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Best Spots For Orlando Nightlife

Although Orlando nightlife may not be the highest priority for the many families who are visiting Orlando, many singles, couples and groups do visit every year. And the vibrant Orlando nightlife is a pleasant surprise, especially for first-time visitors to the city. Orlando is known as one of the best cities to visit for imaginative theme parks, thrilling rides, and adrenaline-rushing roller coasters, but these are not the only thing you can enjoy here. There are plenty of shopping centers, amazing restaurants, a vibrant club and bar scene and lots of entertainment, night and day.

Both Universal Studios and Walt Disney World have more to offer than their incredible theme parks, especially when the sunsets. They both have zones within their theme parks that cater to nightlife in Orlando such as Cinderella’s Castle where they host a fireworks display every night as well as Universal CityWalk, an exciting entertainment and shopping complex. Don’t forget downtown Orlando that transforms at night to a vibrant night scene with an array of modern bars, live theater, rooftop spots, and local-style tavern. If you find yourself wondering, what’s the best nightlife near me, stay tuned!

Best Orlando Nightlife

If you’re a first time visitor to the city, and are ready to check out the nightlife in Orlando, you’re sure to find more than a few things that are right up your alley on our list below.

Wall Street Plaza

If you head for downtown Orlando make your first stop Wall Street Plaza. You’ll find an entertainment complex with lots of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Many of the bars will be occupied with bachelor/bachelorette parties, day trippers, and international vacationers, most here to party like the locals. You can choose from a wide selection of nightclubs, restaurants and bars that range from laid back to full tilt party! Some of the more popular spots are Monkey Bar where you can score a delicious martini on the cheap, Shine, which is the main club in Wall Street and where many end their night. This nightclub is good sized and has a cool rustic/industrial vibe. Hooch is where you want to head for their famous happy hour and al fresco setting. Try the moonshine!

Downtown Clubs

Head to Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando where the Orlando nightclubs are home to international DJs who bring in the crowd for nights of dancing and drinking. The Beacham is a converted old warehouse that can handle events as well as themed parties, while Tier Nightclub is well-known for its lights, lasers, and sleek, shiny surfaces that will get you in the mood to party. If you want to check out the LGBT scene, head to the Parliament House where you’ll find plenty of great libations and live music happening [1].

Orlando Brewing Company

Beer lovers will find their paradise at the Orlando Brewing Company. The Orlando Brewing Company is actually one of the 10 organic breweries in the country. Take advantage of their free tours that are offered to those who arrive early enough. You can even stick around after the tour to test the brews they have on tap. They’re open until 9 in the evening or even later depending on what day you come for a visit. A great way to kick off your evening!

Disney’s BoardWalk

Disney’s BoardWalk is a great choice for an evening of dining, entertainment, and shopping. This themed entertainment and dining complex is modeled after a turn-of-the-century coastal town and features a quarter mile promenade of shops and nightlife. Entrance to this area is free and you’ll likely see some free entertainment and street performers who make nighttime here truly come alive. To access BoardWalk, make use of the complimentary transportation offered since the parking space is some what limited.

Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk is another of the best places to head if you’re asking “what about nightlife near me?” Entrance is free to explore this exciting entertainment complex, where you can join a dance party, listen to live DJ sets, and let your kids loose on the splash pads. Check out Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast, catch Blue Man Group, or shop the fantastic Universal Studios Store. Of course, there are many paid establishments here, such as the restaurants and other nightclubs, but they’re well worth it. Parking after 6pm is free [2].

SAK Comedy Lab

If you’re looking for a place to have some laughs while enjoying a drink or two, SAK Comedy Lab is a must-see. This black box style theater comedy club hosts improv comedies with themes that rotate seasonally. Wayne Brady began his career here and tends to make visits every now and then. And if you think you have a funny side that you want to work on, you can sign up for improv classes here.

Stardust Lounge

Looking for that perfect place to hang out and kick back with your buddies? The Stardust Lounge is a retro themed underground lounge that gives off a Las Vegas vibe with its red glow, coupled with red leather couches. They guarantee a cozy set up for you and your friends. DJs will be spinning hip hop as well as dance beats during the weekends and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch the Peek A Boo Burlesque they host once a month.

