Brian Carberry
the best places to be surrounded by nightlife in america

When you think of the country's best cities for nightlife, chances are your mind goes straight to Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles and the like. Perhaps it's time to reframe your thinking – you may be surprised by some of the spots to crack our top 10.

Top 10 cities based on nightclub businesses per resident

So, what makes these cities the best for nightlife? From pubs to clubs, these hopping locales have the most nightlife options per resident night owl. Raise a glass to our list of the 10 best cities in the country for nightlife – based on the ratio of bars, clubs and nightclubs, breweries and live entertainment businesses to the population.

10. Orlando, FL

 

orlando nightlife stats

While Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld may draw an endless influx of tourists to Orlando, you'll find ample nightlife for locals and visitors alike. From live music at Downtown Disney's House of Blues to the festive block party vibe at Wall Street Plaza, there are plenty of fun places to hang until 2 a.m.

When you're all partied out, you can hang your hat at many of the apartment complexes around the city. One-bedroom rent in Orlando averages $1,323.

9. Fort Lauderdale, FL

 

fort lauderdale nightlife stats

Just north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is known as much for its beaches as it is for Las Olas Boulevard, a bustling strip of bars, cafes and boutiques. And when none of your crew wants to be the designated driver, you can always opt for a different kind of pub crawl aboard a group bike.

Just don't spend too much of your hard-earned money on drinks. Rent here for a one-bedroom place will cost you north of $2,000.

8. Portland, OR

 

portland nightlife stats

Craving craft beer? You can't do much better than Portland, home of no fewer than 85 breweries. And if you get hungry between IPAs, you're in luck. By law, all Oregon watering holes that serve booze must also offer a selection of food.

Be ready to spend a little more to live here than most of the cities in our top 10 – the average one-bedroom rent in Portland is $1,570.

7. New Orleans, LA

 

new orleans nightlife stats

OK, so no huge surprise here. The Big Easy has been synonymous with booze since roughly the Louisiana Purchase. Of course, there's plenty of nightlife beyond Bourbon Street, from Pimm's Cups at Uptown's Columns Hotel to beers and live brass bands at the beloved Maple Leaf.

And if your krewe needs a place to crash, they can always stay at your place. Rent for one-bedroom apartments in New Orleans averages $1,425 a month.

6. Pittsburgh, PA

 

pittsburgh nightlife stats

From the always-buzzing South Side to Steelers games and concerts on the North Side, the 'Burgh boasts several neighborhoods with walkable nightlife. Did we mention the casinos? Whether you want to belly up or double down, you've got lots of options in our number six city.

You may hit the jackpot on rental prices here too. One-bedroom units in Pittsburgh average about $1,200 a month.

5. Cleveland, OH

 

cleveland nightlife stats

Expect plenty of live music in the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, plus breweries and legendary late-night bites like pierogies and Polish Boys. Cleveland is also home to Brewnuts, where the donuts are made with craft beer. Enough said.

Rent in Cleveland averages $1,319 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

4. Green Bay, WI

 

green bay nightlife stats

Perhaps most famous for football, Green Bay is also home to family-owned wineries, a growing number of breweries and an impressive array of watering holes. Insider tip – You know what goes well with cold beer? Fried cheese curds.

One-bedroom apartments in Green Bay average around $775 a month, so you'll have plenty left over for late-night revelry – especially after Packers games.

3. Dayton, OH

 

dayton nightlife stats

Whether you have a hankering for happy hour, dancing, karaoke or a dive, you'll find it in Dayton. The city may be on the small side, but the ratio of nightlife options per resident ensures that you'll never run out of fun things to do after the sun goes down.

Dayton is the most affordable city in our top 10 list. Rent here is only $731 for an average one-bedroom apartment.

2. Cincinnati, OH

 

cincinnati nightlife stats

More than double the size of its sister city in the number three spot, Cincinnati is no newbie to the craft beer craze sweeping the nation. Breweries have been a mainstay here since the mid-1800s, so you can imagine Cincy knows a little something about nightlife.

