Vancouver might be best-known for its outdoors activities but this hip, young, innovative city delivers plenty of entertainment once the sun goes down.

Gone are the days of prohibition-era liquor laws (well, most, anyway) and the general loosening of regulations has helped liven up the city after dark. When you add in a surge of modern craft breweries, wine bars implementing the latest technology, a lively mix of festivals throughout the year, and the inspiration of a fantastic wine region nearby (the Okanagan),Vancouver's nightlife scene looks as fit as any seawall runner.

In nice weather, Vancouver is all about the patios—preferably waterfront. Otherwise, the younger set migrates to dance clubs while more laid-back types gather in friendly pubs (perhaps to watch the hockey game), live music venues hosting up-and-coming stars, and splashy cocktail bars where savvy mixologists cultivate city-wide followings.

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  • 1. Backstage Lounge

    Granville Island | Live Music

    Local bands of varying genres—from jazz to tribute bands—perform most nights. Even though the music is hit or miss, the drink specials are cheap...Read More

  • 2. Biltmore Cabaret

    Mt. Pleasant | Live Music

    A favorite hangout for dance parties and live music, the Biltmore Cabaret hosts a mix of local bands, international performers, and burlesque...Read More

  • 3. Commodore Ballroom

    Downtown | Live Music

    This 1929 dance hall has been restored to its art deco glory, complete with massive dance floor and state-of-the-art sound system. Indie rock...Read More

  • 4. Guilt & Co.

    Gastown | Live Music

    The menu at this Gastown favorite features lagers, pale ales, pilsners, stouts, and ciders, and then there's what's on tap, a wine list, and...Read More

  • 5. Vogue Theatre

    Downtown | Live Music

    A former art deco movie palace, the Vogue hosts a variety of concerts by local and visiting performers. ...Read More

  • 6. Fanclub

    Downtown | Live Music

    This sultry, two-level nightclub brings a little New Orleans funk and moody atmosphere to Vancouver, presenting nightly live music in an area...Read More

  • 7. Railway Club

    Downtown | Live Music

    In the early evening, this spot attracts film and media types to its pub-style rooms; after 8 or so it becomes a venue for local bands. Technically...Read More

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