Independent Bar

Are you a fan of old school nightclubs? The Independent Bar is the perfect place to be. This famous bar on Orange Avenue is a three-tier venue with two dance floors that spin different beats from Motown to New Wave. If the dance floor gets too crowded and you’re ready for some fresh air, head to their sidewalk patio where you can take a break and do some people watching, which can be a show all its own.

The Venue

Located in the center of Ivanhoe Village, The Venue is the perfect place to experience arts and entertainment in one go. Home to the famous VarieTEASE which is a burlesque troupe formed by Baby Blue Starr, the Venue plays host to a variety of performances, live music, dance parties hosted by DJs, and even art expositions. They feature cabaret-style seating with pre-show cocktails served in the lobby for guests.

Will’s Pub

Will’s Pub has been around for more than 15 years and has served up all kinds of performances and guests over the years. The recent upgrades to the bar have only made the locals and tourists alike love it even more with up and coming talents making their way to this pub to showcase their talents. And it’s not just live music that you will find here, but also poetry slams, open mics, hip hop, and a whole lot more [4].

Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando

Looking for a place for the entire family after the theme parks close? This is one of the venues that welcomes the younger ones nightly. Located on International Drive, at Mango’s Tropical Café you’ll find dining and great entertainment all in one. It’s a Caribbean/Latin inspired club and offers salsa dancing, extravagant stage shows, reggae and pop bands. A Latin-themed experience awaits you where you can celebrate a birthday, or host an impromptu gathering. Bring the whole family as they offer a children’s menu and plenty to keep them entertained as well.

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows

Murder isn’t funny, but it is at Sleuth! Not all Orlando nightlife is about clubs and bars. Enjoy dinner with the family while you interact with the cast and try to solve a murder. At Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show, you become the detective as you dine and solve the mysteries of the show. Each show provides improvisation and audience participation as you get immersed with the characters and plot twists of the night. All the shows here are presented in one of the three, climate-controlled theaters which means that you’ll get a comfortable and one-of-a-kind dining experience. Hold that special birthday party or other special event here and get discounted rates.

Zebra’s Sports Bar & Grille

If you find yourself in Pointe Orlando, head to Zebra’s Sports Bar & Grille at Rosen Inn where you can enjoy your favorite wine, beer, or other drink while catching up on the latest in sports. They offer nightly happy hour drink specials, Karaoke, and even live entertainment. You can choose to relax inside or on their outdoor patio deck while digging into a cheeseburger with fries or pizza [5].

House of Blues

House of Blues, located in Disney Springs is one of Orlando’s top music venues. They provide diverse live musical offerings ranging from the best in blues to Gospel Brunch on Sundays. Stop by and enjoy the friendly vibe and great music. For sure, you’ll be captivated when you experience this place for the first time.

Hard Rock Live Orlando

Another popular and well known entertainment venue is Hard Rock Café where concerts are often held. They have the latest in sound and lighting. Check their website for headliners during your stay. You may even find the Blue Man Group here, a perennial crowd pleaser.

Red Coconut Club

Put your dancing shoes on and dance the night away at the Red Coconut Club located at CityWalk in Universal Orlando. You’ll find the hours fly by while you’re dancing to the beats being played here [6].

Resources:

[1] Blog by Hotels; 9 Best Nightlife in Orlando.
[2] Tripster; 15 Fun and Free Things to do in Orlando at Night, Ashley, August 20, 2018.
[3] Time Out; A guide to the 12 Best Nightlife Spots in Orlando, Kelsey Ann Glennon, July 3, 2018.
[4] 10 Best USA Today, Chic to Cheeks & Games for Geeks: Orlando's Best Nightlife, A.D. Thompson.
[5] International Drive Orlando; Nightlife on I-Drive Orlando.
[6] Visit Orlando; Explore Unique Nightlife & Entertainment in Orlando.