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Top 10 Cities With the Best Nightlife in Ohio

Here's what you need to know...
  • Ohio has plenty to offer when it comes to the nightlife scene
  • You can visit specialty bourbon, martini, and mixed drinks bars
  • Family-friendly venues include arcade centers and concert venues
  • Take steps to stay safe on your night out by going in a group and keeping your belongings on you

While the days are ideal for shopping in most cities, the area comes to life at night.

Bars open up, and restaurants prepare to serve some fantastic meals. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people as the locals visit their favorite spots, and you never know what great new adventures may await you.

If you’re looking to visit Ohio soon and check out the nightlife, make sure you are fully covered first before hitting the road. Enter your ZIP code above to compare auto insurance rates!

Cities in Ohio with the Best Nightlife

Ohio is known for the Buckeyes and Amish country, but this state also has a great deal to offer people in the after-hours.

There are cities throughout the state that are worth visiting, and you may want to make some dinner reservations and plan on hitting the top nightclubs or bars once evening falls.

#1 – Lakewood

Located in the northeastern region of the state, Lakewood sits directly east of Cleveland along the lakeshore. The area has a casual feel, and the view of the lake can be magnificent.

Be sure to stop in at the Humble Wine Bar for some pizza baked in their stone oven and an incredible choice of wines. The 16 Bit Bar is one of the most famous places around, and it offers craft beers along with a creative and fun cocktail menu. When you want to get up and stretch, you can play some arcade games before sitting down for another brew.

You can expect to spend less than $20 per person to have a fun time, and that includes visiting a spot like the Lake House Restaurant for a family-friendly meal along with waterfront views.

#2 – Oxford

Situated on the western edge of the state just north of Cincinnati, Oxford has a good deal to offer. There are cocktail lounges, bars, nightclubs, and even a martini bar.

Oxford is home to Miami University and a college town, so you can expect to find a younger crowd throughout the area.

While daytime activities include shopping and hunting for fossils, you’ll find that the nightlife is more suited to adults. If you’re looking for a night out that won’t cost more than $15, then head over to the LaPinata Mexican Grill and Bar for $4 mixed drinks and martinis.

For live music and shows, plan on visiting the Brick Street Bar. Events range from audience participation karaoke nights to Red Bull shows and live music.

#3 – Cleveland Heights

Sitting on the Cleveland east side, Cleveland Heights has everything you’re looking for from inexpensive pool halls to a high-end speakeasy. You can spend anywhere from a couple of dollars per person to $50 or more, but you’re sure to have a night you’ll never forget.

Quintana’s Speakeasy is a truly unique gathering place where you can get a haircut by day and have a beer that night.

The Dream Spa offers all types of spa treatments, and you can return at night for live music, a monthly speaker series, and a fun menu of artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and bread.

Their specialty includes drinks that were served during the prohibition era, so you’re sure to find something different. Expect to spend between $30 and $50 per person if you decide to visit this spot.

#4 – Sandusky

Sandusky is home to some serious thrills at Cedar Point, but it also has a thriving nightlife outside of the amusement park gates. While the Point is one of the most family-friendly spots to visit, you can also go out dancing with your adult friends.

One of the favorite spots in Sandusky is Daly’s Pub, a local Irish joint where people can get corned beef along with a beer. There’s also a gay bar that hosts drag shows and has an outdoor screen for movies, so you may want to consider checking out the Club X-Centricities.

#5 – Kent

Another college town, Kent is home to places like the famous Franklin Hotel Bar and the Local Public House. If you’re looking to save money, then consider dive bars like The Loft, or you can go just a little upscale at 101 Bottle of Beer On the Wall.

This local pub was founded in 1996, and it’s still one of the must-see spots in Kent. There are more than 700 different beers to choose from, and they stock 1,500 different wines. They also have a rotating schedule for craft beers and even moonshine.

#6 – Cleveland

Cleveland has three neighborhoods that have been revitalized over recent years, including University Circle on the east side of town. The Jack Casino is in the heart of downtown near the lakefront, so there’s always something to do.

Something you may want to consider is taking an evening boat tour.

For less than $50 per person, you can take the kids out on a dinner cruise that comes with a delicious buffet, incredible views, and room for dancing aboard the Nautica Queen.

There was a time when the Flats was the place to go in Cleveland, and it’s slowly coming back to its former glory. Attend concerts at Jacobs Pavilion, and gather with friends at the Punch Bowl Social to enjoy local beers and great spirits.

#7 – Columbus

If you’re looking for great nightlife in Columbus, then you’re sure to be entertained with all the options. The Watershed Distillery has the best citrusy gin, and Wolf’s Ridge has an incredible selection of unique brews.

Treat yourself to something special by attending one of the many theaters in town.

