Forget nightclubs—instead, check out these after-dark hot spots delivering firefly spectaculars, midnight snacks, and stellar light shows. Admire Yosemite's Half Dome by the light of the full moon, or discover a world of nocturnal wildlife in Singapore. Here are 9 destinations around the world that are worth staying up past your bedtime to explore.
WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island
When fire meets water on warm nights in Providence, magic happens. Crowds begin gathering along the banks of Providence's three rivers before dusk to secure front-row seats to WaterFire, a spectacle of firetenders (torch bearers) slipping slowly downstream in boats, lighting each of more than 80 floating bonfires. Each performance has its own soundtrack that is selected by Barnaby Evans, the artist responsible for the event. WaterFire events usually occur on Saturday evenings between late May and early October.
More fire on water: Since 2007, Kansas City has held WaterFire on Brush Creek. And WaterFire Columbus brings music, fire, and food to downtown Columbus from June through October.
Night markets in Taiwan
Night markets may have gotten their start in small villages—where farmers would gather when traveling salesmen came to town—but these days the phenomenon has an authentically urban vibe. Taiwan has some of the world's most vibrant night markets—after-dark minicities where locals and tourists flock to eat and shop. Shihlin is one of the country's most famous and popular markets, and is the place to go for signature dishes like oyster omelets, stinky tofu, and pearl milk tea.
More night markets: Night markets in North America tend to be seasonal, running throughout summer and into fall. Find thriving night markets in Philadelphia (locations change), in Richmond (near Vancouver), and in Chinatown in San Francisco.
Moonlight Tour in Yosemite Valley, CA
The rise of the full moon signals the start of the Yosemite Valley Moonlight Tour, which is offered on five nights around the full moon during late spring, summer, and early fall each year. The two-hour tram tour reveals the softly lit side of Yosemite's most beloved landmarks, including Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. Plus, it's a great way to outsmart the crowds that clog valley roads during the day.
More nights out in national parks: San Francisco's Alcatraz is a very different sort of national park, but it also offers night tours, which take place Thursday through Monday throughout the year. The evening includes a ferry ride, a guided tour, and special presentations exclusive to night visits.