lafayette Street
East Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 539 8770

Named in honor of Public Theater founder Joe Papp (212-539-8500;, this intimate performance space feels like a living room, with velvet couches surrounding a small stage. Perhaps it's that cozy feeling that draws a lot of big names to perform here. Everyone from then-rising-star Alicia Keys to ex-Talking Head David Byrne to opera star Renée Fleming has gone Public.

Kalahari Bar
4446 N.E. 20 Avenue
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
Tel: 954 351 9371

Kalahari claims to be the only authentic South African bar in America; certainly, expat owners Hal and Dee Hofmeyr have managed to import a chunk of their homeland to an enthusiastic, slightly older South Florida clientele. The bar's decked out with zebra skins and African artifacts; expect the TV screens to regularly show homeland rugby games. The best time to stop by is Saturday, for karaoke; it's a reliable place to hang out, meet a few locals, and quaff South African beers like Castle and Windhock.

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.

Miracle Mile Shops (at Planet Hollywood)
3663 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 836 0830

Frequently voted Best Gay Bar in Vegas, Krave is more accurately two venues: On weekdays it's a midsize lounge with a neighborhood-bar vibe; on Fridays and Saturdays the massive concert and nightclub space next door opens up, creating a megaclub that fits more than a thousand. Aerial acrobats take to the ropes while shirtless boys dance to club anthems and house music. Cirque du Soleil performers frequent Krave after their second show on weekends, as do groups of straight girls looking to dance without being groped. On Saturday nights the lounge area is converted to "Candy Bar," making it the prime place on the Strip where lesbians can go to drink, dance, and meet other girls.

La Descarga
1159 N. Western Avenue
East Hollywood
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 466 1324

With an extensive menu of rum and decor reminiscent of old Havana, this moody little bar on a sketchy block of Hollywood feels worlds away from the house-pumping megaclubs just down the street. On the weekends, feather-clad burlesque dancers juggle fire and shimmy to the beat of a Latin band. There's a dress code, so break out the fancy duds. That means no jeans for dudes and dresses for the ladies. Best of all? The place encourages reservations—a major plus if you're not up for the usual L.A. door drama.—Audrey Davidow

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 8 pm to 2 am.

Lahaina Beach House
Pacific Beach
710 Oliver Avenue
San Diego , California
Tel: 858 270 3888

The best place for a drink on a sunny day, local-institution Lahaina serves cold pitchers of beer on its big open deck. Its location right on the sand between Pacific Beach and Mission Beach guarantees major league views of the ocean and the action on the boardwalk. The friendly regular crowd ranges from professional drinkers and shirtless surfers to wide-eyed tourists. Sunsets and happy hour are also prime time, but Lahaina's liquor license prohibits serving drinks after 8:30 p.m.

La Mariana Sailing Club
50 Sand Island Access Rd.
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 848 2800

Luckily, no ambitious impresario has ruined this authentic tiki bar and restaurant, untouched since it opened in 1957 (balloon-fish lanterns have become so rare). It's set in an industrial area that will make you think you're hopelessly lost, but once you arrive you'll find it worth the search. The inside is cluttered with dusty memorabilia, and the location on the water means bug spray is a must, but settle in and order a delicious snack of ahi poke (a local dish of marinated raw fish) to have with your $3 drafts.

The Land-Ho
38 Cove Road at Route 6A
Orleans , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 255 5165

The Land-Ho—a big bar in the center of Orleans—is a local hangout with brass fixtures, red-checkered tablecloths, and antique signs from local businesses covering the walls and ceiling. There's live music and food, including a (rare on Cape Cod) late-night bar menu, and the 14 beers on tap keep the conversation lively. If it's a local dive bar you're after (or a quieter place to toss back a cold one), the Yardarm—just around the corner from Land-Ho—is a favorite of fishermen and lawyers from the nearby district court who are happy to chat up visitors over a beer (48 S. Orleans Rd., Orleans; 508-255-4840;

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11:30 am to 1 am, Sundays noon to 1 am.

Lansdowne Street

This stretch of clubs, bars, and restaurants across from Fenway Park is Boston's one-stop destination for a rowdy night on the town. The Fenway crowd gathers to guzzle beer and watch the game at the two rival sports bars at the corner of Brookline Avenue and Landsdowne Street, Game On! and Cask 'n Flagon—though neither is your standard sports bar. The classic Cask (as the locals know it) has unfortunately been updated—loud music and big-screen HDTVs suspended from the ceiling have been added. Now it attracts club-hopping partygoers, but it's still a popular meeting place. Game On! attracts much the same crowd and is notable for being adjacent to the visiting-team batting cage (if you bring 19 of your closest friends and there's not a game on, you can try it out for a fee). Also, inside the walls of Fenway (with a public entrance on the Lansdowne Street side) is the Bleacher Bar with a decent beer selection and pub grub, and a giant window overlooking center field. The rock club Bill's Bar features local indie and touring rock, metal, and reggae bands, and the House of Blues complex offers large and small stages as well as a less-well-known bar and restaurant, the Front Room, with live music and no admission charge. If you prefer a quieter night and local beer, hit Boston Beer Works a reliable microbrew with decent bar food (try the sweet-potato fries) near the corner of Lansdowne and Brookline Avenue. When deeper hunger strikes, look to celebrity chef Ken Oringer's taqueria, La Verdad for surprisingly authentic Mexican fare (tripe and tongue tacos, even) and huge plastic jugs of aguas frescas. End the night shooting billiards or bowling frames at the multilevel Jillian's entertainment complex alongside a nattily dressed college crowd. Jillian's has a strict dress code Friday and Saturday nights after 8 pm: no athletic wear or sleeveless shirts—updated by Jon Marcus

Game On! open daily 11:30 am to 2 am.

Cask 'n Flagon open Mondays through Wednesdays and Sundays 11:30 am to 1 am,
Thursdays and Fridays 11:30 am to 2 am, Saturdays 11 am to 2 am.

Bleacher Bar open Sundays through Wednesdays 11 am to 1 am, Thursdays through
Saturdays 11 am to 2 am.

Bill's Bar open Fridays and Saturdays 10 pm to 2 am.

Front Room at the House of Blues open daily 4 pm to 2 am.

Boston Beer Works open daily 11:30 am to 1 am.

La Verdad open Sundays through Thursdays 11 am to 1 am; Fridays and Saturdays 11
am to 2 am. Kitchen open Sundays through Wednesdays until 10 pm, Thursdays
through Saturdays until midnight.

Jillian's open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 2 am, Sundays noon to 2 am.

Larry Lawrence
295 Grand Street
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 218 7866
Subway: L train to Lorimer Street

It's probably best that the door here isn't clearly marked, or this watering hole on a happening stretch of Grand Street would undoubtedly be overrun. (Hint: look for the word "bar" in tiny red letters outside a discreet metal entryway). The interior alone is worth a peek, having already found its way into coffee-table books on emerging New York City architecture. There's rich-hued woodwork with clean, Scandinavian lines and an elevated, glass-encased smoking mezzanine reached via a loft like stairwell. LL isn't particularly known for signature cocktails (it's something of an unspoken rule not to order cosmos in this part of Brooklyn anyway), but Brooklyn Lager and Hoegaarden are poured by reasonably cheerful bartenders whose iPod selection could very well be the topic of conversation on blogs the next day.

Open daily from 6 pm to 4 am.

Last Dollar Saloon
100 E. Colorado Avenue
Telluride , Colorado
Tel: 970 728 4800

It only seems like the Last Dollar Saloon exclusively sells Budweiser longnecks. A scruffy (but fully stocked) spot with a pool table, fireplace, and Clapton's "I Shot the Sheriff" on the jukebox, it shouts a happy dive vibe. Beware the nickname: The Last Dollar is usually called the Buck by the same unintentionally misleading locals who call Colorado Avenue "Main Street."

Open daily at 3 pm.

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Laurel Tavern
11938 Ventura Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 818 506 0777

What's missing from L.A. nightlife? Cozy neighborhood bars where you can chill out with good suds and decent food without having to line up behind a velvet rope. Laurel Tavern is a much-needed sweet spot that falls between divey pub and scenester club; the sheer novelty of the place has drawn more than a few Hollywoodites from over the hill to the Valley. In addition to 16 regional microbrews on draft and a great selection of old-school sodas (Bubble Up, Dad's Root Beer, Mexican Cola), this airy, exposed-brick joint has a well-equipped kitchen that turns out surprisingly good locavore grub—pork belly skewers, chorizo fondue, hand-cut fries cooked in pork fat. The ordering process is a bit chaotic: Shout what you want to a bartender, then try to score a table.

Open Mondays through Fridays 4 pm to 2 am, Saturdays and Sundays 12 pm to 2 am.

Lax + Noir Bar
3900 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 262 5257

At Luxor's Lax nightclub, it might take you 20 minutes to inch from the entrance to the back bar; but for Vegas weekenders thick crowds are precisely the draw. (It might also help that Christina Aguilera is a partner and has been known to drop in for cameo appearances, as have cast members from The Hills.) To rise above the fray, call ahead to the downstairs Noir Bar, a reservations-only adjunct accessible via elevator from the Lax entry foyer (702-262-4529). The long, brick-walled room feels like a members-only lounge, and the speakeasy vibe is enhanced by bartenders who have virtually every obscure ingredient at their disposal. Trustworthy friends recommended the Peanut Butter & Jelly Martini (with Hanger One raspberry vodka, Nocello walnut liqueur, Pallini Raspicello, peanut butter, rock candy syrup, and raspberries, all served in a peanut butter–rimmed martini glass). Those friends are not trustworthy anymore, but the drink has a loyal following. Hey, you're in Vegas—there's no accounting for taste.

Open Wednesdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 4 am.

The Leopard Lounge
The Chesterfield
363 Cocoanut Row
Palm Beach , Florida
Tel: 561 659 5800

Yes, it's inside a hotel and attached to a so-so restaurant, but the Leopard Lounge bar is an in-season favorite of the fortysomething scene. This is a so-campy-it's-cool place thanks to the unrestrained bordello-cum-jungle theme: The leopard-print tablecloths match the leopard-print carpet, while the ceiling's swirling scarlet mural looks like the result of one LSD tab too many. The bar boasts a specialty-drinks list that is heavy on gooey martinis, though the leopard martini (vodka with a dash of Amaretto and black Sambuca) has a delicious, unexpected kick.

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Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
West Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 505 3474

Its location may be somewhat inauspicious (on a stretch of Bleecker Street typically overrun with tipsy NYU freshmen), yet Le Poisson Rouge hosts some of the city's most exciting experimental music. Opened in 2008 by two Manhattan School of Music grads, this is a place where the city's music-geek set flocks to hear the most cutting-edge contemporary jazz, classical, rock, and world music—often performed side by side. You might find a performance of Arnold Schoenberg's atonal 1912 Pierrot Lunaire; the avant-garde chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound premiering a new piece; a last-minute, packed-to-the-gills Lykke Li show; or a DJ set from of the godfather of hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa. The vibe is laid-back, and guests can convene at tables while nibbling on small plates of truffled mac and cheese and chicken satay and sipping on specialty cocktails with names like the Zombie Hunter and the Dirty Colonel. But you don't always have to sit quietly. Tables are frequently moved for weekly dance parties, including the long-running Friday-night Freedom and Wednesday-night Props parties.—Alexis Swerdloff

Open Sundays through Wednesdays 5 pm to 2 am, Thursdays through Saturdays 5 pm to 4 am.

Lexington Club
3464 19th Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 863 2052

Considering San Francisco is the gayest city in America, there's a surprising dearth of lesbian bars. Thank goodness for the stalwart Lexington Club, which (accurately) bills itself as "your friendly neighborhood dyke bar." The crowd is on the young side and ranges from shave-headed grrrls with motorcycle helmets under their arms to pin-up glamour gals, all out for a good time. The space is remarkably small, just one room, with a bar running the length of it, and a pool table at one end. On busy nights, the shoulder-to-shoulder scene can get a little raucous; cat fights aren't unheard of here. Seek refuge in the ladies' room, which has possibly the best graffiti in all San Francisco.

Wequassett Inn
Route 28, Pleasant Bay
Chatham , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 432 5400

Libaytion is quite possibly the most stylish bar on the Cape. There are no bad seats at this circular bar sheltered by a pergola: On one side is Pleasant Bay; on the other is the Wequassett Inn's pool. There's live entertainment, and you can order food from the resort's Outer Bar & Grille. Since Libaytion closes at 5:30 (and is open only in summer), you can continue your evening in town at the Chatham Squire, where visitors and locals have been partying for 40 years. The Squire serves food but is the most fun when its friendly bar is in full swing, starting after dinner at around 9 pm (487 Main St., Chatham; 508-945-0945;

Open daily 11:30 am to 5:30 pm, May through September.

928 12th Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 325 6947

Licorous is one of the best-looking bars in the city, with a playful geometric pattern on one wall, stools that resemble chess pawns, and a striking molded-tin ceiling. It takes its small-plates menu seriously, and snacks like foie gras bonbons with bittersweet chocolate from a local supplier stack up to cocktail concoctions like the Joyful Ginger (ginger-infused vodka, with limoncello, lemon juice, and a dash of ginger ale). The place is sophisticated yet unpretentious, and although there are plenty of Capitol Hill hipsters around, this is one bar where grown-ups of all ages will feel comfortable. Note that it's slightly off the beaten path, so plan to make a night of it here, perhaps by starting with dinner at Lark next door.

Closed Sundays.

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1401 K Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 789 2800

K Street, the golden province of expense-account lobbying firms, was once an after-hours dead zone. But nightlife purveyors have finally gotten hip to all those deep pockets, and each month seems to bring the opening of a new bottle-service club. One of the best is Lima, a triple threat restaurant-bar-lounge with Latin-infused international cuisine upstairs, caipirinhas in the cocktail lounge, and a full-on party on the dance floor. Organic touches like water reservoirs and hewn-rock floors soften the clean, modern lines of the leather banquettes. But what you'll notice most are members of the stiletto set who artfully drape themselves on the furniture.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 5 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm to 3 am. Closed Sundays.

2247 Market Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 621 5256

Lime recalls the swinging '60s, with pink-tinted windows, shiny white plastic furniture, and an aggressively (sometimes annoyingly) hip gay clientele. Cocktails are the big thing here; you'll do fine if you order anything muddled, especially mojitos. There's a sexy dining area with swooping booths and a pretty good small-plates menu (try the mini burgers) served until 11 pm on Mondays through Thursdays and until midnight Fridays and Saturdays. But reserve an early table if you want to enjoy dinner conversation: Once the DJs arrive on weekend evenings, the noise level is deafening. Quieter types may prefer to come for the surprisingly good weekend brunch with all-you-can-drink mimosas.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 5 pm to midnight, Fridays 5 pm to 1 am, Saturdays 11 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 1 am, and Sundays 10:30 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to midnight.

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The Lincoln Room
901 Fourth Avenue
San Diego
Tel: 619 696 8888

A cozy log cabin–like boîte in downtown's Gaslamp District, The Lincoln Room has a penny-laid bar, Montana wood walls, and a tasty seasonal menu influenced by San Diego's produce (the chipotle-seasoned smoked wings are worth the trip alone). The cocktail menu is a modern nod to old-fashioned favorites like the Peach Julep and The Mary Todd (Grey Goose pear vodka and pear purée). An impressive whiskey selection runs the gamut from small-batch bourbons to rare Irish single malts, and there's a good mix of familiar and unknown labels. But this is definitely not a swanky sipping lounge. Since Honest Abe's face graces the $5 bill, there's an unbeatable daily happy hour (3 to 7 pm) with $5 wines, cocktails, and nibbles. It's gimmicky, but it works.—Audrey Davidow

Open daily 5 pm to midnight.