In addition to the ballet and the symphony, you can also head over to the Wexner Center for the Arts to see artists, dance, and musical performances throughout the month. You can spend anywhere from a few dollars to a hundred depending on your venue, but you’re sure to have a fabulous time.

#8 – Cincinnati

This college town has hot spots like the Holy Grail Tavern & Grille where you can hang out with friends or the entire family.

Situated just outside of Kentucky, this area also has access to great drinks at the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar. When it’s time to take in something a little different and high-end, visit the Cocktail Terrace.

The oldest bar in the region is Arnold’s Bar and Grill. Founded in 1861, this restaurant offers old-school fixtures along with a cozy atmosphere.

The fast and friendly service keeps people coming back, and you can even bring the family. The prices are quite reasonable, so you can go out to eat here without breaking the bank.

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#9 – Worthington

Just north of Columbus, Worthington sits in the heart of Ohio. You can take the family out for the night to the Level One Bar + Arcade so that you can play games while reliving the rocking 80s.

They have craft beers on tap and the largest collection of classic arcade and pinball machines found in Central Ohio.

You can also sit back and relax at the Rendezvous Lounge or House Wine. At the Old Bag of Nails Pub, you and your family can get affordable drinks, entrees, and snacks.

#10 – Akron

Located southeast of Cleveland, Akron has the Football Hall of Fame and some beautiful parks.

Akron also has the best bowling in the region at Bill White’s Akron Lanes, so you can take the entire family out for an affordable evening.

This city is also home to the Dusty Armadillo, a hot spot that was voted the best dance bar in 2016 on the Akron-Canton Hot List. Here you’ll find the music, drinks, people, and atmosphere that you’ve been looking for.

The residents of Akron tend to be passionate about sports, and you can get ready for the big game at the Winking Lizard Tavern. This 2016 winner was voted the best sports bar in the area, and they’re known for their tasty wings.

Safety Tips for Enjoying the Night Life

Making a decision about where you’re going is only the beginning of your night out. You also want to be sure that you have a safe and enjoyable evening.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe when you head out for the night to drink, dance, and spend some time dancing, shooting pool, and relaxing with friends.

– Have the Right Insurance Coverage

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Liability insurance plans only protect other people if you cause an accident, but they won’t pay for the damage to your car if someone accidentally hits you.

When you go out to enjoy the nightlife, you’re going to encounter more traffic, so you want to be sure that your car is protected by signing up for auto insurance coverage that may include:

  • Collision — Will fix your car if you accidentally hit someone else
  • Comprehensive — Will cover parking lot damage
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage — In case you’re hit by a driver with minimum coverage

Review your plan about once every six months to be sure that it still meets your needs. Use a comparison tool to shop for rates online and make the process easier.

You may be able to get better coverage for the same premium, or you might lower your rates for a comparable plan. Ideally, you should look at three to four different policies to see if you can find the best price.

– Go with a Group

Lone individuals are more likely to be targeted by thieves than people who are traveling in a group. It’s true that there’s safety in numbers, which is even more important when you’re visiting a place where people are likely to be drinking.

Stay in your group when at the restaurant or bar, and take a friend with you if you go to the restroom or step outside for some fresh air.

– Watch Your Stuff

Minimize what you take out with you, and keep a close eye on your belongings. A phone left sitting on the bar can easily be snagged, and bulky purses are hard to track.

A small, crossbody purse won’t get in the way of your dancing, but it’s still big enough to slip in your phone, ID, a bit of cash, and your lipstick. Rather than carrying a bulky wallet that’s easily seen, just take in your identification and the money you’re willing to spend so that you can keep them secured in a pocket.

– Never Drink and Drive

Whether you’re a visitor to the Buckeye State or you’re a long-time resident, the penalties for drunk driving can follow you for years. Ohio has zero tolerance laws for minors. The state also has clear penalties for infractions.

The drinking limits in Ohio are:

  • ”Per Se” BAC limit of 0.08 percent
  • Zero tolerance BAC limit for minors is 0.02 percent
  • Enhanced penalty for aggravated BAC limit is 0.17 percent

Ohio is an implied consent state, so you can be forced to submit to chemical testing if deemed necessary.

Penalties for being caught drinking and driving in Ohio include:

  • License suspension for six months to two years
  • Mandatory alcohol education, assessment, and treatment services
  • Vehicle confiscation after the third offense
  • Ignition interlock device

– Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

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It’s harder to get coverage after a DUI, but there is hope for you. While rates can increase an average of 30 percent, you can always switch companies to find better rates. You can also rebound from a DUI by:

  • Complying with SR-22 requirements
  • Considering non-owner insurance
  • Maintaining a clean driving record
  • Using public transportation until you can get lower insurance rates

Rather than accepting your sky-high rates, shop around to see how you can save money. You can use online comparison tools to search for a better company that can provide you with more affordable rates.

Try our FREE online quote tool and compare at least three to four policies to find the best coverage! Enter your ZIP code below!

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