On the surface, Washington D.C. is a hub of history and the perfect location for visitors to immerse themselves in the nation’s past and promising future. However, the city doesn’t shut down when the museums do. Aside from the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the capital is home to an eclectic DC nightlife scene with a little something for everyone to enjoy – not just over-21s. As a prominent college town with much to offer the 18 and older crowd, there’s no shortage of vibrant locations for the perfect night out. Read up on the top locales and best clubs for adults of all ages hoping to enjoy a night on the dance floor.


With its jungle-style aesthetic, this Garden of Eden is an upscale lounge offering four floors of an LED-decorated nightclub atmosphere. A mere 10 minute walk around the block from the White House, its rooftop outdoor seating area is known for being one of the best in the country, and has even attracted celebrity visitors like Drake. While the club hosts musical acts and specially themed nights many days of the week, guests 18 to 20 years old should plan on going Wednesday or Thursday night, as these are the only days open to under-21s. If it’s a night of real Washingtonian glamor visitors are after, this has been deemed the place to be. Those commuting from one of D.C.'s other neighborhoods should head to either the Farragut West or Farragut North metro stations for the easiest access.


Visitors to this Georgetown megaclub shouldn’t be expecting a lowkey night out after a day of touristing. Originally a bank back in the day in the trendy Penn Quarter district, this location has five floors, six bars and a mezzanine level guests can unwind at while still being surrounded by the classic, elegant architecture that characterizes the nation’s capital. While the nightclub portion of the venue is only open Thursday to Saturday nights, it always admits crowds of 18 and older, so those younger than 21 won’t be turned away at the door. Take the metro to Gallery Place - Chinatown station or Metro Center to end up within walking distance. This atmosphere is perfect for dancing the night away, so make sure to wear comfy shoes!

Black Cat

For those looking to experience D.C.’s more chilled out, indie side, the Black Cat, a bar and concert venue near Logan Circle at 14th st NW, offers an eclectic mix of lesser-known acts and the typical dance club and DJ tunes normally enjoyed in clubs. Since it is a music venue first and foremost, it is always open to 18 and overs. Guests who want to avoid a cover charge should check out the first-floor Red Room Bar, which features a pool table, pinball machine and jukebox with all the best retro tunes. Even better - it's only three blocks away from the U-Street/Cardozo metro station.


To the east of downtown D.C., Soundcheck is a middle-of-the-road venue, designed to give guests who can’t decide between a bigger or more intimate location the best of both worlds. Club dwellers who have a hankering for the best of old school underground dance should check out the LED-lit, disco ball-decorated ambiance and Latin American music options. Visitors should be aware of the enforced upscale dress code on Saturday nights, and 18 to 20 year olds wanting to be admitted should call ahead to ensure that the club is admitting 21s on that specific night. Head to the McPherson Square station for the easiest commute.

In addition to those above, the Rosebar Lounge at Dupont Circle which features reggae, Echostage live music event space, Crystal City Sports bar, and Bar Charley in Adams Morgan are also great options. Bars like Club Citron host reggaeton/salsa nights while others may do hip hop nights or happy hour specials or bottle service.

After a night out consider grabbing brunch or bottomless mimosas at one of the great restaurants on 18th St NW.