Linda's Tavern
707 E. Pine Street
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 325 1220

A cowboy-themed tavern on the West Coast? At Linda's, the kitsch isn't as thick as you might think: The 1930s dude ranch memorabilia may be imported from Montana, but the jukebox plays its fair share of Johnny Cash. This mainstay in prime Capitol Hill territory draws a diverse crowd most nights—rocker types, college students, and neighborhood locals ordering cheap pitchers of Hamm's. The cushy leather booths fill up fast; the large back patio handles overflow during the summer months. A popular weekend brunch soaks up the past night's indiscretions with wrangler-worthy flapjacks and biscuits and gravy.—Aaron Barker

Little Branch
20 Seventh Avenue S.
West Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 929 4360

This discreet hideaway in the West Village could easily coast on nostalgia alone, with jazz trios, vintage portraiture, and a waitstaff clad in flapper attire. The drinks menu reads like a list of your grandparents' favorites—Presbyterians, sidecars, whiskey cobblers—but mixologist Sasha Petraske's obsessive attention to detail and penchant for over-the-top garnishes and pristine fresh ingredients makes them cool again. It's enough to tempt coiffed post-hipsters away from their Pabst (if only for a night). For more of Petraske's cocktail wizardry, try to score a reservation at Milk and Honey, his members-only speakeasy on the Lower East Side (134 Eldridge St.;

Open daily 7 pm to 3 am.

Live Music

Moe's was one of the iconic clubs of the grunge era; the original no longer stands, but Neumos has risen in its place with the best lineup of alternative acts in the city. At Nectar, in Fremont, local groups alternate with stars already on the rise. There's a different genre of music every night; you might catch anyone from indie jazz darling Ben Allison to alt-pop crooner Jens Lekman. Both Tula's Restaurant and Nightclub and Dimitriou's Jazz Alley have the city's small jazz scene cornered, but Egan's in Ballard has a more eclectic (and local) lineup. Also in Ballard, Tractor Tavern is known for its roots, blues, and country acts, though it gets its share of indie rock action, too. Benaroya Hall is the home of the renowned Seattle Symphony. Thanks to its state-of-the-art design, the main hall boasts clear and balanced acoustics from each of its 2,500 seats. Even if you're not attending the Seattle Opera or Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Kreielsheimer Promenade adjacent to McCaw Hall is among the most stunning architectural spaces in the city—particularly at night, when digital light shows dance across its metal scrims.—Updated by Aaron Barker

The Lobby Bar at the The Ace Hotel
20 W. 29th Street
Midtown West
New York , New York
Tel: 212 679 2222

The Lobby Bar at the Ace Hotel has achieved the impossible: enticed hipsters to hang out in the middling, no-name area near Madison Square Park. Williamsburgers cross the bridge to lounge on velvet sofas and leather club chairs, take snaps in a vintage photo booth, and sip quirky song-inspired cocktails like the Lovely Day, with Milagro tequila, Ribena, soda, and lime. By day, it's a hot singles scene, with freelance writers and graphic designers perched over MacBooks (you're almost encouraged to mooch off the free Wi-Fi) on librarylike wooden tables. After work, a more mainstream bunch of attractive out-of-towners and office folk mingle under taxidermy and a massive American flag. And come Saturday, the crowd is uncool enough to arrive early: The place reaches capacity by 10 p.m.

Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar
271 Dartmouth Street
Boston , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 369 5609

Lolita's sexy Latin-meets-Goth flair—lots of red and black, plus exposed brick—might be the last thing you'd expect to find in Boston's Back Bay. It's full of other surprises, too, including great drinks; servers as sexy as the setting; outstanding Mexican food, including appetizers served on dry ice, tequila-infused sorbet, and cotton candy with Pop Rocks for dessert; and particularly notable restrooms. (You've got to see them to get the full effect.) If you're not here to eat, grab a spot on the comfortable couches near the bar before the night progresses and the room fills to crowded.—Jon Marcus

Open Mondays through Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am, Sundays 11 am to 2 pm.

724 N. Vine Street
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 962 6369

L.A. is currently embroiled in a wine-bar love affair, and this tiny spot in a grubby strip mall—hidden away behind a curtain— is one of the best. It's definitely an "in" spot, but the feel is homey, and the wine list—which changes every few weeks—is full of surprises, even for the most knowledgeable. The food menu offers small bites, with one main course that changes nightly. Try the charcuterie plate, with its spread of artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and pâtés.

Closed Sundays.

L Scorpion
6679 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 464 3026

Don't let the fact that it's a tequila bar throw you off—this is a much more sophisticated, grown-up spot than some of its Hollywood neighbors. It's romantic and candlelit, with a red bar and more than 160 varieties of tequila, many produced only in small quantities. Don't know a reposado from a reserva? This is the place to learn. The lounge serves ceviche and tamales, among other Mexican delicacies.

Lucky Labrador Brew Pub
915 S.E. Hawthorne
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 236 3555

Many die-hard local beer aficionados consider Lucky Lab to be the quintessential Portland pub. The microbrewery is housed in a cavernous old warehouse with exposed wooden rafters and a bar that extends almost the entire length of one wall. Sparsely decorated with paintings of the eponymous canines, this extremely casual pub serves up excellent pints and straightforward sandwiches to a loyal crowd. Beer lovers will want to sample a cask-conditioned ale (a process that results in reduced carbonation and increased flavor) or a beer from the nitro tap (which produces finer carbonation than carbon dioxide for a smoother taste). In good weather, locals kick back on the covered outdoor patio. Dogs, of course, are very welcome.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to midnight, Sundays noon to 10 pm.

Mangy Moose
Village Road
Teton Village , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 4913

Ski down the front side of Jackson Hole Resort, and there's no avoiding the Mangy Moose. Its mountainside patio swells with the ski-booted masses as the afternoon draws to a close. Inside, the restaurant serves up Wyoming-style pub grub such as black-bean-and-roasted-corn cake and buffalo meatloaf, while a gourmet grocery and liquor store has everything from Grolsch beer to hand-cut steaks. (Yes, the rather funky massive moose head hanging from the ceiling gives the place its name.) The Moose also has the largest indoor stage in town, where a widely divergent array of musical artists have performed (once 2 Live Crew and the Glenn Miller Orchestra did shows within a week of each other).

Closed Sundays May and November.

1235 Washington Avenue
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 531 5535

Sure, it opened in February 2004—a generation ago in nightlife years—but this movie theater-turned-nightclub is still packing in upscale clubbers each weekend. In part, it's due to the setting: a 40,000-square-foot superclub with six VIP areas, six bars, and a very large dance floor that allows it to cater to different tastes and crowds simultaneously. (You may have known its previous incarnations as Level, Glam Slam, Club Z, Paragon, and 1235.) The other reason the A-list crowd is still dancing here? Its music policy is as selective as the velvet rope, which lures producers like Pharrell Williams and Scott Storch to decompress here after a long day in local studios; they often bring with them the artists, such as Paris Hilton, for whom they've been knob-twiddling.

Open Wednesday through Saturday 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

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Maple Leaf Bar
8316 Oak Street
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 866 9359

Sometimes the weekenders miss out on the best local shows. On any given Friday or Saturday, you can catch a rock-solid live set at this Uptown neighborhood joint, but on Tuesdays at 11 pm, the Rebirth Brass Band packs the room and rattles it with modern brass-band music. Equally influenced by New Orleans's jazz heritage and streetwise funk, Rebirth pulls out all the stops for a mixed crowd of dedicated locals and savvy visitors with an extra sick day to burn.

Open daily; hours vary.

Map Room
1949 N. Hoyne Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 252 7636

Owners Mark and Laura Blasingame have two passions in life—traveling and beer— and their cozy pub is a showcase for both. The giant map of the world covering the walls and the library of National Geographic magazines (which fills several dilapidated bookcases) are impressive, but the beer selection is what really sets it apart. Belgian and regional brews are the specialties; in addition to the 250 bottled beers offered, 27 are always on tap, one of which is cask-conditioned, stored in its own cooler, and served in the old-school manner via hand pump. Sunday night is movie night, and Tuesday is international night, with a free dinner buffet (with a two-drink minimum) catered by neighborhood restaurants.

Open Mondays through Fridays 6:30 am to 2 am, Saturdays 7:30 am to 3 am, Sundays 11 am to 2 am.

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289 10th Avenue
New York City , New York
Tel: 646 473 0202

Dozens of other clubs have hit the West Chelsea scene since this celebrity hangout opened its doors, but Marquee's famous fans have remained faithful—everyone from P. Diddy to Lindsay Lohan to Lance Armstrong has made an appearance. The space was designed with the help of noted architect Philip Johnson's firm—an outfit rarely associated with places where people gyrate on banquettes—and the sculptural setting, with its seductive red and gold lighting, is one of the club's attractions. If you manage to make it past the long line and intimidating, beefy doormen (arriving early and being a pretty lady helps), don't assume that you'll get a peek at the boldface names; they're enclosed behind (soundproof!) glass in a separate level upstairs. There's a $20 cover most nights.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 4 am.

4 Valencia Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 241 0205

The city's only true piano bar, Martuni's draws an always-animated crowd of mostly male bon vivants, ranging in age from 20s to 60s and clad in everything from jeans to tuxedos. The unifying theme here is a love of cocktails and song, specifically martinis, Broadway musicals, and the Great American Songbook. Crooners snag seats at the piano and wait their turn to sing at the open mic. But this ain't karaoke—don't ask to sing if you can't carry a tune, unless you want to flounder, ignored, in the spotlight. If you prefer your music in the background, stick to the front room, where you can sip drinks at high cocktail tables.

Open daily 2 pm to 2 am.

Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series
Napili Kai Beach Resort
5900 Lower Honoapiilani Road
Lahaina , Hawaii
Tel: 888 669 3858

This concert series—held every Wednesday at 7:30 pm in the the pavilion at the Napili Kai Beach Resort—has produced three Grammy-winning albums. It's a unique opportunity to hear the best Hawaiian-style slack key guitar musicians perform, and a mellow, romantic alternative to a hectic luau or pick-up bar. Depending on who's playing (look out for Led Kaapana, Dennis Kamakahi, Ozzie Kotani, Owana Salazar, or George Kahumoku, Jr.), it can get crowded, but tickets are generally available the week prior.

4969 Mountain Road
Stowe , Vermont
Tel: 05672

In classic Vermont style, the Matterhorn is the small-town general store of nightlife. One stop, and you get it all—sushi, microbrews, pizza, wings, and live music. Plus, you run into everyone you know, or chat up the people you don't. True, tuna rolls and beer-sticky floors aren't always the best of bedfellows, but at the Matterhorn, it works. The martinis and the burgers are good, too, and the local cover bands that play on Friday and Saturday nights are just the right fit for the chummy, family-friendly atmosphere—you'll see kids dancing right alongside their parents.

Open Wednesdays through Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am, May through November 1; daily 2 pm to 2 am, November 2 through April.

Matt Murphy's
14 Harvard Street
Brookline , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 232 0188

Boston is, of course, an Irish pub kind of town, and you've certainly got your pick of authentic (and an equal amount of faux) haunts: There's one on practically every corner. In the Brookline Village section of the neighboring town of Brookline, Matt Murphy's is a good bet, and a triple threat: fantastic food (try the shepherd's pie or fish sandwich, or stop by at lunchtime for the impossibly good lamb sandwich), a congenial neighborhood crowd of locals and college students, and rollicking live music (everything from reggae and jazz to funk, soul, and hip-hop all evenings except Wednesday, which is trivia night). On weekends especially, diners clamor for a spot at one of the rustic farm tables. No reservations are accepted in this very tiny space, so expect to wait. To bypass the crowds, drop by for the Irish Sunday brunch, assuming you fancy rolled-oat porridge with a trickle of whiskey.—Jon Marcus

Open Sundays through Wednesdays 11:30 am to midnight, Thursdays through Saturdays 11:30 am to 2 am.

Max's Taphouse
737 South Broadway
Baltimore , Maryland
Tel: 410 675 6297

A wildly popular watering hole for 20-something night crawlers, this Fells Point tavern caters to a classier postcollege crowd with pressed-tin ceilings and hardwood floors, and Maryland's largest selection of suds. There are 80 beers on tap and more than 1,000 by the bottle, heavily weighted to rare imports and obscure microbrews: Try the Ottersan, a Japanese-style amber, or Cantillon, a Cognac-casked Belgian. There are tables, but for service it's best to make yourself seen at the bar and heard over the '60s soundtrack.

Open daily 11 am to 2 am.

304 E. 6th Street
East Village
New York City , New York
United States 10003
Tel: 212 253 5888

Adding Mexican spice to Downtown's hefty portfolio of cocktail dens, Mayahuel is a two-level lounge behind an unmarked door in the East Village that proves tequila is not best enjoyed with a slice of lemon and a lick of salt. Mixologist Phil Ward, of nearby Death & Co., muddles sophisticated libations from tequila and its punchy cousin mescal. The Smoked Palomino, an intense concoction of Amontillado sherry, crema de Mezcal, grapefruit, and lime is a must-order (hold the ice), while the food menu offers welcome stomach liners like tamales and cochinita. The booth dwellers aren't your average cocktail snobs but an unpretentious crowd of after-workers, daters, and locals. Still, the door policy can be obnoxious: Expect to be shooed away on weekend nights, and be prepared to wait at the bar until the rest of your party arrives even if there's room upstairs.

McCabe's Guitar Shop
3101 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica , California
Tel: 310 828 4497

On weekends, the famed guitar shop hosts singer-songwriters from the worlds of country, folk, jazz, and rock. Many respected musicians (Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, and Elvis Costello, to name a few) have performed in this funky, modest venue, where the walls and all other available surfaces are covered with hundreds of acoustic and folk guitars, ukuleles, banjos, violins, mandolins, and dulcimers.

Mercury Lounge
217 E. Houston Street
Lower East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 260 4700

This tiny Lower East Side spot has been the first New York stop for many a now-famous band. Because music booking titans Bowery Presents are in charge of scheduling, you're likely to see on-the-rise groups that are opening for big-time acts at music clubs like Webster Hall (125 E. 11th St.; 212-353-1600; and the Bowery Ballroom. This also means that they're able to score intimate last-minute and secret shows with bands that normally play much larger venues (Broken Social Scene rocked a secret show to a handful of people before headlining the massive Siren Festival in 2008). Stop by on any given night and you're likely to get a mix of unheard-of-outside-Manhattan and on-the-rise acts like Sunset Rubdown and Oxford Collapse.

Call or visit Web site for showtimes.

Mid City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl
3000 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 861 1700

It sounds like an old vaudeville joke, but the Rock 'n' Bowl combines two high-volume pursuits—live music and equally lively bowling—into one huge vintage recreational space. Depending on the night, the dance floor is packed with hundreds of bopping swing kids or twirling zydeco dancers or free-form ass-shaking R&B fans. Between songs, performer patter is punctuated by rolling balls and crashing pins. If you're a New Orleans veteran who remembers this venerable nightspot in its original incarnation in the Mid-City neighborhood, you might end up about a mile from the new location at 3000 S. Carrollton Avenue. It's not the same, but just as enjoyable.

Opens Monday through Friday at 5 pm and Saturdays at 2 pm.

Middle East
472-480 Massachusetts Avenue
Central Square
Cambridge , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 864 3278

The Middle East is one of Boston's prime live-music venues for worthwhile local and touring indie acts, and the epicenter of nightlife in Cambridge's Central Square. It's really two clubs and two restaurants in one place. Big names in indie rock and hip-hop perform downstairs, while under-the-radar bands build their fan base upstairs. The Corner restaurant has a surprisingly good menu of Middle Eastern staples, such as falafel and couscous platters (there's also nightly entertainment; a belly dancer performs on Sundays and Wednesdays). And ZuZu, a chill hangout with a menu of lighter fare (the pupu platters are $23 and generous enough for two), hosts the most discerning of Boston's many music fans and a bumping soul dance party on Saturdays.—updated by Jon Marcus

Open Sundays through Wednesdays 11 am to midnight, Thursdays through Saturdays 11 am to 1 am.

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
25 N. Cache Drive
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 2207

With its cowboy murals, mounted animal heads, and saddle bar stools, you might mistake the over-the-top Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for a gimmicky place. In fact, it's been around since 1937, both Willie Nelson and Hank Williams, Jr., have played on its stage, and it serves more Jack Daniel's than anywhere in the West. There's live country music six nights a week and free two-step dancing lessons every Thursday at 7:30.

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Mint and 820
816 N. Russell Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 284 5518

In an industrial-chic space—exposed brick, high ceilings, a long, curving bar with towers of sugar-rimmed martini glasses—convivial groups of friends settle in at happy hour to sip pioneering mixologist Lucy Brennan's daring concoctions. Depending on the season, the cocktails might include anything from beets to cilantro to avocados. Some work better than others: The IVO, the house variation on a lemon drop, is made with vanilla vodka, which some might find a bit overpowering. But the Ad Lib, vodka with cilantro and lemon-lime, is unusual and refreshing. The Bella, with blackberry puree, vodka, and lemon-lime, is one of the most popular choices. You can order a full meal or simply graze on upscale bar snacks such as Vietnamese spring rolls, but the real point here is the fun cocktail list and the spirited ambience of the nightly happy hours.

