Party Districts

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In a perfect world your friends would never be late, traffic signals would always see your point of view and you could muse cheerfully along with the top down on your convertible or hang out the sunroof of the limousine gleefully bouncing from party to party without interruption or delay. 

Welcome to the surreal life.

In the real world, traffic lights rarely cooperate, people drive intoxicated and big fines await you if you’re caught dangling out of the windows of moving vehicles. Worse off, many miles often separate party spots leaving most people spending more time dodging traffic rather than pick-up lines and beer pong balls. Forget barhopping and party crashing. No one wants to spend their evening endlessly looking for sanctuary unless getting there is half the party itself. 

Enter the party district. A centralized section of entertainment establishments enabling partiers to spend their time enjoying their nights out instead of chasing them. Bars, nightclubs, restaurants, cafes, theaters, you name it. All within short steps of each other and all with the safety and security large crowd gatherings can offer.

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New Orleans: The French Quarter:

It would be easy to believe that the French Quarter of New Orleans, most notably Bourbon Street, is the debauchery capitol of the world with a seemingly endless array of drunken orgies and public flashers. But a closer look at the Quarter will reveal an adult playground chock full of good food, good music, fine spirits, luxurious hotels, casinos and friendly, happy-go-lucky people.

 

Albany, NY: N. Pearl Street:

Part of NY Route 32, North Pearl Street in downtown Albany is lined with bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues such as the Times Union Center, the Palace Theatre, and the Capital Repertory TheatreResembling an imported slice of the Big Easy, the big drawback is the banning of smoking within bars and nightclubs. Keep it in mind when making arrangements to party in the Empire State.

 

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Nashville: Broadway & 2nd Avenue:

Stand in the center of downtown in any typical American city and whaddaya’ see? The answer might depend on which way you’re facing, of course. Stand on the corner of Nashville’s Broadway & 2nd Avenue and ask that same question no matter which way you‘re facing you‘re going to get a lot of answers.

Facing north, a party. Facing west, a party. No matter what direction you look in downtown Nashville you’re gonna’ find a party! Music City? Maybe. But as far as adventure seekers are concerned this is party cCity no matter which way you look at it!

Nashville: The Gulch:

The area known today as “The Gulch” was originally home to the cities railroad terminal. Today, the Gulch has become a magnet for young, hip and trendy urbanites. Old warehouses have been renovated into residential and office space along with upscale restaurants and a vibrant, decadent nightlife, all of which have transformed The Gulch into the hottest new party district in Nashville.

 

 

Pittsburgh: Party capitol of the Keystone State?

With three rivers and nearly a dozen colleges and universities, it’s no wonder Pittsburgh needs 2 areas to get rowdy.

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The Strip District:

Picture this. You’re casually strolling down the boardwalk. For hundreds of feet in front of you it’s bar after bar, nightclub after nightclub. No, you’re not dreaming of Atlantic City, Dewey Beach, Ocean City, Myrtle Beach, or the southern California coastline. In fact, if you’re actually vertical then you’re nowhere near the ocean. You’re in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. One of two intense party areas of the Steel City.

Tequila Willie’s on the Boardwalk is one of the more popular nightclubs on the strip which has girls dancing on the bars, great views, friendly staff and one of the best looking crowds we’ve seen anywhere (and we’ve seen a lot of crowds). Best of all, there’s no worms to swallow!

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E. Carson Street:

On the other side of town is E. Carson Street or what I like to call “The Bourbon Street of Pennsylvania.” Like the French Quarter it has block after block of bars and venues. Many of the bars have no cover and barhopping is a breeze.

 

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Knoxville, Tn: The Old City:

Despite the sound of its name, “The Old City” in Knoxville isn’t the oldest part of town. However, it is a rejuvenated section of town with lots of live Jazz, blues and rock music. At the intersection of Jackson & Central you’ll find a compact section of bar and venues to choose from.

