Nightlife options for 18 years and older
Welcome to college in Orlando where the days are spent studying and working and the nights are spent with friends, shaking off overwhelming stress. For those just starting out in college, you may think that there isn't much to do on a Friday or Saturday night because of your age.
The Central Florida Future has compiled a list of college-friendly clubs and lounges for those under 21 years of age who are looking to enjoy some nightlife.
Formerly known as Roxy Nightclub and about 20 minutes from UCF, Gilt is one of the closest clubs away from campus. It features a 1,200-square-foot dance floor, four bars, an ultra-VIP room and a 6,000-square-foot second level with its own dance floor and VIP balcony. For those clubgoers looking to relax from the dance floors, there is a lounge area equipped with billiard tables, dartboards and seating. Artists have also made special appearances, such as Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, who is appearing Sunday.
Grab your cowboy hat and boots and get ready to line dance. For more than 40 years, Cowboys has aimed to be an entertainment venue filled with music, dancing, drink specials and a lively atmosphere. Located further down from the center of Downtown Orlando, the concave club packs in partygoers looking for late-night dancing, country music, contests and specials.
Suite B Lounge
An ultra lounge and dance club, Suite B is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando. It caters to lovers of techno, house and other electronic tunes. Compared with more largely spaced venues, Suite B may lack in space and is more of an intimate scene for partygoers.
Formerly known as Firestone, Venue 578 caters to performers such as Waka Flocka Flame and Big Sean. The venue is located toward the outside of Downtown Orlando, near the intersection of Orange Avenue and Colonial Drive. The club is mostly known for its guests and performers when the main dance floor is transformed into a general admission pit. If a concert is sold out or near capacity, the venue will be more intimate, but guests can choose to have a VIP table away from the crowd.
One of the few live-music venues of Downtown Orlando, The Social is known to be an indie club featuring eclectic performers. From rock to metal, reggae and pop, the venue caters to a diverse crowd of music lovers. The Social's laid-back vibe aims to make it an ideal venue to catch local and favorite acts, as well as discover new ones.
Another Downtown Orlando nightclub that aims to offer a unique style of music while making sure that partygoers have enough dance room and seating is Independent Bar. With two dance floors offering different styles of music and café-style sidewalk seating, Independent Bar allows customers "to mingle with the ebb and flow of Downtown Orlando," according to its website. Nights are themed, including a College Indie Night, allowing guests to have a different experience when visiting.
Vain Night Club
With three levels of bars, live music, light effects and dancing, Vain is known to portray a modern nightlife experience. Open until 3 a.m., the club's nights are themed, from Wildout Wednesdays to SUPERFUN Fridays, to I HEART College Thursdays. The venue tends to draw crowds that enjoy DJ sets, spinning Latin, Reggae, hip-hop and more.
The spacious, pub-style atmosphere of this venue draws in local musicians and national acts. Located in Downtown Orlando, BackBooth moved from the UCF area to the downtown scene in 2000. BackBooth is also known for its dance parties, featuring genres such as indie and pop, as well as themed nights, such as 80s Night. With a capacity of 350, it has a stage, lighting system and balcony.
Conveniently located across from campus, Knight Library is ranked among one of the 40 best college bars in America for goers mostly 18 and up. The 1,800-square-foot venue offers a dance floor, VIP sections and patio areas for games such as beer pong and cornhole.
Gilt Nightclub: 740 Bennett Rd., Orlando
Cowboy's Orlando: 1108 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando
Suite B Lounge: 50 E Central Blvd., Orlando
Venue 578: 578 N Orange Ave., Orlando
BackBooth: 37 W Pine St., Orlando
The Social: 54 N Orange Ave., Orlando
Independent Bar: 70 N Orange Ave., Orlando
Vain Night Club: 22 S Magnolia Ave., Orlando
Knight Library: 11448 University Blvd, Orlando
Marina Guerges is the Editor-in-Chief at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @marinaguerges or email her at MarinaG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.