Open Mondays and Tuesdays 4 to 11 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 4 pm to midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays 4 pm to 1 am.

Mix Lounge
THEhotel at Mandalay Bay
3950 Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 632 9500

Mix Lounge has become the Vegas version of the Empire State Building: Located on the 64th floor at the top of THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, it's known for having the best views in town: You can peer straight down the Strip's thick pastiche of neon lights from the street's southern tip. Even the restrooms have amazing vistas. Access to the lounge is free daily from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., after which a $20 to $25 cover is charged.

Open Sundays through Tuesdays 5 pm to 2 am, Wednesdays and Thursdays 5 pm to 3 am, Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm to 4 am.

Mojito's Lounge
48 Winter Street
Boston , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 834 0552

Boston isn't normally associated with Latin dancing, but on Fridays and Saturdays this club near Park Street packs in a young, multicultural crowd for hip-swiveling salsa and merengue on a narrow upstairs dance floor. Downstairs, a smaller cluster grooves to Latin rock, bachata, and reggaeton. No worries if you're a little timid about your moves: There are free lessons from 9 to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and, inevitably, a pro will pluck you from the sidelines and explain that it's "all in the hips." Of course, you've got to try the Mojito at a place named after this Cuban libation. It's heavy on the rum and redolent of mint, just like the club itself.

Open Thursdays from 10 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 9 pm to 2 am.

235 23rd Street
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 531 4166

Miami Beach's 23rd Street is shaping up to be the buzzy new drag, thanks to the Gansevoort South and upcoming W hotels at the beachfront end. In the meantime, there's a new club from nightlife king Nicola Siervo, who's had an unbroken decade-long reign at the top of Miami Beach's scene (Bang, Bar None, Joia, Mynt). Mokaï—inexplicably named after a huge canyon in New Zealand—is a VIP-only bolthole with just 22 tables. It's decked out with huge alligator-, iguana-, and crocodile-leather sofas; sterling silver tables; and a space-age, ultramodern custom lighting system. Expect a hyperselective crowd and a tough door policy. But if you book a table for bottle service, the bouncers may just let you through the door.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Monkey Paw
805 16th Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 358 9901

San Diego bar baron Scot Blair's fourth opening (following Small Bar, Eleven, and Hamilton's) has a constantly shifting selection of 35-plus craft beers on tap. Brews include everything from Allagash and Grand Teton to the lusted-after Russian River beers, as well as a full bar and a game-day-ready menu of cheese steaks and hot wings. The twist? Monkey Paw is a proper brewpub and produces small batches of its own suds on site. The tavern, kitted out with communal tables, stained glass, and plenty of natural light during the day, is fast becoming the lovably gritty Cheers of the East Village.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Wednesdays noon to 12 am, Thursdays through Sundays noon to 2 am.

Mr. Sisters
5310 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 545 2467

To call this nightlife complex fronting a lake near downtown Orlando a gay bar is selling Mr. Sisters short. On any given night, you're likely to find a crowd as diverse as downtown Orlando itself—everyone from students to doctors to groups celebrating bachelorette parties (only the theme park crowd is missing here, keeping the scene largely local). Occupying a former auto dealership on a rather unappealing stretch of Colonial Drive, Mr. Sisters has open rafters, high ceilings, and shiny surfaces, making the place feel more like something you'd see in Las Vegas (there's even a stage with a pole for dancing suspended above the large bar). For all the lighting and sound system bells and whistles inside, however, it's the outdoor deck that's most appealing for hanging out. The patio has sweeping views of Lake Barton, with "Don't feed the wildlife" signs that refer to the resident gators, turtles, snakes, and wading birds. Thursdays nights feature Dinner with the Stars, with drag queens donning their finest getups to perform songs from Broadway musicals. Don't miss the lively Sunday brunch, when eggs Benedict, frittatas, and quiche are served alongside a spectacle of two drag queens crooning crazy gospel renditions to the tinkling of a baby grand piano.—Terry Ward

Open Wednesdays and Thursdays 4 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 2 pm to 2:30 am, and Sundays 11 am to 2 am.

Mulligan's on the Blue
100 Kaukahi Street
Wailea , Hawaii
Tel: 808 874 1131

Strange but true: A lot of young people from Ireland work on Maui. You can find plenty of them at this popular Irish restaurant and bar (which sometimes morphs into one of the island's more unlikely nightclubs). Every night there's something different, from reggae musicians to Irish folksingers to trance DJs. There is nothing really Hawaiian about this experience, but the crowd is friendly and mixed in almost every way—Irish and non-Irish, 20s to 40s, locals and tourists—and it's a good place to meet people and actually chat.

Open daily 8 am to 1 am.

Murphy's Pub
14 Harvard Street
Brookline , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 232 0188

Boston is, of course, an Irish pub kind of town, and you've certainly got your pick of authentic haunts: There's one on practically every street corner. In the neighboring town of Brookline, Murphy's Pub (more commonly known as Matt Murphy's) is a good bet, and a triple threat: fantastic food (try the shepherd's pie or fish sandwich), a congenial neighborhood crowd of locals and college students, and rollicking live music (everything from reggae and jazz to funk, soul, and hip-hop) all evenings except Wednesdays, which is trivia night. On weekends especially, diners clamor for a spot at one of the rustic farm tables. No reservations are accepted, so expect to wait. To bypass the crowds, drop by for the Irish Sunday brunch, assuming you fancy rolled oat porridge with a trickle of whiskey.

Music Center (Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County)
135 N. Grand Avenue
Downtown Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 213 972 7211

The Music Center houses the city's largest performance venues, including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which is the home of the Los Angeles Opera ( ), and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the base for the Los Angeles Philharmonic ( ). The Music Center also includes the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum, both home stages of the Center Theatre Group.

Nantucket Nightlife

There are two kinds of nightlife on Nantucket—carousing with the locals, or coasting with the navy-blazer-and–Lilly Pulitzer set (although as the night wears on, those lines begin to blur). Restaurant bars get lively once the kitchens stop serving (generally by 10) until closing time at 1 am. The busiest are the bars at LoLa 41 (15 South Beach St.; 508-325-4001), 21 Federal; Boarding House, and the Straight Wharf, which tend to attract a blend of young visitors, all-summer bluebloods, and welcoming locals. The Club Car, a former railroad car that somehow also has room for a piano is a favorite of the over-50 bracket (1 Main St.; 508-228-1101; A jazz vocalist and trio entertains from 6 until 10:15 pm at the White Elephant's harborside Brant Point Grill, and there's somewhat more sedate piano music at the Piano Bar at the Summer House in Sconset, where you're likely to rub elbows with multimillionaires and CEOs (17 Ocean Ave.; 508-257-9976; As the night rolls on, those in the know descend on Slip 14, a party for anyone over 21 right beside the water, with an open-air bar; but the biggest party on the island is just outside of town at the Chicken Box, a onetime restaurant (it still serves fried chicken) with live music three nights a week from June through August. Here all distinctions—local, visitor—disappear on the dance floor or over a game of pool or a Whale's Tale at the bar (16 Dave St.; 508-228-9717;

188 Main Street
Burlington , Vermont
Tel: 802 658 4771

While it does serve great pub food like pulled-pork sandwiches, the music-and-booze scene is what made Nectar's a Burlington institution. Twenty years ago Phish worked the kinks out here before taking the tie-dyed world by storm. The talent level is consistently better than it has any right to be, considering New York and Boston are far, far away. The crowd is always full of college kids from UVM, but the dark, mod decor is about as close as you can get to real city life in Burlington. Around midnight the gravy fries start to look really good.

Open daily from 11 am to 2 am.

New Sheridan Bar
231 W. Colorado Avenue
Telluride , Colorado
Tel: 970 728 4351

You can't throw a stein in the Sheridan without hitting a Realtor, but they're generally convivial these days (Telluride's in the midst of a record real estate boom). Besides, the bar's usually too loud for them to hard-sell much. Telluride's oldest watering hole (inside the New Sheridan hotel), the Sheridan retains a 19th-century elegance with mahogany paneling, a hand-carved bar, and a giant, vintage painting of a Rubenesque nude.

Nightlife at the Sheraton Waikiki
Waikiki Sheraton
2255 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 922 4422

You've got two pretty great nightlife options at the Sheraton Waikiki: The Hanohano Room, on the 30th floor and surrounded by glass walls, is a restaurant and classic Waikiki nightspot with breathtaking views. It hasn't changed much since the '70s; the nightly live entertainment (which starts between 7:30 and 9) features the same smooth jazz, Hawaiian classics, and boozy lounge standards your parents probably danced to. If your style is more barefoot than dress-up, hit the beachfront restaurant and lounge, Rum Fire, for tapas-style plates of Mexican-Hawaiian cuisine and yummy rum-based cocktails under the stars. Weekend DJs and dancing keep the guests on the lower floors of the hotel up late.—Cathay Che

Nightlife in Edgartown

Compared to the hangouts of Oak Bluffs, the watering holes of Edgartown are more upscale and attract an older crowd. After dinner at David Ryan's, a pedestrian-looking restaurant, the capri-pants-and-Top-Siders set gets loud and lively on frozen daiquiris (11 North Water St.; 508-627-4100; Tanned couples gather at Détente's soapstone bar to sample from the impressive wine list (Nevin Square; 508-627-8810; Henry's at the Harbor View Hotel (131 North Water St.; 508-627-7000; and Newes from America (23 Kelley St.; 508-627-7900; are staid alternatives for quiet conversation (both close at 11; the kitchens close at 10). Flip-flops and bathing suits are acceptable attire at Sea Shanty, a kitschy bar where stiff-upper-lip types from the neighboring Edgartown Yacht Club move early in the evenings and loosen up in time to party with the younger, rowdier crowd that shows up around 11 pm. Its fun harbor-view deck is the best feature, but there's also a personable bar staff, live music, and free-flowing beer and booze (31 Dock St.; 508-627-8622).

Nightlife in Midtown

Looking to get the most bang for your nightlife dollar? Take note: Buckhead is out. Midtown is in. GPS your way to the corridor bordered by Peachtree and 12th streets (or better yet, grab a cab) and plan on making a night of it. Hit Ra Sushi's street-facing patio bar for eats and cocktails with risqué monikers. (Dare you not to smirk when ordering the Shiso Naughty martini and Hot Mess crispy rice balls.) Or seek traditional pub favorites, such as corned beef and hash or Guinness BBQ burgers, at neighboring Rí Rá Irish Pub. Some of the ornate wooden bar fixtures were reclaimed from old churches, the 250-year-old front doors once stood at the entrance of a Dublin shop, and (in case you were wondering) most staff members aren't faking their brogue.

Still going strong? Good. Because a night's worth of dance, club, and lounge scenes are just steps away. Flip Flops has a casual beach-house theme and a premixed frozen drink bar that's popular with bachelorette entourages and ex-fraternity types looking to relive their heydays. Celeb spottings are common at Opera, an upscale spot themed as a lavish playhouse. For hookah pipes, bottle service, and a dance-loving crowd, venture across the street to Sutra, which houses a mood-lit main space and bar, terraced back patio, and glass-partitioned VIP lounge.—Tiffany J. Davis

Ra Sushi open Sundays 11 am to midnight, Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 1 am.
Rí Rá Irish Pub open Mondays through Thursdays 11 am to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am to 2:30 am, Sundays 10 am to midnight.
Flip Flops open Wednesdays through Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am.
Opera open Thursdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 3 am.
Sutra open Tuesdays through Thursdays 5:30 to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 5:30 to 11 pm.

Nightlife in Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs, particularly Circuit Avenue, is party central for the young and unruly—where college kids come to let off steam from their summer jobs driving taxis and waiting tables. Hordes of them congregate at Island House, a rollicking sports bar (11 Circuit Ave.; 508-693-4516), and Sharky's Cantina, a tiny Spanish and Mexican eatery where the tequila flows freely—although it's the larger and newer Sharky's location on Upper Main Street in Edgartown that's the most hopping place on the island (31 Circuit Ave.; 508-693-7501; Things can get pretty sweaty on the dance floor of The Lampost, where the live music includes reggae and rock bands (111 Circuit Ave.; 508-696-9352). When it's time to cool off, head for the string of outdoor bars and fried-fish restaurants (just a short stagger away) along the harborside wooden boardwalk known as Dockside Marina. However, the best bar on the Vineyard isn't on the Oak Bluff's harbor or main drag; it's the Offshore Ale House, a microbrewery one block over from Circuit Avenue, with excellent food, spirited conversation, live music, and great beer made in those big vats just above your head. Distinguished by the carpet of discarded peanut shells on the floor (it's known around town as the "peanut bar"), the Offshore Ale House also has an open kitchen that turns out sophisticated takes on pub food and wood-fired, brick-oven, thin-crust pizza—try the truffled variation (Kennebec Ave.; 508-693-2626;

Hotel Photo
Noble Rot
2724 S.E. Ankeny Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 233 1999

It may not look like much from the outside—a narrow red space simply decorated with rows of wine bottles—but therein lies its charm. Arguably Portland's most popular wine bar, Noble Rot exemplifies what this city does so well: It's quirky and unpretentious. But the wine here reflects a serious understanding of grapes, and the chef means business. (When Thomas Keller comes to town, he stops in here.) Dishes feature intensely flavored nibbles designed for grazing, as well as substantial dishes like pasta with hearty beef ragù. Many dishes feature produce grown upstairs in a rooftop garden, which guests can tour throughout the week. There is a broad selection of local wines and international labels, and extremely reasonable deals on tasting flights. Try to get a seat in one of the booths, or perch at the bar in the front room.—Updated by Colleen Clark

Open Mondays through Saturdays 5 pm to midnight.

Noc Noc
557 Haight Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 861 5811

Evoking a nuclear fallout shelter, a Dr. Seuss illustration, and a Martian cocktail lounge all in one, Noc Noc may have the strangest interior of any bar you've seen. Neon and black lights illuminate the splatter-painted, zebra-striped space. The TVs on the wall show a permanent snowstorm. The music can get bizarre—think Moog synthesizer space tunes. If you've ever been to Burning Man, you'll fit right in. Come early to secure one of the nooks: Later, the bar can get crowded with Lower Haight locals, some studiously hip, others looking like they just rolled out of bed. No hard liquor is served—only wine, sake, and a great selection of beers. Just don't ask for Bud, Coors, or Miller; they don't serve it. Nothing is common at Noc Noc.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open daily 5 pm to 2 am.

No Name Saloon
477 Main Street
Park City , Utah
Tel: 435 649 6667

When the Alamo (a watering hole since 1903) became the No Name Saloon in the early 2000s, it was an odd choice. See, this place is like the Cheers of Park City, where everyone knows your name and your drink. Despite attempts over the years to spruce up the place, the No Name retains a rough-around-the-edges, rowdy feel, perfect for local ski bums who want to come in and throw back a couple of bottles of Sierra Nevada and shots of tequila. The walls are festooned with typical ski-bar stuff—bikes, license plates, elk heads—and the furnishings include a table shuffleboard game plus 17 TVs for sports fans who are into something other than skiing and riding. You'll find buffalo burgers and such on the menu, but you don't come here to eat—you come for beers with your buddies.—Sarah Tuff

Open daily 10 am to 1 am.

North End

A stroll through the North End's narrow cobblestoned streets is a romantic way to end a night. Mike's Pastry attracts hordes of tourists, but skip it and cross the street to the smaller and more modest-looking Modern Pastry Shop for éclairs, lemon squares, and Boston cream pie. You'll want to get your treats to go, though, since there's just a smattering of tables. If you prefer to linger, settle in at a marble-topped table at Caffe Vittoria and ask the no-nonsense waitresses to bring some cappuccino and ricotta pie. All-night establishments are a rarity in sleepy-eyed Boston, but when every other shop is shuttered, Bova's Bakery is still serving up fruit tarts, cookies, and cannoli, 24 hours a day. And if you'd like something more savory, Bricco serves a wood-oven Margherita pizza (and, if you ask nicely, pretty much anything else on the menu) until 2 am.—updated by Jon Marcus

427 Main Street
Park City , Utah
Tel: 435 645 3999

This is a dark, divey spot with a pool table and $3 schooners on Tuesdays. It's a good place to escape the fabulous crowds during the festival.