 

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Wilkes-Barre, Pa: Downtown:

How could I write an article on party places and not mention our own downtown. It used to be a boom town and then it became a bore town until nearly a decade ago when a renaissance happened and downtown, once again was thriving.

Main Street is where the action’s at. The north end of Main is home to King’s College and several college bars and an upscale restaurant while the southern end includes Wilkes University as well as several nightclubs and lots of Asian ethnic cuisine. The southern end also includes a state-of-the-art, 14 theater cinema complex.

 

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Scranton, Pa: Linden Street:

After years of half-hearted attempts to breathe new life into Scranton’s downtown, somebody finally got it right and realized the city’s future depends on it’s ability to attract.

In come the pubs and clubs now dotting center city and more specifically, Linden Street. Within three short blocks you’ll find everything from nightclubs to trendy bars and quality restaurants. Makes sense because a few more blocks out and you’ve got more bars and the University of Scranton.

 

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Key West, Fl. – Duval Street:

On an island already fabled for its outrageous mystique it would seem unlikely that anything would stand out above the norm. But like an oasis in the sands sometimes the smallest things can be big when compared to their surroundings. Duval Street, called “A Great Street” vibrates with a carnival like atmosphere that goes around the clock. A ritual known to tourists and residents as the “Duval Pub Crawl.”

Duval is home to many famous restaurants and bars, including Sloppy Joe’s, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, which is the original, Fogarty’s Restaurant, Bar and Bakery, “The Flying Monkeys Bar“, The Bull and Whistle, Rick’s Cafe and Irish Kevin’s bar.

 

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Memphis, Tn: Beale Street:

Quite possibly the next best thing to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Memphis’ Beale Street is packed with color, frills & excitement. Similar to Bourbon because of its balconies and French style architecture and the parties. Oh, the parties, they kick off too…. And often!

Places like the Hard Rock Cafe, B.B. Kings Blues Club, Club 152 and Alfred’s on Beale make for a zesty nightlife while popular tourist attractions include the Memphis Rock n’ Roll museum, the Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe and Honky Tonk and Miss Polly’s Soul City Café.

 

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Cincinnati: N. Main Street (Over-The-Rhine)

WKRP may have been a sitcom but when it comes to partying in the midwest, the city of Cincinnati is no fairy tale. Cincy’s nights are alive and the party starts Over-The-Rhine on Main.

It’s architectural significance has been compared to the French Quarter in New Orleans, as well as the historic districts of Savannah, Ga., Charleston, SC, and the Greenwich Village in New York City.

It’s arts community is the largest in the city and it’s home to a plethora of entertainment venues and restaurants including Charlie’s On Main, a quaint old bar with American cuisine. Cooper’s on Main which features dining, live music, a patio bar, and a game room. The Courtyard Cafe on Main. A neighborly bar and grill where old friends gather and new friends meet. The Exchange and, Harry’s Bar & Pizza, which is open late night. Jekyll & Hyde’s, a quad party venue with a tavern, billiards, a night club and a lounge. Japps, Jefferson Hall Saloon, Mr Pitiful’s and, Neon’s on 12th, the oldest and coolest bar in area. The Red Cheetah and Rhino’s Watering Hole. Cincinnati’s best beer tavern with 26 micros and imports on tap and the Rhythm & Blues Café which features live music and the Westminster’s Billiards.

 

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Louisville, Ky: 4th Street Live Complex:

Picture it…. You go downtown to the local mall and business after business sells one basic necessity-booze. No you’re not having the ultimate fantasy, you’re probably standing in the lobby of Louisville’s Fourth Street Live Complex. A drinker’s dream come true.

This 350,000-sq. ft. entertainment and retail complex is a party paradise with a cluster of restaurants and entertainment venues including Gordon Biersch Brewing CompanyHard Rock CafeT.G.I. Friday’sSully’s Irish PubThe Sports & Social Club (bowling alley and restaurant), Ri Ra Irish PubThe Fudgery, and the first-ever Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge.

