Get a Nightlife with Crystal McCahill

By Crystal McCahill

Nightlife hot spots, here and abroad, from Crystal and her pals Jayde, Jaime and Hope

How is it already mid-July, and where did the first half of summer go?? Over the past couple of months, I’ve been racking up miles left and right, from Cali to Michigan to New Jersey and, this weekend, the Big Apple. I’d be lying if I said all this traveling hasn’t done a number on my get-up-and-go self, especially considering most of my non-local shoots allow me to see little more than an airport and a hotel room.

Still, no matter how tired I get on the road or how badly I want to curl up in bed and throw on a movie, I never pass up a chance to put on my heels and check out the nightlife when I find myself in a new city. (I can rally like an undergrad.)

There’s nothing like discovering hole-in-the-wall venues that you wouldn’t otherwise stumble across unless a local insider tipped you off. Some of the most memorable after-hours places you can’t find in a tour book or from the concierge. On the flip side, some of the best restaurants and nightclubs I’ve been to are the buzzed-about, more “obvious” places for out-of-towners in search of good eats and a great night. Conclusion? There’s no right way to get a nightlife….

Below is a rundown of my all-time favorite hot spots in different cities, with some extra input from my party posse:

La La Land The Gaslite 2030 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403 If karaoke’s your thing and you happen to be in or around Santa Monica, you’ll definitely want to check out this world-famous nightclub. (Say hey to Playboy’s Cristal Camden if she’s on duty!)

Vegas XS at Encore, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109 The mother of all nightclubs on the strip, XS is the go-to spot for trendy, chic crowds, celeb-spotting and deejaying by today’s hottest spinners. It’s luxury in “excess.”

Miami SET 320 Lincoln Road, Miami, FL 33139 Dance your heart out in one of the many posh rooms at SET, but beware: There is no dance floor. From bar tops to VIP sofas, club goers are invited to dance on any solid surface they can find. Not sold? Professional dancers pose in larger-than-life glass elevators wearing burlesque-like lingerie and not much else while DJs spin music of all genres and generations. In short, you can’t go to Miami Beach without hitting up SET.

Chicago Vertigo Sky Lounge in the Dana Hotel, 2 W. Erie St., Chicago, IL 60601 And not just because my brother happens to be the manager. Sitting pretty on the 26th floor of the Dana Hotel, the rooftop terrace, which feels both modern and old-school Hollywood glam, offers an insane wraparound view. (Added perk: On Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can see the fireworks from Navy Pier.) And on those nights when the weather isn’t up to par, the indoor lounge area has an edgy-chic feel with tattoo-inspired art hanging from the ceiling.

From my ladies:

NYC Southern Hospitality, 1460 Second Avenue (btwn 76/77th St.), New York, NY 10075

Play-by-Playmate Jaime Edmondson (Miss January 2010) heads to this upscale dive bar, owned by Justin Timberlake, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Beer specials run through the week, and Trivia Tuesdays is competitive like no other. Get your game face on.

Beirut, Lebanon Skybar +961 3 91 91 91 or email

When our 2010 Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk heads to Lebanon’s capital off the Mediterranean coast, she always makes time for a night out at Skybar, the sister nightclub to the original in the Palms Casino and Resort.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Pink Kitty email for more info

Playmate of the Year 2008 Jayde Nicole hearts Pink Kitty nightclub. Features an all-girl waitstaff, renowned international DJs and top notch bottle service. What more can you ask for?

And because everyone likes a good deal, below are three great travel packages from “Groupon Getaway” and Expedia to help you plan your next trip.

• Las Vegas: $144 One-Night Weekend Stay at The Palms Casino Resort with Direct Access Pass, Gaming Credit and Breakfast Buffet for Two ($299 Value)

• Dallas: $139 One-Night Stay in Premier King Room at The Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa with Lavish Breakfast for Two and 25% Discount at Spa (up to $269 Value)

• Bangkok: $2,086 Five-Night Stay for Six Guests in Three Bedroom Hangover Suite at The Tower Club at Lebua with Daily 60-Minute Aromatherapy Massage for Each Guest ($11,875 Value)

Where will you be getting your nightlife this weekend? Send me a tweet @Crystalmccahil or leave me a comment on my weekly posts!


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