Open daily 10 am to 1 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

One Eyed Jack's
615 Toulouse Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 569 8361

The term eclectic doesn't even begin to define this vibrant hipster club in the French Quarter. Depending on the night, you can catch new-school burlesque revivals, local heavy-metal bands, '80s-themed dance parties, or any manner of alternative theater performances. Even when the main concert room—a cross between a speakeasy and an opera house, with chandeliers hanging from the 25-foot ceiling and small candlelit booths lining the walls—sits dark, the front bar is a quirkily appealing place for cocktails. Its aesthetic is an over-the-top mix of goth and historic saloon, with frosted-glass windows, fringed satin curtains, and a series of black velvet paintings.

Open only on show nights; call ahead for schedule.

Orbit Room Café
1900 Market Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 252 9525

A cool place to mingle with local Vespa-riding hipsters, the slightly grimy Orbit Room features a pressed-tin ceiling, an Art Deco facade, and rose-colored cone tables. But the real attraction here are the cocktails. The showstopping Bloody Mary gets zing from horseradish-infused vodka and is garnished with five vegetables. Be forewarned: Service is s-l-o-w; order your second round before the first is done.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open Sundays through Thursdays 8 am to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 7 am to 2 am.

Oxford Saloon
337 N. Higgins Avenue
Missoula , Montana
Tel: 406 546 0117

Try closing down this bar, and you'll be here a while. According to myth, the Oxford Saloon hasn't closed in the last 100 years. No one's really sure about that date, but you'll notice some of the doors don't even have locks. The bar is on the corner of Higgins and Pine and draws a mixed Missoula crowd who amuse themselves by playing poker, shooting pool, and bolting down inexpensive hamburgers from the adjoining café.

Pangaea & Gryphon
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel + Casino
5711 Seminole Way
Hollywood , Florida
Tel: 954 581 5454

Nightlife entrepreneur Michael Ault opened two spots simultaneously in South Florida last year—lured to the Hard Rock no doubt, by the chance of a 24-hour liquor license on Seminole land. Pangaea—a sibling to the New York City and Marbella spots—is a bar/lounge with a resident DJ (mostly hip-hop and heavy house); there's also an on-site musician who riffs along with the records using drums and maracas. The space adheres to an east African theme, with safari tent and African artifacts collected by Ault during his travels; the glossy twentysomethings here are on the hunt for two-legged rather than four-legged game. Gryphon is a louder, more frenzied nightclub with a sunken central dance floor and vaguely Cirque du Soleil atmosphere. Prime spot is the cordoned-off VIP area; open only for bottle service, it even has its own entrance (

Parliament House
410 N. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 425 7571

Not everyone knows it, but Orlando is the site of the world's largest gay entertainment complex, which comprises five bars, a theater, a 130-room motel, and a restaurant overlooking Rock Lake. Its nightspots include Footlight Theater Piano Bar, a Western-themed bar, and the throbbing dance club Le Club Disco and Dance Bar. Its poolside bar gets hopping on hot weekends.

113 St. Mark's Place
East Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 614 0386

There seem to be more speakeasies in New York these days than there were during Prohibition. So it's nice to see PDT—or "Please Don't Tell"—have some fun with the secret-bar concept. Here's how it works: At 3 pm on the day you'd like to attend, call and make a reservation for a time slot anywhere between 6 pm and 3 am. Arrive on time and descend the stairs of Crif Dogs, the legendary late-night snack stop on St. Mark's. Instead of getting in line for a bacon-wrapped hot dog with sour cream, avocado, and cheese (there'll be time for that later!), find the vintage phone booth, pick up the receiver, and press the buzzer. Now look back to catch a glimpse of the confused looks of hot dog–eating patrons as the wall opens up and swallows you into a dimly lit bar. Inside, patrons cozy up in leather banquettes beneath a collection of quirky taxidermy and old family portraits. The high-end cocktail list—the Old Fashioned is made with bacon-infused bourbon and maple syrup—goes well with the deep-fried hot dogs that can be ordered from next door. It's not terribly secret anymore, but PDT is perfect for experiencing firsthand some good, old-school (but not overly obnoxious) New York exclusivity.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 6 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm to 4 am.

Hotel Photo
Pegu Club
77 W. Houston Street, 2nd Floor
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 473 7348

This suave, romantic second floor bar seems a world away from the bustle of Houston Street below. Named after the famed British officers club in Rangoon, it interprets colonial Asia in a non-stereotypical way—the colors are muted earth tones, the back wall is designed to look like a Japanese temple altar, and you sit at marble topped French café tables. The dominant design feature, though, is a 36-foot-long spalted maple bar, and the dominant draw is Audrey Saunders, who made her name uptown at Bemelmans in the Carlyle. As co-owner of this bar, opened in 2005, she is now practicing her brand of mixology magic down here.

Performing Arts
Park City , Utah

Park City isn't just about the film festival—this little town has performance venues that would do any city proud. The 266-seat Egyptian Theatre, a historic 1926 edifice that stages locally produced Broadway shows year-round, is worth a peek for the scarabs and hieroglyphs (328 Main St.; 435-645-0671; Across town, the 1,300-seat Eccles Center for the Performing Arts books the likes of Bernadette Peters, Wynonna Judd, Momix, and Cyndi Lauper (1750 Kearns Blvd.; 435-655-3114; In summer, Deer Valley resort hosts two dozen–plus concerts in its outdoor amphitheater; bring a picnic and a blanket to watch performances of the Utah Symphony, Tony Bennett, and the Park City Jazz Festival.

Pickle Barrel
1741 Killington Road
Killington , Vermont
Tel: 802 422 3035

A short walk (or stumble) from the Wobbly Barn, the Pickle Barrel is not quite as old (it opened in 1971) but is equally legendary, thanks to its stellar entertainment lineup. Everyone from Snoop Dogg to Jason Mraz has played to the pickled crowds here. And like the Wobbly Barn, the Pickle Barrel draws people for après-ski, and then keeps them partying all night to live bands. Expect to shed many layers of ski gear here as the dance floor heats up. Also expect to pay a $20 cover on the weekends and to wind up the ski season, usually in April, with the annual miniskirt party.

Open daily 4 pm to 2 am, October through April.

Playboy Club + Moon
Palms Fantasy Tower
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 942 7777

The Playboy Club and Moon nightclub occupy the top two floors of the Palms' Fantasy Tower. The Playboy Club marks the rebirth of Hef's old brand, and you'll have to pay a cover and wait in line up to 45 minutes after 10 p.m. to access the gambling/lounge area (the only gambling space in town to demand an entry)—where you'll find, yes, hot women in bunny suits dealing cards and delivering drinks. The decor is sexy-cheesy: neon Playboy signs, fireplaces. Those looking for a something more 21st-century head up the escalator to Moon, where the dance floor is framed by massive windows looking over the Strip and live projections on the ceiling. The demographic skews younger in Moon and older in Playboy, but there is a free flow of people between the two.

Playboy club open daily from 8 pm; Moon open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:30 pm.

915 Duval Street
Key West , Florida
Tel: 305 296 0669

If you're not into the college-kids-and-salty-locals scene, this sleek lounge is the perfect escape. Located above the restaurant Nine One Five, Point5 has an impressive amount of wines by the glass. They have a high-tech nitrogen system that keeps the wines fresh, if that's your sort of thing. If not, the DJs will keep you entertained. Even better, angle for a seat on the Victorian veranda to watch the nightly action on Duval Street below.

Open daily 6 to 11 pm.

Pool Scenes in Las Vegas

Once Vegas hotel owners realized that the nightclub set was either sleeping the day away or trying to wave down a cocktail waitress by the pool, they hit upon a business opportunity: the poolside club. So began Rehab, a daytime, poolside party at the Hard Rock Hotel that debuted in 2004. On Sunday afternoons, the hip and sexy spend the day soaking up sunshine, eating and drinking, and flirting with one another—all accompanied by a live deejay or hip-hop act. That scene still thrives, but today there are options almost every day of the week, and most of them allow for European (topless) sunbathing. Moorea Beach Club is separated by a wall from the massive beach complex at Mandalay Bay, with its third-story cabanas, beachside gaming, and sea of chaises. Moorea is the intimate meet-and-mingle option, where the crowd is mixed and the vibe laid-back. Bare at the Mirage feels like your rich Miami friend's backyard—it's small by Vegas standards, but dark planks of wood and overgrown trees make it feel secluded. There's an aboveground, glass-walled pool in the VIP area and tiered cabanas where topless sunbathers show off their, um, goods. Tao Beach at the Venetian is a mirror image of the eponymous nightclub—loud, fast-paced, and geared towards younger spring-break types. MGM's new Wet Republic is one of the largest European-style pools, and Venus at Caesars is favored by those looking for a more relaxed scene—though it's run by the folks at Pure nightclub, so expect things to heat up eventually.

These special pool areas are sometimes only open on weekends, so call ahead or check web sites. And always be among the first to arrive, or reserve a day bed or cabana, lest you find yourself sitting along the pool's edge or—worse—nowhere at all. Cabanas can set you back over $1,000, so call for pricing.

Positive Pie 2
22 State Street
Montpelier , Vermont
Tel: 802 299 0453

In a sea of soggy-crust New England pizza chains, Carlo Rovetto's Positive Pie parlor first made a difference (and still operates in) the tiny town of Plainfield. Now, its sister restaurant brightens Montpelier. The delicious Italian food is only half the draw for the Montpelier hippies, artists, and outdoors types who gather here. The other half is the funky lounge setting, decorated with crystals and Buddha statues, in which the hand-tossed pies and homemade pastas are served. Disco lights flash against an interior brick wall; lava lamps flow; and funk, '70s, and rock bands (or at least a DJ) hit the stage most Friday and Saturday nights.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 11 am to 9 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am to 2 am, and Sundays noon to 9 pm.

1347 Folsom Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 552 8689

The Powerhouse holds a torch for the old-school gay-bar standard of hard drinks and heavy stares. Though not particularly big, the space has two levels. The well-lit lower bar has a pool table and a mellower vibe, good for socializing with friends; the upstairs attracts guys more focused on hooking up, and there's a smoker's patio outside where new friends go to make out. The regular crowd tends toward 40-somethings, but there's more of a mix during the frequent special events (like strip billiards or ink-and-steel night for the pierced and tattooed). NB: The Powerhouse is an inappropriate place to bring women.

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Preservation Hall
726 St. Peter Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 522 2841

Same as it ever was—thank goodness—this venerable temple to the city's musical history, just off Bourbon Street, remains one of the best spots to see local musicians dedicated to traditional New Orleans jazz (don't call it Dixieland). In business for more than 45 years, the hall is a study in no-money minimalism: The audience sits on benches (or stands) mere feet from the musical action. Many of the older stalwart musicians haven't returned since the storm, so expect a rush of new blood, mentored by the old guard.

Open daily 8 to 11 pm.

Produce Row
204 S.E. Oak Street
Portland , Oregon
Tel: 503 232 8355

Part Parisian club, part New York speakeasy, this bar and café is a cozy warren of subway tiles and carved mahogany, copper taps and worn farm tables. Sundays bring bespectacled rock nerds and hip hop hipsters tearing up backyard dance parties or checking out local musical acts; most other nights, the vibe is decidedly low-key (think cozy tête-à-têtes in the softly lit banquettes). There's a solid menu of booze-friendly foods (free-range chicken fingers or cheddar and chèvre mac 'n' cheese, anyone?) as well as specialty beer-and-whiskey pairings. The vibe is always friendly, whether it's a rowdy weekend party or a chill weeknight with friends, and it's a great window into the city's laid-back drinking culture.—Colleen Clark

Pub Dog
20 East Cross Street
Baltimore , Maryland
Tel: 410 727 6077

This ultrafriendly bar in Federal Hill, a revitalized neighborhood south of the Inner Harbor, gets high marks for its house-crafted microbrews and individual-size ten-inch pizzas. A bit removed from the axis of tourism, it attracts a local, diverse crowd. A pair of draft beers cost just $4—quaff both a Brown Dog (a nutty ale) and a Reservoir Dog (an IPA-stout "mixed breed") while nipping at a Baja Chihuahua pizza topped with chipotle sauce, mozzarella, lime-marinated chicken, spinach, sliced tomato, red peppers, red onions, and hot-pepper flakes. The third floor has a classic barroom-style shuffleboard table and, of course, prints of dogs playing poker.

Open daily 5 pm to 2 am.

Purdy Lounge
1811 Purdy Avenue
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 531 4622

Escape the modelizers and $15 cocktails at this locals' lounge on the west side of the island. It's a groovy, laid-back, late-night (till 5 a.m. daily) spot with a pool table, board games, and plenty of comfortable chairs. The decor is an industrial riff on a comfy parlor, with metal wall sconces and overstuffed armchairs. There's free, live Reggae music on Monday nights and DJ-spun Indie rock on Tuesday.

Open 3 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Caesars Palace
3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 731 7873

Lately known as the place where Britney passed out from "exhaustion" during New Year's 2006. Caesars Palace previously had no nightlife venue, but that's much changed since the opening of this 36,000-square-foot space co-owned by Celine Dion, Shaquille O'Neal, Andre Agassi, and Steffi Graf. The VIP Red Room is one of the hardest spots in Vegas to finagle your way into as A-list celebs set up camp for the night.

Open Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 pm.

Pusser's Caribbean Grille
80 Compromise Street
Annapolis , Maryland
Tel: 410 626 0004

Ersatz bar-and-grill concepts make us nervous, especially a faux-Caribbean place attached to a corporate hotel like the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront. Yet Pusser's passes muster, especially on warm summer evenings when Bob Marley wails on the sound system and a party-hardy boat ties up beside the dockside outdoor bar. The interior dining room decor steers a nautical course, with Caribbean charts and pictures of the British Virgin Islands (where the namesake dark rum is distilled). The West Indian-inspired fare, like curried chicken sauté, is refreshingly spicy; the signature Painkiller cocktail (Pusser's rum, cream of coconut, orange and pineapple juices) comes in three strengths and can be every bit as lethal as its Caribbean counterpart.

Open Sundays through Thursdays 6:30 am to 11 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 6:30 am to 2 am.

Red Lantern
39 Stanhope Street
Boston , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 262 3900

For Boston, Red Lantern, an Asian-themed restaurant and nightspot that churns out tasty small plates until late, is definitely something different. The product of a deep-pocketed local nightclub group, the place is a little over the top, with tranquil stone Buddhas, red lanterns, and Vietnamese seashells hanging from the 20-foot ceilings, big arched windows, and black-lacquered appointments. But the food that comes out of the open kitchen, sushi bar, and wok stations is decent, the crowd enthusiastic—often local business types entertaining clients, and the hangers-on who want to meet them—and the vibe exotic. If you prefer to visit in the daytime, try Red Lantern's dim sum brunch on Sundays.—Jon Marcus

Open Mondays through Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am, Sundays noon to 4 and 5 pm to 2 am; food served nightly until 1 am.

The Red Lion
304 Bridge Street
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 476 7676

This elbow-to-elbow packed bar, where ski-boot-clad revelers gather in Vail Village after a day on the hill, has a great selection of local microbrews. There's also live acoustic music nightly—expect to hear some Elton John and the occasional Goo Goo Dolls riff. Beat the crowds by reserving a table in advance on the website.

Red River
Red River, between Sixth and Ninth streets
Austin , Texas

An area that was down and out just a few years ago, this three-block strip just north of Sixth now boasts the city's tightest concentration of clubs. Glamorous gals are drawn to the fancy mixed drinks at the Club de Ville lounge; hipster boys are drawn to the gals; everyone loves the setting, a tree-lined patio sitting under a limestone cliff (512-457-0900). Across the street, Stubb's dishes up satisfactory barbecue and doubles as an outdoor venue for up-and-coming touring bands; during South by Southwest, the speakers never seem to get a break (512-480-8341; One more block down, the Red-Eyed Fly gets the punk fans, alterna-chicks, and the bands they love (512-474-1084;

Red Square
136 Church Street
Burlington , Vermont
Tel: 802 859 8909

No word on whether the late Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn frequented this place during his Vermont exile, but we kind of doubt it. Both the name and the layout are homages to Mother Russia: Laid out like a matryoshka doll, Red Square's door opens to a packed bar, which then opens to an indoor stage, which then opens to lounge areas, which then open to…an alleyway that hosts live music in the warmer months. (Yes, there are warmer months in Vermont.) And while it sometimes slathers on the urban-eclectic vibe a bit too thick and also has some big-city annoyances—cover charges, lines—Red Square is the best all-around bar in Burlington. You'll find everyone from dolled-up undergrads to dressed-down farmers here, along with a good selection of microbrews and live music or DJs most nights of the week.

