Nationally known acts (that is, guys you might have seen on HBO, Letterman, Leno or Comedy central) regularly take stages hosted by Groucho's, located at various spots throughout Melbourne. There's always an opening act, so you actually get two comedians for one admission price – that alone makes this one of the best Thursday night deals in town. Groucho's is one of the oldest entertainment producers in the south, and has a solid reputation, although it is for adults only. More recently, Groucho's began featuring Vegas-style cabaret entertainment, as well. Find Groucho's shows in Stuart, Melbourne, Port St. Lucie, Cocoa Beach, Celebration, Clermont, Ft. Pierce, Vero Beach and Okeechobee.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Groucho's is one of the oldest and most esteemed comedy clubs in the south.
Aimee's expert tip: Look for the three-course "dinner and a show" deals, which are a killer deal.
Blues in all its styles and incarnations takes center stage at this low-key waterside joint, which features some of Brevard County's top players every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Stop by one night and you may hear a good, down-home acoustic jam; the next night it may be an electric act like Slick Willie, a group that blends rock, blues and country. Whatever your taste, a night at the Shack is sure to get your feet a-tapping and put your soul at ease. The Shack is a designated smoking establishment, so light up your cigar if you've got one – or steer clear, if you don't want to spend the night in a cloud.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Relax with live blues music on the beach. You'll love this chill, waterside joint.
Aimee's expert tip: Bring a cigar. You can light up at the Beach Shack. Before you head out, take a peek at the "Shack Cam" on the website to see what's crackin' at the shack.
This bar in historic downtown Melbourne is three bars in one: a copper whiskey bar, a black-light lava bar with a deck overlooking downtown, and an outdoor tiki bar that specializes in frozen drinks. What makes this pub truly stand out is its fresh-squeezed cocktails. You won't find any sour mixers here – only fresh fruit squeezed to order. This not only means some of the most delicious cocktails, but also significantly healthier. Mainstreet Pub also offers has a full live music calendar and serves up a small menu of light munchies, like fish tacos and crab-stuffed mushrooms. Staff also offers wine pairing recommendations with your meal.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: With three bars in one, you feel like you're bar hopping, without having to leave.
Aimee's expert tip: Go here for the cocktails or whiskey bar (depending on your preference) and the view of the strip, but don't expect fine dining.
Enormous waterside bar features a great, covered party deck, tiki bar upstairs, sports bar, sun deck, an array of terrific martinis and an ever-popular Mimosa Brunch on Sundays. Live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. This is the type of place you can stop by any time of the day and enjoy good times and a great view of the water, but things really seem to pick up the pace at night. On Mondays in the fall, for example, there's NFL football on the tube, as well as a pretty competitive Texas Hold 'em tournament. On Wednesdays, folks showcase their karaoke skills on the deck. The food here will pleasantly surprise you, too.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This award-winning bar has something for everyone: a sports bar, music, games, yummy food and a beautiful view of the water.
Aimee's expert tip: Six words: all you can eat crab legs. Do it. Wash it down with Happy Hour drinks, which start early at 3 p.m.
Right on the beach just off A1A, you'll find this popular blues bar that rocks with live music seven nights a week. Here, not only will you find quite possibly the longest happy hour in existence (from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), but also people-watching at its best. Lou's Blues is funky and full of character; beware of the "Special Dirty Bingo Wingo Menu," featuring drinks with the naughtiest of names. Before the bands start playing at 9:30 p.m., you can also often participate in (or laugh at) karaoke, and catch a decent dinner. The peel-and-eat shrimp are reasonably priced and the bacon blue cheese sliders are, well – talk about a naughty indulgence!
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This popular blues club off A1A has live music seven nights a week.
Aimee's expert tip: Try Lou's Ribs, made with a special dry rub so delicious it can turn any blues song upside down.
Heidi's is authentic, established and respectable. Go here if you're looking for an amazing night out that's a little more sophisticated – and filled with top-notch jazz music starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The top place for jazz on the Space Coast since it opened back in 1992, Heidi's houses touring musicians six nights a week. The club's funky decor is a good fit for the bands who play here, and each of the tables is positioned so that patrons have full view of the stage. Heidi's complements its music scene with a menu that features ditties like baked brie, Swiss fondue and carpaccio. The munchies help make the scene, so come hungry.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Heidi's offers a fancier night out with quality jazz music – a nice change of pace from the relaxed beach scene.
Aimee's expert tip: We loved the Schnitzel, served up with a tasty German beer. If you're musically inclined, try out the stage Sunday evenings during Open Jam.
Feeling a touch Blarney? This downtown Melbourne pub is as Irish as they come, from the St. Patty's pot pie down to the tall, cold glasses o' stout. The authentic menu boasts Irish classics, including corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash. Or try your luck and ask about the Fisherman's Catch of the Day and the new Butcher's Cut of the Day. Great happy hour specials (starting as early as 3 p.m.) and frequent live entertainment are boons, as well. Snag $5 Car Bombs and Irish coffees all day, every day. During football season, the pub is especially crowded on NFL Sundays and Mondays.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This Irish pub is the best place to go out in downtown Melbourne, period.
Aimee's expert tip: Here, you can find six different ways to drink your Jameson, including our favorite, a Jameson and lemonade – served in a mason jar, of course.
The younger crowd enjoys the good times served at Coconuts. From live music and world-famous bikini contests to breathtaking views of the Atlantic and great specials on specialty drinks, this oceanside bar is sure to rank high on your list. Stop by early and enjoy a fried shrimp platter, Bahamian lobster tails or even a flat iron steak. Afterwards, it's off to the party deck, to enjoy the night's entertainment and mingle with friends old and new. Want to see for yourself how fun Coconuts is? Check out the live webcam on the bar's website, and prepare to get jealous!
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This popular bar is right on the beach and smack in the middle of a tourist hotspot.
Aimee's expert tip: Whether you're a participant or a spectator, Coconuts' bikini contests are quite, uh, entertaining. We love Coconuts' late-night happy hour specials. Some of the best drink deals on the beach!
The taproom for the Intracoastal Brewing Co. in the Eau Gallie Arts District is ideally located within walking distance of great shops and right at the end of the Indian River bridge. This craft beer company is known for its beachy vibe and top-notch brew. If you want to enjoy the Florida weather, snag a spot outside at a picnic table, or for the traditional brewery vibe, pull up to the bar. The menu here is always changing, so even regulars can try something new. Or opt for a flight of beer to sample a variety. This brewery offers more than beer, too. Here, you can find yoga classes, trivia competitions and more.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Intracoastal is one of the Space Coast's best breweries and a fun place to get a beer.
Aimee's expert tip: This is a great place to hang out near the Eau Gallie Arts District.