Miami is an ocean of bright lights and nightlife after sundown. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

5 Must-Visit Cities That Light Up in Style After Dark

From a Gatsbyesque bar serving up martinis 10 ways in Boston to a famed French vintner’s Champagne tasting lounge beneath sparkling Baccarat chandeliers in San Francisco, discover luxe nightlife in five major cities that teem with glamour and sophistication long after the sun sets.

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.


Lined with white sandy beaches and renowned art galleries, Miami‘s chic South Beach boasts some of the best nighttime hot spots in the world, ranging from mega venues once host to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley to dimly lit late-night vinyl listening lounges.

Recalling a bygone era with a “Mad Men” vibe, Lapidus Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach is a nod to prominent local architect Morris Lapidus, who originally designed the hotel in 1953, with vintage cocktails served up in a retro glam setting with mirrored side tables and a multitiered gold palm chandelier.

Choose from classic throwbacks with a twist, including the La Colada martini with vodka, coconut rum, cordial and espresso, or opt for an original creation by the bar team such as the 18th, their iteration of a classic Manhattan.


Proof bar on the W Nashville rooftop lounge and city skyline at sunset
Lounge over Nashville on the W Nashville’s rooftop. (Photo: Marriott International)

There’s no shortage of nightlife, rooftop lounges and live music in this capital city filled with country music legends and world-renowned venues, including the Grand Ole Opry.

Situated between Music Row and Downtown, The Gulch, a once-bustling rail yard-turned-upscale neighborhood, is an ideal location for cocktails after dark with options ranging from swanky bars housing more than 650 bottles of rare and limited-edition whiskeys to lively cantinas serving up 120 varieties of mezcal and tequila.

At Proof, the industrial-modern rooftop bar at W Nashville, drink in the views from the tufted leather sofas and club chairs inside the librarylike setting or take a seat on the expansive outdoor terrace. Sip bespoke creations such as Smokin’ in the Boys Room (mezcal, Aperol, vermouth, espresso and absinthe) or comb the wine list that showcases varietals from California, France and New Zealand.

On Saturday nights, plan to stay up late for Proof’s Spotlight Series, which features a live music performance followed by a DJ set.

San Francisco

San Francisco pink and blue night skyline with bridge and mountain and bay views
Seek skyscrapers and secret hideaways on a night in San Fransisco. (Photo: Getty Images)

Regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, San Francisco is a hotspot for hidden speakeasies concealed behind bookcases and nondescript alley doors, sleek skybars perched more than 40 stories above iconic landmarks, and upscale lounges that recall European elegance.

Perched atop Nob Hill, minutes from Union Square’s watering holes, cafés and high-end boutiques, including Hermès, Louis Vuitton and the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus (a local mainstay for afternoon high tea and aperitifs), sits The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.

Sip Champagne in the hotel’s JCB Tasting Lounge, a plush parlor designed by acclaimed French vintner Jean-Charles Boisset (JCB) alongside Joshua Rowland of Mr Parke’s House of Design, with an oversized Baccarat chandelier, custom eggplant-hued velvet sofas and leopard-print carpet.

Reserve a tasting with three curated premium flights for limited-production JCB wines spanning Champagne, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. Or splurge on the Gala Champagne flight with bottles clad in gold, rose gold, platinum and black with Swarovski crystals.


Avery Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
Sip and stay a while at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston’s Avery Bar. (Photo: Marriott International)

Home to academia, the arts and a vibrant culinary and nightlife scene, Boston beckons visitors from around the globe with its idyllic setting nestled along the Charles River.

For a crop of nightlife offerings downtown, take your pick from ritzy underground clubs with DJs and bottle service to the recently revamped The Ritz-Carlton, Boston for a handcrafted libation at Avery Bar, tucked just off the lobby, replete with a six-foot-long Murano glass and crystal chandelier and a modern marble fireplace.

Thanks to mixologist Joel Atlas, guests can indulge in martinis (available 10 different ways) and carefully concocted libations such as Jack of All Trades, his take on a Negroni, with Aperol, Averna and orange, smoked with cinnamon.

“The Avery is very ‘Great Gatsby’–like,” says Atlas. “There’s a level of modern refinement, but there’s also a communal and friendly vibe to our lounge. It’s a cool little hideaway.”


Dallas skyscrapers in night sky
Discover Dallas as day turns to night. (Photo: Getty Images)

In true Texas fashion, things are just a little bit bigger and grander in Dallas, with a plethora of night options spanning nostalgic taverns with bartenders donned in vests and bowties to celebworthy hideouts with drapey, glass-beaded chandeliers and Old World-style wallpaper.

In Uptown, unwind at one of numerous elegant establishments within a short walking distance of the famed Winspear Opera House for an artfully crafted nightcap, or duck into the Rattlesnake Bar in The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas for a true taste of local flair and an inventive Southwestern-inspired drink menu.

The glitz-meets-Western space is fashioned with backlit onyx walls and a mesquite wood bar with a cast bronze serpent-shaped head and tail.

“The Rattlesnake Bar aims to always stay ahead of what our guests are looking for in a cocktail,” says General Manager Brianna Jenkins of Fearing’s Restaurant and the Rattlesnake Bar. “Our Taquito Bandito is an exciting new offering that delivers the flavors of a taco, topped with a savory foam that compliments the elements of the tequila.”