Open Sundays through Wednesdays 6 pm to 2 am, Thursdays through Saturdays 4 pm to 2 am.

Redwood Room
Clift Hotel
495 Geary Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 929 2372

The Redwood Room, at the Clift Hotel, can be a pickup joint, popular with rich businessmen and bottle blondes, but it also blazes with splendor. With its burnished redwood walls, tiger-striped carpet, and enormous bar carved from a single redwood tree, the room resembles an opulent hunting lodge and has been a San Francisco landmark for decades. Ian Schrager and Philippe Starck took over the place a few years ago, installing now-tired furniture and ugly plasma screens designed to look like oil paintings with shifting eyes, but the legendary room still merits a visit, if only to see the gorgeous woodwork. Just don't come on weekend evenings, when drunk suburbanites jam the place. Try the signature martini drinks; flavors include lavender and lychee.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 4 pm to 2 am.

Respectable Street
518 Clematis Street
West Palm Beach , Florida
Tel: 561 832 9999

A surprising find in Palm Beach, this 20-year-old club is a quintessential raucous alt-music venue: dark, grungy, and dance-y. Its vibe is best summed up by the street-side windows filled with hand-scrawled bill stickers advertising the next big thing. Bands like Dead Kennedys, Death Cab for Cutie, and Gene Loves Jezebel have played here, and most nights you'll find local bands across a range of disciplines playing to a mixed crowd. When you've had enough of the noise and pogo-ing, head to the outdoor patio.

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Riff Raff's
60 Park Avenue S.
Midtown East
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 951 7111

The look of Riff Raff's, a subterranean bar/nightclub located underneath the Polynesian megarestaurant Hurricane Club, is equal parts tropical (tribal masks and Malaysian textiles line the walls) and city-sleek (a disco ball hangs from the ceiling, and there's lots of shiny dark wood), but the drinks are all tiki. Extremely large cocktails, occasionally served in a watermelon or coconut, come adorned with colorful straws and plastic flamingos, and there are enormous bowls meant for large groups to share. The $350 Shitshow is comprised of an entire bottle of Grey Goose vodka plus a raspberry yuzu mixer. For those with less extravagant tastes, Riff Raff's offers a regular bar menu with more standard (yet still pricey) cocktails, such as the Coconut, featuring Montecristo rum, coconut, cardamom, and passion fruit. New York City's reigning iPad DJ duo phenomenon Andrew Andrew hosts a party there every Thursday night.—Alexis Swerdloff

Open Wednesdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 4 am.

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Robert's Western World
416 Broadway
Nashville , Tennessee
Tel: 615 244 9552

There are a half-dozen honky-tonks on Lower Broadway, and a dip into any of them will offer up a better-than-average band (this is Music City, after all) and a lesson in Classic Country 101. But there's something about Robert's that makes it "the one" to hit—hell, even locals brave the bad parking and sweaty tourists limping around in their clean new boots to listen to house band Brazilbilly. Smaller acts play during the day to loyal lunch crowds (they serve a mean burger). At night, the tables in the front get pushed back to make room for dancing, which is a lot more fun after a $2 can or two of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Be sure to drop a buck in when they pass around the big glass pickle jar—bands play for tips.

Open daily 11 am to 3 am.

Rockit Bar and Grill
22 W. Hubbard Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 312 645 6000

As advertised, the latest offering from local nightlife maven Billy Dec and his savvy band of successful associates (together they have given Chicago several of its hottest clubs, including Le Passage, The Bedroom, and The Dragon Room) really is a bar and grill, albeit a Western-inspired and upscale one. Designed by local celeb interior decorator (and Oprah chum) Nate Berkus, the backdrop has comfy ambience that feels simultaneously rustic (antler chandeliers and tree-stump tables) and modern (flat-screen TVs). You may spot David Schwimmer or Jeremy Piven shooting stick upstairs, but more likely you'll find a well-heeled crowd downstairs noshing on French-inspired cuisine like lamb hot pot with radicchio or chicken paillard. A modified late-night menu is served until 1:30 a.m., but it can get too loud and crowded to think about eating after 11, especially on weekends.

Open Sundays through Fridays 11:30 am to 1:30 am, Saturdays 11:30 am to 2:30 am.

801 State Street
Santa Barbara , California
Tel: 805 884 1190

Rocks has three bars, patio seating, indoor dining upstairs, and a nightclub downstairs with live music and guest DJs (expect anything from rock'n'roll to hip-hop and jazz). The most popular martini lounge in town, it's a magnet for young professionals, who sip Crushed Velvet martinis made from fresh blackberries while they check things off today's to-do list or contemplate tomorrow's.

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Roger Room
370 N. La Cienega Boulevard
West Hollywood
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 310 854 1300

The Roger Room, a dimly lit, cocktail-focused pub where the mixologists wear suspenders and fastidiously mix gourmet drinks, has become a cozy hot spot for Hollywood starlets. Behind an unmarked door in the thick of the La Cienega gridlock, this sliver of space (formerly the dingy Coronet Pub) underwent a thorough gutting and now has a yesteryear feel complete with Art Deco–style furnishings, circus-themed murals, and opaque stained-glass windows. Sure, you might spot a celeb or two, but the focus here is on the drinks—smooth, retro-feeling cocktails like the Thug (Maker's Mark, honey liqueur, lemon, and a dash of habañero-infused bitters) or the Grifter (a mojito spiked with Mata Hari absinthe). When the place first opened in 2009, sans signage, its goal was to be one of those cool underground bars that keep those in the know in, and everyone else out. But show up early enough (before 9), and the friendly bartenders will take the time to make a nobody feel like a somebody.—Audrey Davidow

Open daily 6 pm to 2 am.

3356 N. Halsted Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 281 3355

Of the dozens of predominantly gay bars that line North Halstead Street in Boys Town, Roscoe's is neither the glitziest nor the coziest. It is, however, one of the friendliest, and—with six separate bars, a good-sized dance floor, and a beer garden out back—quite possibly the biggest. If the main bar is too noisy and crowded, look for a place to sit near the pool table or one of the smaller, lower-key lounges (one of which has a fireplace). The drinks are nothing special—20 predictable beers on tap, and your usual array of frozen cocktails—but the weekly parties are: Mondays and Wednesdays are karaoke nights, Tuesday is "Drag Race" night, and Sundays are "Male Call," with a smorgasbord of flirting games. DJ-spun Top 40 fuels the popular weekend dance parties, and the delightfully raunchy wet-boxer-shorts contest still packs 'em in the last Thursday of each month.

Open Mondays through Fridays noon to 2 am, Saturdays 11 am to 3 am, Sundays 11 am to 2 am.

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Rose Bar
Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Avenue
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 920 3300

New York has never lacked for swank hotel bars, but the Rose Bar, located in the Gramercy Park Hotel, takes things to a whole new level. Though the bar's $19 cocktails turn some off, others—notably media bigwigs, i-bankers, and the hotel's glamorous guests—have no qualms shelling out for lavish beverages (the Diamonds and Pearls features Reyka vodka and Lillet Blanc shaken with blackberries and coconut). This may have something to do with the dramatic haute bohemian ambience—red and white tiles line this high-ceilinged, Spanish-style space, which is surrounded by green silk velvet walls, a wood-burning fireplace, and the bar's pièces de résistance: artwork by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Julian Schnabel (who is one of the co-owners). Reservations are required after 9 pm.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 4 pm to 4 am.

Round Robin & Scotch Bar
Willard Intercontinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C.
Tel: 202 628 9100

The term lobbyist is said to have been coined in this historic hotel bar at the Willard as a nickname for the power brokers that would pester President Ulysses S. Grant for favors on his way to enjoy a brandy and cigar in the clubby emerald and wood-paneled room. More than a century later, this is still the place to observe the good ol' boys brokering deals. If you're lucky, longtime bartender and historian Jim Hewes will be behind the round marble-and-mahogany bar to regale you with tales of the house's most famous patrons, from Dickens to Twain, Lincoln to Harding. Be sure to try the mint julep, still made according to a recipe established here by Senator Henry Clay in the 1800s.—Colleen Clark

Open Mondays through Saturdays 4 to 11 pm.

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Rowdy Hall
10 Main Street #B
East Hampton , New York
Tel: 631 324 8555

Located at the end of a brick alley, this tidy pub from the owners of Nick & Toni's has become a favorite among summer folks for its friendly service and unfussy vibe. Sidle up to the copper-top bar for a pint of Brooklyn Lager or a dram of one of many whiskeys picturesquely posed against a stained-glass backdrop. The menu includes fish and chips, braised duck legs, and one of the East End's best burgers. The six-screen UA cinema is just down the street, making the pub a popular stop among East Hampton's post-movie crowd; they know as well as anyone that convivial Rowdy Hall generally lives up to its name just enough.—Darrell Hartman

Open daily noon to 11 pm.

The Roxy Theatre
9009 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood , California
Tel: 310 276 2222

The roster at this intimate venue features mostly up-and-coming bands, with the occasional big name, and attracts a very young crowd.

The Royal Room Cabaret
The Colony
155 Hammon Avenue
Palm Beach , Florida
Tel: 561 659 8100

If you're in the mood for a cocktail and some cabaret, the Colony hotel's intimate performance-space regularly attracts familiar crooners (like Broadway diva Betty Buckley and onetime Supreme Mary Wilson) and old-school hoofers (like Fosse protégé Ben Vereen) for brief residencies in season. (Expect lesser names during summer months.) Tickets run about $65 plus $15 drink minimum for the show; a dinner package is $35 more.

Waikiki Sheraton
2255 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 922 4422

Although the legendary Hanohano Room on the 30th floor of the Waikiki Sheraton has closed, this open-air restaurant and chill-out lounge on the beach has more than taken up the slack, even pinching the crowds away from the long-standing beach bar favorite in Waikiki, Duke's at the Outrigger Waikiki. Expect to dine on tapas-style plates of Mexican–Hawaiian cuisine while perched on daybeds and sip yummy rum-based cocktails under the stars. The best part? It's open daily until midnight, with live music, weekend DJs, and dancing on the sand.—Cathay Che

Russian Vodka Room
265 W. 52nd Street
Midtown West
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 307 5835

This dimly lit, windowless hideaway transports you from Midtown to old-world Moscow. A portrait of Lenin hangs on the wall overseeing a lively piano player and Russian businessmen hooting and hollering at the bar over plates of gravlax and smoked fish, and glasses of the lounge's biggest attraction: vodka. With 53 varieties, it's hard to know where to begin, but you can't leave without trying the infused options like garlic, dill, horseradish, apple cinnamon, or ginger. The bar is at its best late in the night, when revelers stumble in from all over town for raucous afterparties.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 4 pm to 12 am, Fridays through Sundays 4 pm to 4 am.

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Rusty Knot
425 West Street
West Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 645 5668

An upscale take on a nautical-themed dive bar could be utterly obnoxious, but Rusty Knot manages to pull it off with endearing style. This is likely due to the dream team of owners, who have been behind a range of New York hot spots, including the Spotted Pig and Freeman's. Located on the West Side Highway, with exquisite views over the Hudson River, the bar has a wood-paneled rec-room decor that does a fine job of transporting you to a New England seaside town thanks to kitschy touches like a ship-wheel mirror, mounted fish, and dog-eared copies of National Geographic. Lest you forget you're in Manhattan, there's a bar menu that includes oysters, chicken liver– and-bacon sandwiches, and pretzel dogs (it's exactly what it sounds like). There's also a comprehensive menu of specialty, rum-based cocktails (try the Rusty Knot, made with rum, house sour mix, bitters, and mint simple syrup), which arrive in tiki glasses. But if you really want to live the dive-bar illusion, stick with the beer—cans start at 99 cents.

Open daily noon to 4 am.

Rusty Nail Bar & Grille
1190 Mountain Road
Stowe , Vermont
Tel: 802 253 6245

Weekenders from Boston, New York, and beyond are drawn to the outdoor ice bar and the rock-the-rafters music at this historic ski-town bar. The Rusty Nail first opened in 1969 and went through several iterations and owners before the current management team took over in 2004 and added such modern-day gimmicks as a martini bar. (After a day on Stowe's Front Four, you may need a Black and Blue martini—Blavod Black Vodka over blue Curaçao.) Exposed high beams and a sunken dance floor have remained faithful to the Nail's original purpose: to get skiers and riders in serious revelry mode.

Call ahead for hours.

1416 E. Olive Way
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 323 9922

The Tiffany-blue-and-white facade of this cozy tequila bar brings a little bit of colonial Mexico to Capitol Hill. Don't expect sombreros or Day of the Dead skulls—the Saint forgoes all kitsch for class: clean, Scandinavian lines; a beautiful candlelit bar; framed black-and-white photos of matadors; and more than 80 top-quality tequilas from slammers to sippers (and even a few pricey reservas). Moneyed denizens of Capitol Hill are happy to drop $14 on delicious tequila-based cocktails like the angelflower (Patron Silver, mint, cucumber, and blue agave syrup, topped with an edible flower), though if you're looking for something more auténtico you'll find it in the small menu of traditional favorites like puerco pibil and posole—accompanied by a drink mixed into a Jarritos soda bottle.

Open Mondays through Fridays 5 pm to 2 am, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am to 2:30 pm and 5 pm to 2 am.

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Salon de Ning
Peninsula Hotel
700 5th Avenue
Midtown East
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 903 3097

Named for fictional 1930s Shanghai jet-setress Madame Ning, the lounge atop the Peninsula Hotel is inspired by a time when the Chinese city was known as "the Paris of the East." In addition to two outdoor lounges and an inside bar with Chinese screens, black marble seating, and glowing lanterns, Salon de Ning's biggest draw is the panoramic, very dramatic view of the city. But like every view in this town, you'll have to pay for it: The delicious cocktails (try the Ning Sling made with Absolut Mandarin, Soho Lychee, fresh mint leaves, lychee and passion fruit juices ) will cost you upward of $20 (not including tip). Those who enjoy their experience here can look forward to Salon de Ning offshoots opening in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Open daily 4 pm to 1 am.

Samana Lounge
228 Bridge Street
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 476 3433

Vail's epicenter of electronic music, Samana lights up the after-hours scene with hip-hop, techno, and live music. The dance floor sizzles after 10 pm on weekend and holiday nights.—Samantha Berman

5416 Sixth Avenue N.W.
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 781 4883

"Tucked away" doesn't even begin to describe Sambar. This teeny-tiny bar is attached to Le Gourmand, which is one of the city's most notable restaurants, in one of its least likely spots (the no-man's-land between Fremont and Ballard). Sambar has some of the best specialty cocktails in the city—the Madagascar (bourbon and vanilla bean syrup) is a must—and a good list of wines, dessert wines, port, and cognac. It also benefits hugely from the delicious small plates available from Le Gourmand's kitchen. The scene is lively and loud, and the only thing "French" about it is the occasional burst of bad techno music. The crowd skews a bit older than those at most of Ballard's bars (if the guy next to you is wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches, he's not being ironic), but as with most of the city's watering holes, the crowd is mixed and all are welcome.

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Santos Party House
100 Lafayette Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 584 5492

You don't go to Santos Party House to perch on a banquette while looking cute—you go to Santos Party House to seriously get down while looking cute. Helmed by New York cool kids Andrew W.K. (yes, he of "Party Hard" fame), artist Spencer Sweeney, Pianos owner Larry Golden, and architect Ron Castellano, this bi-level megaspace recalls a New York of the '80s when you hit the club dressed in your wildest to dance till dawn. In addition to a rotating cast of top-of-the-line DJs—Studio 54 vet Nicky Siano had a Santos summer residency, as do LCD Soundsystem/DFA guru James Murphy and the legendary Q-Tip—the club recently started hosting live shows by the likes of N.E.R.D., The Virgins, and Black Dice.

Open daily 10 pm to 4 am.

