We tend to think that the best parties are held in the biggest cities in the world. However, when comparing 101 US cities in 11 different categories, ranging from the number of nightclubs and casinos to the average price for a night in a hotel, our research found that this is not always the case.
As there are as many party preferences as there are partiers, we have included a variety of cities from across the country to cater to every taste. From the casino floors of MGM Grand in Vegas to Atlantic City’s Borgata, and from the beaches of California to the rooftop bars of the East Coast, we have compiled a comprehensive list to choose from.
When it comes to the best party cities, the Top 10 were mainly dominated by the sunny destinations of Florida and the fun-filled cities of New Jersey. Party meccas with long serving hours in and out of their casino floors – Las Vegas and Atlantic City – scored high, followed by Louisiana’s eclectic capital city, Baton Rouge.
1. Atlantic City, New Jersey – Overall Party Score 10/10
The coastal resort city, known as ‘mini-Vegas’ or ‘America’s Playground’, is mainly associated with its buzzing casinos and the world-famous Boardwalk. Despite its popularity, the city’s hotel prices have stayed low with an average cost of $116 per night. Placing on top of our list of party cities, the best part of AC? There is no last call at the bar, so the partying doesn’t have to stop.
Perfect for summer holidays, the city is lined with stunning beaches. Our top tip? Check out the legendary Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort. Underneath a huge glass dome, the multi-floor club has a 86,000 gallon pool surrounded by tropical flora and hosts world-class entertainers every weekend.
2. Miami Beach, Florida – Overall Party Score 9.9/10
Known for its all-night parties and the stunning combination of golden sand and turquoise waters, Miami Beach is the perfect destination for those looking to unwind. The south Floridian island city, which is connected to the city of Miami by bridges, is home to one of the biggest party meccas in the world: the South Beach.
Ranked as the second on our list, Miami Beach earned a 10 out of 10 for its music events and a 9.5 for its selection of hotels. Although known as a place to spot models and other celebrities, the average price for a drink ($5) is relatively low, compared to other US party hotspots.
From the plethora of mega clubs on the oceanfront to the pastel hued, neon-light lit Art Deco District, the party at Miami Beach never ends. Whether you feel like raving or midnight bowling, this place has everything on offer.
3. Hoboken, New Jersey – Overall Party Score 8.8/10
Securing the highest score in the number of bars, nightclubs, and late night food venues relative to its 58,000 population, Hoboken is an urban oasis for party goers. Despite its proximity to the Big Apple, the city maintains an advantageous distance to its famous neighbor, and the prices for drinks and hotels have stayed lower than its New York and New Jersey counterparts.
Cherry on top? Hoboken is located straight across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan and has the best waterfront views of the New York City skyline.
4. Key West, Florida – Overall Party Score 8.6/10
Located on the Florida Keys archipelago, the island city with a population of 26,500 is renowned for its white-sand beaches, bright turquoise waters, breathtaking sunsets and colorful, pastel-hued houses.
The city also has a vibrant nightlife that runs into the early morning hours, with the city scoring 10/10 for strip clubs per population. Key West is also relatively cheap with a 0.5 liter of domestic beer costing $4.48 – the second cheapest in the state only after Sarasota ($4.01) and has the largest selection of hotels to choose from!
5. Miami, Florida – Overall Party Score 8.5/10
Across the Biscayne Bay from Miami Beach, mainland Miami is also known worldwide for its party scene. Fifth on our list, Miami, with over 1,000 music events taking place during each weekend, secured the highest score in the category but there is something else that puts it above the rest. The party animals will be happy to hear that the night literally never ends in Miami as clubs are allowed to stay open around the clock for seven days a week in the Downtown Entertainment District.
To determine the best party cities in the US, we analyzed over 100 cities across the country in the following factors:
🎸 Music Events
🍔 Late Night Food Venues
🍺 Average Price of a Drink
🛎️ Average Price of a Hotel Room
🚖 Average Taxi Cost from the Airport to the City Center
💤 Last Call at the Bar
The number of bars, hotels, nightclubs, casinos, stripclubs, and late night food venues were calculated per 10,000 people. Each city has a normalized score out of 10 on each of the factors, before taking an average total normalized score across each of these scores to reach our final overall score out of 10.
*Data updated 25/04/2023 to reflect latest strip club numbers and changes to last call updates.
Population figures for US cities according to the US Census Bureau.
The number of music events listed on Eventbrite across a weekend (February 3rd-5th), per 10,000 people.
The number of Bars, Hotels, Nightclubs, Casinos, Late Night Food Venues on Yelp, per 10,000 people.
The number of stripclubs on The Ultimate Strip Club List.
The average price of a hotel on Tripadvisor.
The average price of a taxi ride from the airport to the city center on Ride Guru.
The average price of a drink: domestic beer (0.5l, draught) on Living Cost.
The last call at bars on Local Alcohol Laws.