When the sun goes down (and even when the sun’s still shining!) Fourth Street Live! has nothing less than a wide variety of bars and nightclubs including The Marquee BarMosaicSully’s SaloonThe Sports & Social Club, Howl at the MoonPBR Louisville and Tengo Sed Cantina.

 

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Tampa: Ybor City:

Like Duval Street in Key West, another “Great Street” in Florida and once the biggest manufacturer of cigars in the country, Ybor City is now a cosmopolitan party district with a street car line and an active nightlife.

Ybor is the party area…. The party starts on 7th Avenue which is lined with historic buildings, restaurants, bars, night clubs, and cigar shops and the famous Columbia restaurant.

During the day it looks pretty ordinary, but in the evening things start to heat up… The clubs, restaurants and bars open their doors and people come from all over the city to let loose and have fun. Regular streets and roads become pedestrian zones and suddenly it gets overcrowded. A very rare phenomenon in Tampa!

On the other side, there’s a huge Halloween street festival. For one admission price, you can get into dozens of bars and clubs which is fun because you get to see all of the Halloween costumes that people come up with.

However, every paradise has its serpent and here it’s parking…. It sucks! The closest spots are the most expensive and the city is notorious for towing.

 

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Miami: South Beach:

Once a hangout for biker gangs and derelicts, today it’s a national and international tourist hotspot filled with dozens of nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and boutiques.

Depending on how exclusive/trendy/sexy you and your party are, it might be really, really easy or really, really hard to get into some of the spots on South Beach. Spots which constantly come, go, change ownership and names which makes keeping up with the happenings and the nightlife hard even for SoBe residents.

 

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Syracuse, NY: Armory Square:

A popular area with students from Syracuse University and Le Moyne College, this small, hip little neighborhood on the west side of Downtown began life as a busy commercial and industrial area. Today, Armory Square is home to some of the city’s better restaurants, a couple of coffeehouses, a radio station, dozens of small shops and several bars and nightclubs.

 

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Myrtle Beach, SC: Broadway At The Beach:

This is a shopping center that’s grown to be a party district that’s boasts three theaters, over 20 restaurants and more than 100 specialty shops as well as nightclubs and hotels including the Hard Rock Café, Johnny Rockets, Planet Hollywood, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Tilted Kilt and the world’s only KISS Coffeehouse. It also has a New Orleans-inspired nightclub district.

All this stretches around the 23-acre Lake Broadway and with over 14 million people visiting Broadway every year, it’s become Myrtle Beach’s most popular destination.

 

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Austin, Tx.: Sixth Street:

Originally called Pecan Street and now called the Dirty Sixth, the nine-block area of East Sixth Street between Lavaca Street and I-35 is formally known as the Sixth Street Historic and entertainment district.

As one would imagine, there’s lots of bars, clubs and music venues. Traffic is usually blocked on most crossroads on weekend evenings, home football games and holidays, and every year you can count on a variety of large events like music and film festivals (South by Southwest for example) to biker rallies (The Republic of Texas Biker Rally) and the Pecan Street Festival.

Plans are underway to turn the western end of Sixth into an entertainment district targeting the live music crowd.

 

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Richmond, Va.: Shockhoe Bottom:

For nightlife, thrills and kicks in Richmond, make sure you head down to Shockhoe Bottom on the east side of downtown, at the bottom of Shockhoe Hill.

What used to be an old gnarly warehouse district, where Edgar Allen Poe met his final end, is now full of trendy bars and nightclubs. There’s everything from fine dining to grilled cheese. But one thing to keep in mind, however, is that trendy in Richmond is said to be at least 5 years behind New York City.

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Let us know about your favorite party district. Leave us a comment below or email us at TheStaff@Partyclique.com.
 

Party Districts

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Author:The Man About Town

Aaron Cupil (a.k.a. The Man About Town) is an avid traveler and good time thrill seeker. A former trucker and the founder of Partyclique.com, his cross country hauls were the inspiration for this website. When he's not writing or running his company, you can find him circling the globe in search of new adventures to report on.
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