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DoubleTree Guest Suites
400 Soldiers Field Road
Boston , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 562 4111

We can't say much for the setting—a room that looks like a banquet hall in a chain hotel beside a train yard—but Scullers has the best jazz in Boston, a mix of legends and up-and-comers, with cabaret seating and a modest stage just a few feet from the front tables. You never know who might turn up. One night it could be 1960s soul singer Bettye LaVette; another, singer-songwriter Marta Gómez performing Latin jazz. Let's not forget the cheeky cabaret attractions, either—Charo, anyone? For more jazz, three other good bets are the Regattabar (two seatings per night, closed Sundays and Mondays), Ryles and the classic Wally's at the Roxbury edge of the South End.—updated by Jon Marcus

Shows start at 8 and 10 pm, Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Seafood Bar at the Breakers
One South County Road
Palm Beach , Florida
Tel: 561 655 6611

If you're not staying at the Breakers resort, make sure you at least check out its oceanfront restaurant with signature aquarium bars.

Second City
1616 N. Wells Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 312 337 3992

If you only go to one comedy club in your life, this should be it. Yes, you'll find Second City franchises scattered about the country, but there's no matching the original. A perusal of the framed photos in the foyer is a who's who of funny: Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Mike Meyers, and Amy Sedaris are just some of the comedians who started their careers here. The casual main theater—officially called "The Second City Mainstage"—seats 290 and is as classic as comedy clubs get; you'll likely be seated randomly at a table and plied with drinks and appetizers until the show begins. Big names and alums still perform here periodically, but both the Mainstage and Second City e.t.c. (a smaller, second stage) have resident troupes that write and perform original comedy revues.

Performance times vary; call ahead.

320 Lincoln Road
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 531 2800

Sister to megaclub Mansion, SET is located on a grimy, bus-choked block of Lincoln Road, but inside, it's fun and glitzy with refreshingly loud music—reviving a party-like-it's-1992 scene, when South Beach was first emerging. (The bank-breaking bottle service is the only difference.) The main floor, with its four enormous handmade Swarovski chandeliers, is usually pumping with house; upstairs at the front is another bar in a smaller room that plays to a hip-hop crowd. Of course, the best place to be is with owners Roman Jones, Francis Milon, and brother Eric Milon, a former GQ cover model, in the VIP room: The 20-person hideaway behind a two-way mirror above the bar is like a clubby lodge, with overstuffed leather chairs and hunting trophies.

Open Thursdays through Saturdays.

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Seven Grand
515 W. Seventh Street
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 213 614 0737

One of the handful of speakeasies breathing some much needed life into L.A.'s downtown scene, this old school–style whiskey bar with a tricked out hunting lodge motif, is a favorite happy hour hang for downtown loft-dwellers. The revamped display cases of this converted 1920s jewelry store flaunt 125 different kinds of whiskey—from small batch Tennessee bourbons to a rare, 30-year-old Macallan Scotch. Its proximity to USC means you might have to deal with a few cigar-smoking frat boys mouthing off in one of the dark leather booths, but the crowd is mostly young professionals who come in for a game of pool and the stiff drinks.

Open Mondays through Fridays 4 pm to 2 am, Saturdays and Sundays 8 pm to 2 am.

1197 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta , Georgia
Tel: 404 846 2000

This Colony Square rooftop lounge continues to dazzle Atlantans with its South Beach–style cabanas and panoramic city views. So spectacular are the vistas and chef Shayne Vaughan's eclectic menu that the restaurant-bar's 18,000 square feet and ear-splitting noise levels are more annoyances than deal breakers.

Closed Sundays.

Ski Bar
333 Bridge Street
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 476 0360

Owned by three young guys, this is party central in Vail Village, complete with $15 cocktails. The nightclub draws a young, sexy crowd gabbing on their Razr cell phones. The gimmick is themed rooms—including a 1950s jukebox room, disco dance floor, and a smoking lounge.

60 N. Orange Avenue
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 246 1599

Until recently, Sky60 was just another wannabe posh club, distinguished by flowing white fabrics and interior cabanas perfect for giving small groups an insular night. But since many of Orlando's gay bars have rapidly closed, their old clientele has been welcomed here, and now Sky60 has morphed into the town's most stylish mixed-crowd hangout. DJs spin a variety of music, while drinks remain decently priced. Conveniently, the club is located in the midst of the city's most popular nightspots; on one side is the dance palace Tabu, and on the other, an eclectic house for traveling bands, The Social.

Shore Club
1901 Collins Avenue
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 786 276 6772

If you have the magic open-sesame black card, this playland at the Shore Club hotel is all yours; otherwise, prepare to dress up and posture at the velvet ropes. Once inside, you have your choice of settings: lounging by the pool on Moroccan cushions with a glass of one of 75 rums from the Rumbar; on a rattan chair in the Sandbar (the sand is brought in from the beach); or in the Redroom, the inner sanctum with its all-ruby interior and lighting, punctuated by candles.

Sloppy Joe's
201 Duval Street
Key West , Florida
Tel: 305 294 5717

This is one of those storied bars steeped in Key West history. Originally opened the day Prohibition ended in 1933 with the name Blind Pig, Sloppy Joe's moved to its current location in 1937. Papa drank here, of course, and legend has it Hemingway lobbied for the name change with a comment to then-owner Josie Russell, saying "Joe, you run a sloppy place—you should call this place Sloppy Joe's." The bar honors his memory, so to speak, with an annual Hemingway look-alike contest at the end of July. On any given day, the crowd is heavy on cruise ship day-trippers, but things perk up by sundown, when the tables are cleared for an impromptu dance floor and the live band rocks until 2 am. It's the best place to let loose with a sinfully sweet and strong piña colada.

304 E. Hopkins Avenue
Aspen , Colorado
Tel: 970 925 9700

If Austin Powers were in town, there's one place you'd find him here, pinky in the air, at the Lucite bar. Opened in 2007, Social restaurant and lounge has candy-colored chairs and funky flowered wallpaper stuck to every flat surface. The menu is global tapas and the cocktail list reads like a pretentious travel guide, from the San Tropez (with absinthe, cognac, champagne) to the Hong Kong (iced green tea with Chivas). When it gets late and the restaurant clears, head upstairs to the cozy wine bar.

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The Social
54 N. Orange Avenue
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 246 1419

The skinny jeans–and-Converse crowd—and plenty of old school rock 'n' roll types, too—queue around the block to buy tickets whenever a major show is announced at this top live music venue in downtown Orlando. Seeing one of the international or national indie acts that appear here (think My Morning Jacket, G. Love & Special Sauce, OMD) is very appealing, thanks to the atmospheric intimate space. The Social maxes out at 400 people. Just next door at sister venue the Beacham, larger acts perform in a circa-1920s theater (the booking agent is an Orlando music-scene veteran known for luring great acts to the city). There are live bands most nights at the Social, and Sundays attract the young hipster crowd for a dance vibe and DJs spinning dubstep.—Terry Ward

Schedule varies; see Web site.

Specs' Twelve Adler Museum Cafe
12 Adler Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 421 4112

Tucked in an alleyway off Columbus Avenue, near the storied City Lights bookstore, this North Beach saloon is at once a dive bar and a museum of oddities. Random-seeming objects dangle from the ceiling, gather dust in display cases, and hang everywhere on the walls. The wacky collection includes a New Guinea bone calendar, a petrified marine mammal's penis, scrimshaw art, and a stuffed mongoose. Genial bartenders cater to a mellow crowd of bohemian regulars who plunk out tunes on the old piano, scribble in their journals, and debate the latest conspiracy theories.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open daily 5 pm to 2 am.

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Spitzer's Corner
101 Rivington Street
Lower East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 228 0027

The buzz surrounding this downtown "gastropub" shouldn't give the Spotted Pig too much pause: With dozens of hard-to-find artisanal brews on draft, nobody's really coming here for the food. Communal-style seating further underscores the beer garden vibe. However, the interior is more Boulder than old-school Bavaria: Think salvaged wood paneling, floor-to-ceiling windows, and tables made of reclaimed Douglas fir. Descriptive tasting notes come in handy for the more obscure imports, which range from citrusy German Pilsners to chocolate stouts that are meals in themselves. And savory bar snacks like the pork belly sandwich—essentially a BLT with intensely flavored slabs of bacon—pair well with most of these libations. Spitzer's is at its best on weeknights, when a mix of beer geeks, art types, and post-work professionals chill with a pint or two. On the weekends, it's best to make this your first stop and escape before the rowdy masses descend.

Open Mondays and Tuesdays noon to 3 am, Wednesdays through Fridays noon to 4 am, Saturdays 11 am to 4 am, and Sundays 11 am to 3 am.

The Spur Bar and Grill
352 Main Street
Park City , Utah
Tel: 435 615 1618

Tucked away in an alley and downstairs, the Spur (run by the same folks who manage 350 Main Brasserie next door) is a nicely upscale place for cocktails and live music. Leather-backed bar stools surround a horseshoe-shaped bar, where the tender mixes margaritas, Manhattans, and extra-dirty martinis. There are also sofas and fireplaces, making it very easy to turn après-ski into late-night without stepping foot outside. Nearly every weeknight in the winter, musicians ranging from solo local acoustic singer-songwriters to national reggae and jazz acts take to the stage. It's a favorite spot for Park City's mayor, Dana Williams, and his Motherlode Canyon band.—Sarah Tuff

Open daily 3 pm to 2 am.

Spuyten Duyvil
359 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 963 4140
Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue

Ask the bartenders at Williamsburg's Spuyten Duyvil about the obscure artisanal draughts with umlauted names scrawled on the chalkboards, and along with an accurate description of the taste, you'll probably get a rambling story about its brewing history, the difference between Lambics and Wallonian ales, and so on. In fact, it's nearly impossible to escape an education at Spuyten Duyvil, with its world maps, scientific charts of the human anatomy, and classroom desks where locals sip glasses of La Choulette Framboise or Kulmbacher Eisbock. The narrow bar gets crowded fast on a Friday or Saturday night, so slip out back to the tree-lined garden patio, one of the best in the neighborhood.—Douglas Wright

Open Mondays through Fridays at 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm.

Stagecoach Bar
5755 W. Highway 22
Wilson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 733 4407

Back in the day, ranch hands used to ride their horses inside the Stagecoach—at least according to local legend. It's not as rowdy these days, though it retains a feeling of authenticity, especially when the Stagecoach Band plays every Sunday. On weekends the place fills with a crowd of locals from Wilson, the small town between Jackson and the resort.

Star Bar
423 E Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 234 5575

Downtown's trendy clubs come and go like the ocean tides, but for more than 40 years, gaudy red and black Star Bar with its hundreds of cases of beer stacked on the bare wood floor has stood firm as the Gaslamp's quintessential dive bar. Hard-drinking locals, Navy sailors, and some adventurous tourists come down for cheap beer and stiff drinks. The trashy-hot bartenders fuel barstool rumors that a brothel still operates upstairs.

431 E. Central Boulevard
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407-839-0080

The thump of music from underground turns passersby on to this retro subterranean lounge a few steps from Lake Eola in Thornton Park. The low cavernlike ceilings, curved red booths, and Art Deco chandeliers pair with brick walls and a faux fireplace for an oddly comforting mashup of après-ski, the Jetsons, and Las Vegas. Tuesday bring packs of friends for Dirty Bingo, when raunchy prizes and commentary accompany the otherwise tame board game. Deejays spin '80s, '90s, and hip-hop on Fridays and Saturdays. Sundays don't sleep easy, either, with happy hour all day and night and fierce rounds of beer pong. But don't worry, the young, diverse crowd keeps it from turning into a frat party.—Terry Ward

Open Mondays through Saturdays 4 pm to 2 am, Sundays 2 pm to 2 am.

Station Hollywood
6250 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 798 1300

Angelenos now have a great place to booze without worrying about parking. At the W Hollywood hotel's outdoor Station Hollywood lounge, they can arrive via subway—it stops at the hotel's door. In this outdoor oasis of potted shrubbery and pillows, hotel guests and bar patrons cluster on couches and around fire pits, drinking updated classics and fruit extravaganzas like the Avenue of the Stars: Maker's Mark, honey, lemon, and muddled raspberry. Snacks include Latin fare (shrimp and chorizo pintxos) and good ole American steak sandwiches. Wear something snazzy to blend in with the attractive pre-dinner crowd. Still raring post-feed? Take the elevator to the W's rooftop and brave the up-tempo hoochie mama gyration at dance club Drai's.

The Stephen Talkhouse
161 Main Street
Amagansett , New York
Tel: 631 267 3117

Located in the center of sleepy Amagansett, the Stephen Talkhouse is the closest thing to a CBGB-style roadhouse as you're likely to find on the East End. Since opening in 1970, this live-music venue has attracted a talented roster of musicians, including Billy Joel and Paul Simon. Grab a beer at the long bar, check out the autographed photographs and memorabilia papering the walls, and get ready to rock out. Buy tickets well in advance.

Stone Rose Lounge & Simon LA
Sofitel Los Angeles
8555 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 310 228 6777

This huge (5,000-square-foot) new lounge from Rande Gerber in the newly renovated—and completely transformed—Sofitel hotel has plush banquettes down one wall, lots of open space, and an outdoor patio with a fire pit. Next door is the fancifully modern Simon LA, Kerry Simon's restaurant, with glass-partitioned private rooms and excellent upscale comfort food (crispy gulf shrimp with ponzu dipping sauce, meatloaf, braised short ribs). The hilarious junk food dessert tray, which comes with cotton candy, Rice Krispie bars, and caramelized popcorn—is very popular just now.

90 Exeter Street
Boston , Massachusetts
Tel: 617 236 1134

In the well-situated Back Bay basement space that was once Saint, Storyville is an homage to an even earlier jazz club (named after the red-light district of New Orleans) that operated at this address in the 1940s (Billie Holiday recorded a live album there). While it now features DJs playing club music, it looks like a cool combination of jazz club and bordello, with red damask and overstuffed leather sofas. The vibe is welcoming, the clientele is of all ages, and the music isn't so loud that it drowns out conversation.—Jon Marcus

Open Wednesdays through Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am.

Mercer Hotel
147 1/2 Mercer Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 966 6060

After a five-year hiatus, the bunkerlike lounge beneath Andre Balazs's Mercer Hotel is back in business and swankier than ever. After you locate the unassuming door marked 147 1/2, make it past the doorman, take a freight elevator down one flight and open two sets of doors, you will find yourself in a chic, cavernous party space with exposed brick, red banquettes, and a stripper pole. The decor may be spare, but the supermodels, socialites, designers, and the occasional member of the Strokes who frequent subMercer do a good job prettying the place up. Getting past the doorman is not an easy feat, so we suggest e-mailing and making a reservation.

Hours vary.

Sundance Square

Sundance is a carefully orchestrated civic initiative that has pumped new life into 20 blocks of Fort Worth's city center. The culture is geared somewhat toward families; you can actually stay in a nice hotel and go car-less for a weekend, sampling from dozens of dining and PG-rated entertainment venues, including comedy improve, intimate theater, and musicals imported from Broadway. Sundance also has considerable style and charm, from the tree-lined red brick Main Street drag to the giant trumpeting angels on the facade of the Bass Performance Hall (home of top touring acts as well as the biennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition) to funky spots like the UFO-themed Flying Saucer, with a global selection of almost 200 beers. Dining favorites include the sleek hipster bistro Zolon and the posh, Western-themed Reata, offering a dependable lineup of choice Texas-size steaks.

Sunset on the Beach
Honolulu , Hawaii

Visitors often wonder about the 30-foot screen on Waikiki Beach at the spot known as Queen's Surf, across Kalakaua Avenue from the Honolulu Zoo parking lot (believe us, you'll see it). The answer: Since 2001, the city has sponsored free movies here every Saturday and Sunday at sunset, in an attempt to bring locals back to Waikiki. Food vendors set up stalls adjacent to the area, though people often come with their own picnic baskets. You'll see folks staking out spots with blankets and chairs starting in the late afternoon, but it's also possible to wander up and find a place on the sand even after the film has started. The intensity of the crowd depends on the popularity of the movie; family films draw the noisiest masses. See the website for a schedule.

