American cities look wonderful by day, but to truly get a feel for their local culture you have to stick around until after nightfall. For in the evening towns and cities across the States come alive. America’s cities offer some of the best, and most diverse, night life on the planet, with speakeasy-style cocktail bars, traditional pubs, a wide array of restaurants, live music galore and nightclubs to cater for every last genre of music. Here is a look at the very best cities in America for night life, places where you will surely want to paint the town red, white and blue.New Orleans
New Orleans may well have the most unique night life in the world. A combination of American hospitality, French flair and Cajun spice, the Crescent City is famed the world over for events such as Mardi Gras. Yet you do not have to visit during Mardi Gras to get a taste for this vibrant city – just wander down Bourbon Street on any given night and savour the hectic atmosphere. New Orleans is ideal as a destination for holidays for singles, with natives of this sultry, almost exotic town known for their warmth and generosity.
One of the most multi-cultural and liberal towns in America, San Francisco is famed for the beauty of its architecture, the grandeur of its landscapes and the live and let live attitude of its residents. Enjoy tacos in Mexican barrio The Mission, cocktails down at the waterfront, jazz bars in the Tenderloin, psychedelic rock in Haight-Ashbury and gay-friendly cafés in happening Castro. This town has it all.
Portland may just be the hippest city on the planet right now, and a visit to this Oregon metropolis never fails to leave visitors impressed. Sample craft beers at Portland’s legendary brewpubs, local wines at authentic Italian bars and dance the night away in the city’s Pearl District, a former warehouse area now turned yuppie playground. And how better to work off that hang over than to head into the evergreen forests and snow-capped mountains that surround the city? This proximity to the stunning natural world means Portland is also a worthy candidate for your American holidays.
For a unique slice of Americana you simply have to head to the nation’s music capital Nashville, in the southern, Appalachian state of Tennessee. The centre of the popular country music scene, Nashville has a rugged, rough around the edges appeal to its bars and taverns, and warm locals are always ready to ply you with anecdotes, as well as drinks. But the main reason to come here is for the live music, with dozens of live events and bands playing across town just about every night. You may also see one or two well-known singers and songwriters nursing a drink during a night out in Nashville, as artists and performers from all over the world come here to record albums and soak up the unique atmosphere.
There is more to Las Vegas than gambling. In fact you can do just about anything here, from sampling gourmet cuisine to attending late night pool parties and everything in between. Of course one should not overlook the casinos either, with huge gambling floors offering the chance to change your life with one spin of the roulette wheel. Whether you are after the sophistication of the blackjack tables, the bawdy appeal of dive bars or all night dancing in some of the world’s best nightclubs, Vegas has it all. But remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
John has published travel articles in dozens of magazines and blogs, and has a passion for activity holidays in exotic locations such as South Africa and Borneo.
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