One-bedroom apartments in Cincinnati go for about $1,000 a month.

1. St. Louis, MO

 

st. louis nightlife stats

Perhaps you've heard of Anheuser-Busch or Schlafly? St. Louis has a long history of suds, speakeasies and bootleggers. Today, you can grab a pint in Ball Park Village, catch a blues show in historic Soulard or simply raise a glass to America's best city for nightlife in any one of The Lou's beloved watering holes.

In addition to being the top spot for nightlife, St. Louis is also one of the most affordable in our top 10. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment averages about $1,000 each month.

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Beyond the top 10

Still searching for a city that suits your nightlife needs? You're bound to spot a place that sparks your interest on our list of the 50 best cities for nightlife.

Rank City, State Nightlife Businesses per Resident
1 St. Louis, MO 1 per 1,143
2 Cincinnati, OH 1 per 1,192
3 Dayton, OH 1 per 1,200
4 Green Bay, WI 1 per 1,237
5 Cleveland, OH 1 per 1,281
6 Pittsburgh, PA 1 per 1,387
7 New Orleans, LA 1 per 1,420
8 Portland, OR 1 per 1,452
9 Fort Lauderdale, FL 1 per 1,637
10 Orlando, FL 1 per 1,649
11 Las Vegas, NV 1 per 1,739
12 West Palm Beach, FL 1 per 1,778
13 Rochester, NY 1 per 1,825
14 Davenport, IA 1 per 1,860
15 Wilmington, NC 1 per 1,890
16 Buffalo, NY 1 per 1,916
17 Springfield, IL 1 per 1,947
18 Pompano Beach, FL 1 per 2,046
19 Atlanta, GA 1 per 2,078
20 Seattle, WA 1 per 2,119
21 Madison, WI 1 per 2,145
22 Columbia, SC 1 per 2,147
23 San Francisco, CA 1 per 2,200
24 Savannah, GA 1 per 2,288
25 Miami, FL 1 per 2,328
26 Grand Rapids, MI 1 per 2,339
27 Denver, CO 1 per 2,372
28 Charleston, SC 1 per 2,408
29 Evansville, IN 1 per 2,427
30 Boulder, CO 1 per 2,435
31 Peoria, IL 1 per 2,454
32 Syracuse, NY 1 per 2,472
33 Springfield, MO 1 per 2,498
34 Minneapolis, MN 1 per 2,514
35 Salt Lake City, UT 1 per 2,539
36 Tampa, FL 1 per 2,553
37 Milwaukee, WI 1 per 2,566
38 South Bend, IN 1 per 2,622
39 Chattanooga, TN 1 per 2,634
40 Billings, MT 1 per 2,674
41 Baton Rouge, LA 1 per 2,683
42 Toledo, OH 1 per 2,684
43 Salem, OR 1 per 2,695
44 Lafayette, LA 1 per 2,699
45 Tacoma, WA 1 per 2,701
46 Cambridge, MA 1 per 2,705
47 Des Moines, IA 1 per 2,719
48 Cedar Rapids, IA 1 per 2,813
49 Omaha, NE 1 per 2,830
50 Knoxville, TN 1 per 2,839

Methodology

We took cities with populations more than 100,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau and added up the nightlife-related businesses and attractions in each city in the following categories – bars, clubs and nightclubs, breweries and music and entertainment businesses. We then divided each city's population by this total to determine a ratio of the number of businesses and attractions for each resident.

The rent information included in this article is based on December 2018 multifamily rental property inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein does not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

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About The Author

The managing editor of Apartment Guide and rent.com, Brian Carberry has more than 10 years' experience as a content creator and award-winning journalist. Brian's work has been featured on CNN, Search Engine Land, Randstad and a number of other organizations around the world. In his free time, Brian enjoys sports, cooking and debating the correct pronunciation of "gif."

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