657 Harrison Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 348 0900

An average night's entertainment at Supperclub might include an aerialist, a python-festooned exotic dancer, and a couple of women in cat costumes prowling about on all fours. Guests loll in white beds to watch the dreamlike spectacle and to enjoy standard global-eclectic fare along with cocktails. There are several prix-fixe menus ($35–$70, depending on the day of the week) and only one seating per night, at 7:30—but as with most "dining experiences," the real draw is the experience, not the dining. (If you'd prefer to forgo the food, show up on a Friday or Saturday night after 10 pm, just for drinks and dancing.) Book a table well in advance, and don't wear white—not only will you vanish in the all-white dining room, but when eating in bed, it's far too easy to make a mess of yourself.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 7 pm to 2 am.

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Surf Lodge
183 S. Edgemere Street
Montauk , New York
Tel: 631 668 1562

Depending on whom you talk to, this low-slung party spot on the eastern shore of Fort Pond spelled either the end of Montauk or a new beginning when it opened in 2008. Surf Lodge has a handful of whitewashed guest rooms (Frette linens, platform beds), and celebrity chef Sam Talbot's menu includes yummy burgers and local seafood. That said, neither food nor furnishings are the big draw here: This is Montauk's original see-and-be-seen night venue, even if it's more about flip-flops and Coronas than Louboutins and velvet ropes. Out on the sand, you'll find Manhattan's young fashion crowd swaying to Bob Marley and the Rolling Stones in the orange light of a beach bonfire. Thanks to a rash of trendy newcomers—the Crow's Nest and Navy Beach, to name just two—the most devoted scene-followers have moved on from Surf Lodge. Still, the cars line up along Edgemere Street, so be prepared to walk a quarter mile or so from yours if you arrive after sunset on a Friday or Saturday night.—Darrell Hartman

Bar open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 5 to 11 pm, Tuesdays 5 to 9 pms, Fridays 5 pm to 2 am, Saturdays noon to 3 am, and Sundays 11 am to midnight, May through September.

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 891 7183

Proof that style trumps size. There's no dance floor, so the tables do double duty as bottle service and platforms for female patrons who can't resist the urge. Although more of a dress code should be enforced to match the sexy, futuristic interior by designer Jeffrey Beers, don't let that stop you from dolling up—especially since the intimate size of the place makes it easy to meet people. And if you're tired of incessant hip-hop, you'll be delighted to know that the DJs favor deep, soulful house over trendy club hits (except for Sunday, which is, in fact, hip-hop night).

Open Thursdays through Mondays from 10 pm.

The Venetian
3377 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 388 8588

This branch of the New York hot spot inside the Venetian is an Asian restaurant, lounge, and nightclub. Unless you've reserved a table by purchasing bottle service, gaining entry to the club will be the challenge (or wait) of a lifetime, so make late dinner reservations (10 or 11 p.m.) and ask your server to pull aside the velvet rope. The nightclub upstairs is filled with dark, cavernlike spaces, a lounge area that feels like the Hearst Castle's living room, and a huge main room that resembles a warehouse with chandeliers. It's not uncommon to see lingerie-clad girls massaging one another on daybeds.

Open Thursdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 5 am.

The Tap Room
333 Bridge Street
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 479 0500

Let's face it: Few things taste better after a long day of skiing, at least to carnivores, than a heaping bucket of chicken wings. That's why Monday nights at the Bavarian-themed Tap Room, when all-you-can-eat wings are just $7.95, are packed with anyone who might be pinching pennies around Vail. The $3.50 Colorado lagers from 3 to 6 pm every day are a big draw, too. The best spot in this bar is at one of the deck tables: Skip that last run to stake out a spot with a view.—Sarah Tuff

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The Tar Pit
609 La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 965 1300

Campanile owner/chef Mark Peel has hooked up with master NYC mixologist Audrey Saunders (Pegu Club) to open the Tar Pit, a posh cocktail lounge where postwar era–inspired libations, with names like the Palm Frond (mint, vermouth, and lemon-infused gin) and the Jamaican Firefly (rum, lime juice and homemade ginger beer), are served in an elegant Art Deco setting. From the piped-in piano standards to the Black Dahlia-esque servers, it all evokes L.A. supper clubs of the 1940s. Thankfully, for the over-35 set, the crowd feels older, too—it's that rare L.A. joint where elegant women and their silver-haired beaus feel right at home sipping Gin-Gin Mules over throwback dishes like Steak Diane and Shrimp Louis. The only drawback is that the cocktail prices ($12 to $17 a pop) are a potent reminder of the present.—Audrey Davidow

Open daily 5 pm to 2 am.

The Tea Room at H.wood
1738 N. Orange Avenue
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 871 2262

Trust Hollywood to take the most pedestrian of spaces and turn it into a star. That's what happened late in 2009 when a windowless storeroom inside the nightclub H.Wood, across the alley from the touristy Hollywood & Highland Center, was transformed into the Tea Room, a nightclub with "Prohibition tea," served chilled in teapots and spiked with spirits. The idea coalesces disparate cocktail trends: the speakeasy craze, the popularity of artisanal teas (one of the bar's partners owns a plantation in India), and the impulse to imbue beverages with healthful elements. Stars of yesterday (Paris Hilton) and today (Katy Perry) have been spotted at the club, which opens only on Wednesdays to a vibrant crowd of girls in minidresses and stiletto boots and guys in gold sneakers and skinny jeans.

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24 Harrison Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 625 9463

Terroir eschews wine-snob culture, while welcoming genuine wine fanatics with open arms. It does come with credentials: Co-owner Paul Grieco used to oversee the wine service at Gramercy Tavern. The wine bar's menu (which is not so much a menu as a quirky three-ring binder filled with cheeky cartoons, poems, songs, and essays) features more than 50 wines by the glass, many of them obscure and, according to Grieco, underappreciated—a whopping three pages are fully devoted to Riesling. Servers are exceedingly friendly, and decidedly unstingy with the pouring; they'll guide even neophytes through the offerings. Small plates are phenomenal, including the legendary veal and ricotta meatball sub and the calamari salad with smoked chickpeas and garlic. There is also a smaller (original) location in the East Village, near Hearth restaurant, also co-owned by Grieco.—Alexis Swerdloff

Open Mondays through Wednesdays 5 pm to 1 am, Thursdays through Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am, and Sundays 5 pm to midnight.

Memphis , Tennessee

For a city of fewer than 700,000 residents, Memphis's theatrical scene is surprisingly varied. The gold leaf- and red velvet-ornamented Orpheum was once a vaudevillian venue but now stages Broadway road shows (203 S. Main St.; 901-525-3000; Theatre Memphis, the city's oldest community theater group, was organized in 1921 and puts on regional premieres and locally produced revivals such as The Pavilion and A Little Night Music (630 Perkins Ext.; 901-682-8323; Excellent sister theaters Circuit Playhouse and Playhouse on the Square produce more artistically adventurous fare, like the civil-rights musical Caroline, or Change and Martin McDonagh's dark The Pillowman (1705 Poplar Ave. and 51 S. Cooper St.; 901-726-4656;


A night at the theater has become an increasingly familiar pastime in Dallas and Fort Worth. The major regional theater, the Dallas Theater Center, performs standards and new work in the only theater designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, a challenging, fluidly organic space built in 1959. Dallas institution Theatre Three offers dependable mainstream productions with the best local talent—as well as proximity to fine dining in the surrounding Quadrangle. For new and experimental work, there's the well established but perennially edgy Undermain Theatre in Deep Ellum, a cozy basement venue (right beneath Main Street) noted for first-rate productions of outré material (think rock opera). In Fort Worth, Circle Theatre also works out of a basement—beneath a former department store in Sundance Square—staging standards alongside challenging contemporary works. Jubilee Theatre )is another Sundance Square fixture, featuring African-American performers, writers, and directors. But the real star of Fort Worth's theater scene is Hip Pocket Theater, revered for its wildly inventive outdoor staging—often using mime, puppets, and projections—of zany, commedia dell'arte–inspired scripts written or adapted by founder Johnny Simons. Under-the-stars productions at the company's parklike wooded amphitheater (they call it "theater in the rough") are eclectic, spanning drama, riffs on classic literature, and send-ups of science-fiction B movies.

39 N. Hotel Street
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 599 2552

There's Chinatown by day—a loud, bustling, pungent open market—and then Chinatown by night, populated by young hipsters who seem more Tokyo or New York than Honolulu. The center of the scene is this club/arts center co-founded by world-famous DJ Harvey, where fashionistas dance in the gallery and mingle outside on the open-air deck. Entry fees vary, but are usually under $20; the cheapest nights are Tuesdays, when a live jazz quartet plays. Up-and-coming young designer Zana Tsutakawe also hosts monthly sample sales here for her clothing line, Akane (

4427 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 323 669 9381

This tiny bar is one of the inspirations for the retro tiki trend. It's family-owned and full of regulars who love to needle newcomers. There are 85 tropical cocktails to choose from, and many are concoctions you won't find anywhere else. If you can't decide between the Pain Killer (made with Pusser's rum, coconut, cinnamon, and nutmeg), a Great White Shark (made with rum, lime juice, and passion fruit), or a good old Suffering Bastard, you can always ask to spin "The Wheel" to decide your fate.

Closed Sunday–Tuesday.

505 Front Street
Suite 212
Lahaina , Hawaii
Tel: 808 661 9873

Timba, an open-air bar and weekend dance club, has brought Maui's nightlife to a new level. Located oceanfront directly above Pacific'o restaurant on Lahaina's Front Street, this modern, one-room hangout has a wood-beamed ceiling and plenty of black and white leather sofas that are perfect for sitting back and surveying the crowd. But the best tables are those on the outdoor balcony with sand and sea views. Thursday nights, you'll find groups gathered for pau hana (after work) drinks. Friday and Saturday nights are more of a raucous pickup scene, when both local and international guest DJs (bigger names on holidays and long weekends) spin hip-hop, house, and soul; the dancing goes on until the wee hours. Finding parking on a busy night is not easy, since the hard-to-navigate garage fills up quickly—between the parking challenges and the cocktails, we recommend calling a cab.—Cathay Che

Open Thursdays through Saturdays 9 pm to 2 am.

Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
Fairmont Hotel
950 Mason Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 772 5278

Lovers of kitsch will relish the Fairmont's faux-Polynesian bar, its entrance guarded by a stern-faced totem. Inside, there's a dance floor made from an actual ship's deck, and a small lagoon, its surface ruptured by an artificial monsoon every 15 minutes. A live band plays cheesy covers, and the drinks are the umbrella- and fruit-laden concoctions you would expect, such as the "Zombie," which comes in a miniature Easter Island head.

Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 to 11:45 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm to 12:45 am.

The Top
Crowne Plaza Key West La Concha
430 Duval Street
Key West , Florida
Tel: 305 296 2991

Mallory Square may be the go-to destination for soaking up one of Key West's postcard-perfect sunsets. But when you're looking for a place to kick back with a drink in an atmosphere that's far less touristy—with iconic views all its own—head to this rooftop hotel bar. Push "T" in the Crowne Plaza's elevators to reach the unlabeled seventh floor (incidentally, the highest point in Key West), where the tiny bar occupies a breezy and unembellished outdoor space. Walk to the edge to view the length of Duval Street and watch the setting sun turn the rooftops of Key West's bungalows and church steeples a silvery pink. The bar always opens at 4 pm and closes "whenever the sunset watchers have wandered onward," quips a bartender.—Terry Ward

Opens daily at 4 pm.

Open daily 4 to 10 pm.

The Top of the Standard
848 Washington Street
West Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 645 4646

Slap a bar on the eighteenth floor of New York's new High Line–straddling skyscraper hotel the Standard, add floor-to-ceiling windows, doormen from the River Styx training school, and staff in cheeky uniforms, and, presto, you have the city's hippest (and most exclusive) scene. Previously known as the Boom Boom Room, the Top of the Standard combines peerless Hudson River and Lower Manhattan views—the best are from the bathrooms—with a glam, retro, cruise ship–style interior, great cocktails, and a perma-party vibe. As for your fellow guests, it'd be easier to list the haute celebs who haven't draped themselves on the cream leather booths than those who have. The entry policy is likely to soften as time passes; for now, swing by around sunset—mere mortals are welcome between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

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4026 30th Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 282 0456

North Park's no-frills watering hole Toronado rises to the head of the glass for beer aficionados eager to taste the impressive selection. There are 50 rotating beers on tap and an overwhelming 230 different bottles from all over the globe. Be aware that the cheap happy hour specials (can't beat the $3 local pints on Mondays) draw in the frat boys, too. They've even got Pubcakes—that's a beer-flavored cupcake, for those who like to make a full meal out of the matter. This popular spot fills up early, so get there before 5 pm on the weekends if you want to grab one of the coveted picnic tables out back.—Audrey Davidow

Open daily 11:30 am to 12 am.

1900 Folsom Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 252 0306

Truck pulls mellow gay guys and gals off the beaten Castro path. It's an easygoing place, with cheap micheladas, burgers, and fries and free shots at the start of happy hour. With its auto-garage decor and no-nonsense attitude, this is the type of place to slug back a few and feel like a real local, particularly on Sunday evenings, when locals stumble from Beer Bust at the Eagle to Truck's always-odd drag show with hot mess Suppositori Spelling. Tuesday nights (men only) are notoriously sexy, but you'll need to find out the password to get in. The rest of the week, it's your classic neighborhood gay joint.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open Mondays through Fridays 11 am to 2 am, Saturdays 4 pm to 2 am, and Sundays 2 pm to 2 am.

Wynn Las Vegas
3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 770 3375

Tryst's entire back wall is open to a small lake fed by a 90-foot waterfall, so clean air wafts in and cigarette smoke goes out. This alone makes it a winner, but the 20- and 30-somethings in their finest threads meandering through spaces like the red library room (compete with a stripper pole for flirty female guests) don't hurt either. If you order bottle service, reserve a table outside for better people-watching. The best are in the far corner just to the left of the waterfall—you'll be able to hear your date talk but still feel connected to the club's energy.

823 Decatur Street
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 525 8676

This French Quarter gem survives as a representative of the classic 1850s saloon, historic and classic down to the last detail—the carved columns, 19th-century silvered mirror, ankle-level brass rail… and not a barstool in sight. The contemporary crowd reflects its location on tourist-clogged Decatur Street, just a few steps from the round-the-clock chaos of Café du Monde. Out-of-towners looking to score a quick to-go highball or light beer will miss sipping a well-made classic cocktail in one of the best afternoon bars in the country. The brusque but endearing barkeep Paul Gustings mixes up a classic Sazerac and the rare Angostura Phosphate, a tangy cocktail that tastes like Christmas in a rocks glass.—Pableaux Johnson

Open Mondays through Thursdays 3 to 10 pm. Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 10 pm.

The Vagabond
30 N.E. 14th Street
Miami , Florida
Tel: 305 379 0508

More Lower East Side than South Beach, this mainland venue with a worthy music lineup is a showplace for youthful, exuberant Design District cool. Artists, hipsters, and rockers in skinny jeans descend on the two lounge areas and large back patio to dance with reckless abandon to the beats laid down by resident DJs such as legend John Digweed (who's also one of the owners), Lee Burridge, Little Louie Vega, and Hercules and Love Affair. Classic hip-hop and $1 bottles of Colt 45 fuel the Thursday party. Indie acts such as the Postmarks and King Khan & the Shrines play live on Fridays. And Saturdays are hosted by Back Door Bamby—one of Miami's longest-running underground parties. A cover charge kicks in after 11 pm on Fridays ($5) and Saturdays ($10); tickets for the bigger live acts vary in price and can be purchased through

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The Varnish
118 E. Sixth Street
Downtown L.A.
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 213 622 9999

You'll have to search out the Varnish, a speakeasy-style lounge hidden at the back of the L.A. institution Cole's French Dip restaurant. (The clue is the picture of a cocktail glass on its heavy oak door.) Co-owned by Sasha Petraske (of New York's Milk & Honey and Little Branch) and L.A. nightlife guru Cedd Moses, the Varnish's downtown locale and limited seating capacity (no parties larger than six) help maintain its rep as a classy boîte where cool kids of all ages come for the mellow scene. The tiny wood-paneled space—once a storage room for Cole's—has a handful of café tables and banquettes, but we suggest you grab a standing spot at the leather-padded bar, where you can watch star bartenders Eric Alperin and Marcos Tellos's meticulous (and lengthy) preparation of cocktails containing freshly squeezed juices and house-made syrups. They taste all the better for it.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays 8 pm to 2 am, Wednesdays through Fridays 7 pm to 2 am.

