Baltimore Dance Clubs Represent the Pulse and Energy of the City
By Tawanna Browne Smith
Family Travel Expert
Dance Clubs in Baltimore represent some of the youth and energy of the city. They're just as diverse as the locals. One thing they do share in common is that they guarantee to show you a good time, whether you're nodding to hip hop or rocking to a live band.
Not all dance clubs are cut from the same cloth - some are more upscale and some feel more around the way. Best thing to do is research before you go and be prepared for just about anything to happen when you get there. If you're looking for some place more laid back - although "laid back" and dance club should be a paradox - a mixed-use space like Red Maple may be more your speed. Lounge chairs and intimate lighting litter the space while house and international beats get you moving. And if you're looking for a more subdued experience, give The Get Down a try.
Top DJs from around the city hop around clubs just as much as the most fanatical of club-goers and on any given Friday or Saturday at places like Mosaic or Sonar, you're bound to groove to one of them. They know how to get things moving and at the clubs your bound to see more than what you might've expected.
If you're looking for a lavish nightlife experience, LuX delivers with two floors of beautifully designed space, featuring three bars, a sizzling dance floor, state-of-the-art sound and lighting and stylish VIP seating. The crowd is classy, laid-back and fun-loving, shaking and shimmying to irresistible music mixes that, depending on the night, range from hip-hop and Top 40 to jazz and house. Service is stellar, and the club's on-site restaurant serves sophisticated late-night snacks. (410-528-5110)
Hip-hop reigns supreme at this awesome club, housed in a former warehouse. A diverse crowd of 20-somethings pack the colossal dance floor and jam to the rhythms of the night in front of a 9-screen video wall. Steel beams and a geometric-patterned floor flank the restaurant, which offers snacks, sandwiches and pizza. An outdoor courtyard provides additional seating. (410-837-9110)
8 Grand Central
From a dance club to a swanky video bar to a casual pub, Grand Central effectively manages several dynamic operations. While awesome videos and billiards provide entertainment in the club's other sections, two bars, a video wall, a dance stage and a sunken floor enhance the cutting edge dance club. Special events include drag shows, karaoke contests, $5 manicures and more. The onsite restaurant supplies all the necessary grub — mozzarella sticks, onion rings, burgers and sandwiches. (410-752-7133)
Top of the line technology, occasional live rock bands and popular DJs contribute to this downtown club's appeal. Sonar hosts fabulous dance parties, and their skilled bartenders concoct fabulous martinis. In addition to the main stage, which holds over 1000 people, the venue offers a comfortable lounge with couches, billiards and a bar as well as a club area that can accommodate 300. Popular weekly events include the Indie Rock Party on Fridays, with $3 beers. (410-327-8333)
6 Cancun Cantina
Offering something for everyone, this Southwestern themed club features both a country dance hall and a rock'n'roll deck. Line dancers, donning their cowboy gear, hit the indoor Cantina Bar, while "The Deck" packs in rock, top 40 and hip-hop fans ready to jam. A restaurant and seven bars accommodate patrons, and during the day, The Deck is a popular spot to watch sports on TV. The dress code requires neat clothing and tucked in shirts. (410-761-6188)
5 Club Phoenix
Located in Mount Vernon, this intimate gay club is an inviting party spot. A disco ball, wall mirrors and colored lights accent the dance floor, and the bar offers cheap, creative concoctions. Weekly theme nights might include karaoke, ladies' night and a Sunday tea dance. Happy hour 4pm-11pm Monday-Saturday and noon-11pm Sunday. Friday and Saturday nights feature DJs. (410-837-3906)
4 The Get Down
The vibe is phenomenal and the energy is off the charts at this swanky yet unpretentious nightclub, known as the best place in Baltimore to, you guessed it, get down. The spacious two-level club embodies a retro style with sleek furniture and innovative colored lighting, while multiple bars offer fairly priced drinks. The diverse crowd is always enthusiastic and respectful, and the DJs are unbelievably talented, spinning mixes that are both unique and addictively danceable. (443-708-3564)
Located in downtown Baltimore's Power Plant Live! entertainment complex, Mosaic is a sophisticated lounge and nightclub featuring chic modern decor, a lovely outdoor area and plush VIP couches, perfect for resting heel-clad feet after tearing up the dance floor. The music is a high-energy Top 40 mix, and for patrons who need a little liquid courage before strutting their stuff, sweet and sexy servers deliver reasonably priced drinks, including marvelous martinis and dramatic vodka torches. (443-468-5308)
2 Eden's Lounge
Located in Mt. Vernon, Eden's Lounge is only 10 minutes from the Inner Harbor. Besides music and atmosphere, Eden's Lounge offers Ethiopian tapas-style dishes. Floor cushions provide guests with an opportunity to lounge more informally and relax in Eden Lounge's laid back environment. (410-244-0405)
1 Red Maple
Located in Mt. Vernon, Red Maple is one of Baltimore's hottest lounges, offering unique cocktails and Asian-inspired tapas along with other menu items fit to be seen in a traditional restaurant environment. Guests can either enjoy lounge-style seating on the first floor of Red Maple or traditional table-seating on the second floor. After dinner make your way to the back of the club for either its indoor dance floor or catch a breath of fresh air on the outdoor patio. (410-547-0149)
About Tawanna Browne Smith
Tawanna has had a wanderlust spirit since she was 13. A dozen or so addresses later, she now resides in Maryland with her husband and two sons. Tawanna is the founder and creator of Mom's Guide To Travel, a family travel blog. She's also a contributor to the Travel Channel. If she's not traveling somewhere out of state, she's either shopping or searching for the best crabcake or the best cupcake in the Baltimore-Washington area.
Read more about Tawanna Browne Smith here.