291 Bridge St
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 476 5070

A good rule of thumb: If you are looking for a casual night out, go where the ski bums go. It's not the swankiest joint in town, but Vendetta's is well loved by Vail veterans, including the patrollers and instructors who come around for late-late-night pizza and beer.—Samantha Berman

Vic Theater
3145 N. Sheffield Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 472 0449

In the early 1900's, the Vic was the Victoria Theatre, a five-story vaudeville house. These days, the intimate venue (it holds up to 1,400) is looking its age, but the Italian marble of the lobby floor and staircases still impresses, and the original wall sculptures of plants, vines, and female faces have been restored. More importantly, the acoustics are as good as ever, and it remains one of the city's best places to catch hot local acts and national performers from David Bowie to Nanci Griffith. When live shows aren't scheduled, the venue transforms into a movie theater for its popular "Brew and View" nights, when second-run and cult classic films are screened, and the well-lubricated crowd can be quite talky.

The Violet Hour
1520 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 252 1500

This posh Wicker Park lounge is the place for a hip, dressy night on the town. The unmarked door recalls a speakeasy, the name (a line from T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land) suggests romantic drama, and the interior follows suit. Designer Thomas Schlesser (the man behind Avec and Blackbird) took a break from his signature pared-down style and opted for velvet drapes, high-backed blue chairs, and crystal chandeliers. The surprisingly ambitious canapé menu includes duck meatballs and fried banana, but make sure to leave room for the Violet Hour's raison d'être: cocktails, painstakingly prepared—at times with an eyedropper—by the in-house mixologists.

Open Sundays through Fridays 6 pm to 2 am, Saturdays 6 pm to 3 am.

Hotel Photo
7969 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 310 255 1111

If an undercurrent of sexual energy in sophisticated surroundings appeals to you in an Eyes Wide Shut kind of way, bordello-style Voyeur, in West Hollywood, will definitely provide a thrill. Sure, you'll find topless performers crawling around on an overhead trapeze net, and even the decor may be titillating (the chairs have corset backs, the draperies are black leather, and the sofas are made from banged-up bed headboards), but the vibe is one of a cool club rather than low-rent sex bar. In fact, the 6,000-square-foot space, complete with a photo booth for illicit shots and a dance floor surrounded by erotic film strips, is Tinseltown's party spot du jour—Heidi Klum hosted her Halloween bash here, and you'll find plenty of industry schmoozers and waif model types sipping on cocktails made with fresh organic juices. Should you need a break from the full-on sexiness, slink back to the VIP room, a secret hideaway with its own private bar and chaise made for lounging—or whatever else you had in mind.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays and Thursdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 2 am.

Wall Street Plaza
Wall Street between Orange and S. Court
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 839 3900

Ever since Church Street Station closed for an endless refit, Orlando's reigning street of sin has been Wall Street, a block of eight drinkeries geared to a festive, happy hour clientele, each with its own international personality. The Globe does live acoustic music and has an outdoor patio; Waitiki fashions itself as a Tiki bar; the Tuk Tuk room does Indonesian (with Wright & Wong's sushi bar at the back); and Monkey Bar, overlooking the street, has a tongue-in-cheek pan-African vibe. While the after-work crowd makes up the bulk of the plaza's patrons, the pour continues all weekend. Visit the block's website for downloadable iCal schedules of upcoming events.

Warehouse District
Austin , Texas

Sixth Street continues to skew younger and bawdier, so festive adults who aren't necessarily in the mood to paaaartay!! are heading to the Warehouse District instead. You can pick your poison from the growing multitude of pubs and restaurants: beer and a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (512-476-1320;; a porterhouse and single-malt scotch at Sullivan's (512-495-6504;; or a top-shelf martini under the stars at Cedar Street Courtyard (512-495-9669; The district starts a block west of Congress Avenue between Third and Sixth streets.

Wasatch Brew Pub
250 Main Street
Park City , Utah
Tel: 435 645 9500

Best known for its Polygamy Porter ("Why Have Just One?"), Wasatch has its own tanks on site and is always serving up seasonal beers and ales, such as raspberry wheat and Evolution Amber. Situated at the top of Main Street, the outdoor deck affords spectacular views of its namesake mountain range. The restaurant (open for lunch and dinner) serves pub classics like fish and chips, quesadillas, ribs, steaks, and bratwurst.

Weekend Lounge
Hotel Wailea
555 Kaukahi Street
Wailea , Hawaii
Tel: 808 874 0500

Once a staid golf resort, the Hotel Wailea has been born again after a boutique hotel makeover in 2009. Its Friday and Saturday night parties also are a push to attract a younger, sexier crowd, and it works. The lounge is set up inside the hotel's circular, open-air lobby, where the low chairs and tables provide a relaxing perch for taking in the view high over Wailea out to the ocean. The gathering starts around 5:30 pm; be sure to stake your claim before the sun sets (usually between 6:30 and 7:30) for the best mood lighting. The drinks skew tropical—Lilikoi Spritzers (that's passion fruit) and Citrus Mintinis—and are all organic. DJ's Deejays start spinning dance music around 10, and occasionally the music is live, but because this is a small, intimate hotel, shenanigans wrap up promptly at midnight.—Cathay Che

Open Fridays and Saturdays 5:30 pm to midnight.

Whaling Bar & Grill
1132 Prospect Street
La Jolla
San Diego , California
Tel: 858 551 3764

Tucked inside the historic La Valencia Hotel, the Whaling Bar has been a La Jolla classic since the 1940s. Its interior is done up in a nautical motif with Moby Dick–style oil paintings, harpoons, and faux lanterns; black leather booths line the walls; and a handful of stools belly up to the rich mahogany bar. Though the bar's signature drink is the Whaler, a froufrou milkshakelike concoction, you're more likely to blend in with the old-money La Jollans when sipping a gin and tonic or tippling a snifter of cognac.

White Room
1306 N. Miami Avenue
Miami , Florida
Tel: 305 995 5060

Beyond its bamboo-fenced entry, White Room opens into a motor lodge–esque courtyard with cabanas clad in white curtains and lounge furniture. Unfortunately, they open to a skyward view of caged AC units, telephone wires, and billboards. But the crowd of Latin American club scene devotees and fashion mavens don't seem to mind. Alterna-types sporting skinny jeans and designer sneakers gravitate to the back dance room, where electronic remixes and Euro pop bounce off convex mirrored walls and a stage beckons would-be pole dancers. A smaller cavelike lounge swathed in red light located off the courtyard lures a slightly older crowd with drum-and-bass beats that reverberate off the walls. Revelers circulate between the two dance rooms, catching their breath in the cabanas or ordering a cocktail at the alfresco bar before drifting reverie-like between the worlds of lounge and dance party. Saturday's PopLife parties (largely considered the party that shaped Miami's underground scene) have garnered a cult following. The Design District club also hosts several prime parties during Art Basel.

Open nightly from 10 pm.

White Slab Palace
77 Delancey Street
Lower East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 334 0193

When Chinatown's beloved Swedish bar/restaurant Good World closed in 2008, the city's arty-Scandinavian crowd was bereft. But not for long. In early 2009, the same owners, Annika Sundvik and John Lavelle, opened White Slab Palace, a haven for artistic Lower East Siders who haven't moved to Brooklyn yet. With shabby wooden tables, unfinished concrete floors, and large floor-to-ceiling windows, this is urban rustic at its best—and worlds away from your typical scuzzy LES joint. Signature cocktails like the Stoli Beet go well with the selection of Scandi treats such as potato pancakes and Swedish meatballs. Play your cards right and you may be invited into the semisecret back room for the late-night dance party.—Alexis Swerdloff

Open daily 11 am to 4 am.

Wild Bill's
1580 Vollintine
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 726 5473

Locals adore 87-year-old Wild Bill's eponymous social club, not least because rhythm and blues group Memphis Soul Survivors performs here Friday through Sunday. This no-nonsense hole-in-the wall with low ceilings and plastic tablecloths is located in a north Memphis strip mall, unceremoniously flanked by a barbershop and a convenience store. The Southern-style bar menu includes black-eyed peas and fried chicken wings, and beer is served by the quart—especially key in summer, seeing how there's no AC. Things generally get started at 10:30 p.m.

Wildcat Lounge
15 West Ortega Street
Santa Barbara , California
Tel: 805 962 7970

Think red vinyl walls, college kids mixed with locals, and some drop-in celebs such as Jimmy Fallon, the Wayans Brothers, and Maroon 5, and that's just a snapshot. Every night is different: eclectic deejays on Monday, local bands/artists on Tuesday, and go-go dancers and big-name guest deejays on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sometimes, bands playing the Santa Barbara Bowl have their after-parties at the Wildcat.

Open daily 4 pm to 2 am.

Hotel Photo
Wildhorse Saloon
120 2nd Avenue N.
Nashville , Tennessee
Tel: 615 902 8200

When it's not hosting a hair-band revival (Poison recently played here) or a country-music showcase, the Wildhorse Saloon is considered one of Nashville's best spots for learning the two-step and taking part in group line dancing. Every night, professional hoofers lead several 30-minute dance lessons that are free with the cover charge. Come with a partner or seek one out on the 3,300-square-foot wooden dance floor. Random fact: The largest TV screen in Nashville falls from the ceiling to broadcast major sporting events—good thing the area behind the dance floor is filled with couches and easy chairs.

Open Sundays through Thursdays 11 am to 12:30 am, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am to 2:45 am.

Williamsburg Music Hall
66 N. Sixth Street
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 486 5400
Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue

When this venerable music venue's former incarnation, Northsix, opened in 2001, it heralded an explosive new era of grassroots indie rock in Brooklyn, drawing in promising neighborhood talents such as TV on the Radio, Beirut, and the Hold Steady. When rents skyrocketed in Williamsburg six years later, the Northsix space was bought by the owners of the Bowery Ballroom and remodeled with state-of-the-art sound equipment, balcony seating, and improved acoustics. Recent acts like MGMT, Grizzly Bear, and the Dirty Projectors have since unleashed a rocking wallop of sound into the modest-size, black-walled venue, which continues in Northsix's footsteps by showcasing indie rock bands on the rise. If you arrive before the show, head downstairs to the subterranean horseshoe bar (one of four on the premises), where band members often grab a drink before going onstage.—Douglas Wright

Wink Wine Bar
1014 N. Lamar Boulevard
Austin , Texas
Tel: 512 482 8868

Wink Wine Bar's exterior may not look like much (it's located in a small strip mall), but this darkly lit, sleek wine bar, attached to the perennially packed Wink Restaurant, is a great place to start or end the night—whether you have a reservation at the restaurant or not. There's a consistently impressive list of over 60 reasonably priced wines by the bottle and 50 by the glass, each chosen for its food-friendliness and organized on the menu by flavor rather than by region or varietal, so wine novices can choose with ease. The bar bites are worth a nibble, especially the edamame with sel gris and the mac 'n' cheese with black truffles. But if you're hungry for a larger meal, you can also order from Wink Restaurant's seasonal, locally sourced menu without leaving your comfortable perch.—Carolina Santos-Neves

Open daily 5 pm to midnight.

Wobbly Barn
Killington Access Road
Killington , Vermont
Tel: 802 422 6171

Arguably the greatest après-ski bar in the country, the Wobbly Barn outshines the go-go girl nightclubs of Whistler, the cowboy dives of Jackson, and the swanky lounges of Vail with its unflappable rowdiness and rusticity. The bar—whose wooden structure is, yes, a bit wobbly, even more so after a few pints of Long Trail—opened in 1963 and has since seen stretch pants, neon one-pieces, and baggy Burton duds boogie to classic, ski-town cover bands. Happy hour (with free nachos) begins at 3:30 pm in the winter. The ambitious keep their ski boots on straight through dinner at the Wobbly's steakhouse; others retreat to the condo for a quick hot tub or shower before returning. It's best to pace yourself.

Open Sundays through Fridays 4 pm to 2 am and Saturdays 3:30 pm to 2 am, October 31 through ski season's end.

The Wonderland Ballroom
1101 Kenyon Street N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Tel: 202 232 5263

For those whose tastes run more to Pabst Blue Ribbon than bottle service, the Wonderland Ballroom might just be the perfect bar. Minivan bench seats, a Ms. Pacman arcade table, and signs from old D.C. restaurants and record shops give the first floor a laid-back, funky atmosphere. Start your night here at the main bar listening to the indie rock soundtrack from the jukebox, or out back in the outdoor beer garden with picnic benches for enjoying bargain microbrews and greasy bar food. Once you get in the groove, head upstairs to the dance floor, a rowdy free-for-all with a house-party vibe and a friendly crowd that knows how to get down. Check your pretensions at the door.—Colleen Clark

Open Mondays through Thursdays 5 pm to 2 am, Saturdays 11 am to 3 am, and Sundays 11 am to 2 am.

The Woodshed
Brewster Inn & Chowder House
1993 Main Street
Brewster , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 896 7771

Tucked behind the Brewster Inn & Chowder House, the Woodshed is a no-frills nightspot that hosts great up-and-coming New England bands (mostly rock and R&B) for a young crowd of visitors and locals that mingles around the bar. When there's live music, there's a cover charge, usually $5.

Open daily 4 pm to 1 am, April through October.

Woody Creek Tavern
2858 Upper River Road
Woody Creek , Colorado
Tel: 970 923 4585

Located about six miles outside of Aspen, this iconic old hangout of Hunter S. Thompson is frequented as often for its local color as for its food and drink. The walls are plastered with little snippets of history—including newspaper clippings, posters, stickers, and photos of celebs who frequented the joint. There are Colorado beers on tap, or try the house special: margaritas made with fresh-squeezed lime juice.—by Samantha Berman

Hotel Photo
Yazoo Brewing Company
1200 Clinton Street, No. 112
Nashville , Tennessee
Tel: 615 320 0290

Yazoo's brewpub is open for only a few hours, three days a week. So it's a good thing you can also buy the local microbrew's award-winning beers on tap at many bars across the city. Located in the Marathon Motor Works, a former auto factory in northwest Nashville near I-24, the brewery offers four regular brews on tap plus seasonal additions. Tours are offered on the hour on Saturdays; admission includes a complimentary Yazoo pint glass and samples. Before you leave, encourage recycling and invest in a 64-ounce glass growler that can be refilled on your next visit to the brewery.

Open Thursdays and Fridays 4 to 8 pm, Saturdays 2 to 8 pm.

Young Avenue Deli
2119 Young Avenue
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 278 0034

With a constantly changing selection of 36 draught, 121 bottled, and 3 non-alcoholic brews, this is the best place to quench your thirst—and many do. You'll find it in a large, open warehouse in the hippest part of Midtown, where local alt-rock talents play to young, packed crowds. There's a full menu of pita sandwiches, salads, and pizza, but their award-winning fries are the standout item. Cut one third inch thick and spiced up with a unique salty blend of seasonings, they beg to be crunched.

199 Valencia Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 255 7505

The city's de facto biker bar is patronized by tattooed Mission hipsters, bicycle-riding twentysomethings, blue-collar dudes in thermal shirts, and, of course, motorcyclists, most of whom favor crotch rockets to Harleys. Though you could hang out indoors by the pool table, the long wooden trestle tables on the enormous outdoor patio are the place to sit—every underground artist comes through here sooner or later. The place gets packed on warm evenings; be prepared to squeeze in where you can. The kitchen serves tasty pub grub such as burgers and barbecued chicken, and the Bloody Marys are damn good. Note: If you don't have an ID, you won't get in, period—no matter how old you look.—Updated by John Vlahides

Open daily 9 am to 2 am.

Zum Schneider
107 Avenue C
East Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 598 1098

This traditional, unpretentious biergarten, located on Avenue C in the East Village, fits comfortably between the neighborhood's grungy past and increasingly sanitized future. The decor may have touches of Bavarian quirk, but the space is always clean and the service snappy. On the weekends, the beer hall is mobbed with locals throwing back the 13 German beers on tap, many of which are served in jumbo-size steins (pace yourself), or 9 bottled beers, while snacking on traditional fare like Wiener schnitzel and spätzle. A date spot this is not: Groups of boisterous (read: loud) beer lovers convene here en masse at the bar's communal, long tables.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 5 pm to 2 am, Fridays 4 pm to 4 am, Saturdays and Sundays 1 pm to 2 am.

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