Atlanta has a couple of nightlife areas, each with its own feel.  Choose an area and park your car once (expect to pay about $10), then walk from one place to the next. 

Buckhead used to be city's largest group of bars and clubs, but a change in the city's liquor laws has caused several standbys to close up and move.  There are plenty of good restaurants and still a few clubs; most are concentrated near Peachtree Road, between Pharr Rd. and Lenox Mall.  Fado is a fun Irish pub and Hole in the Wall, which plays everything from Def Leppard to the latest radio hits, is still going strong.  There are also a couple of interesting spots in Phipp's Plaza - Twist serves high-energy drinks, sushi, and tapas, and there are other bars there as well. 

Midtown has lots of upscale, trendy clubs mixed in with good restaurants.  Fuego has great tapas, and Shout (in Colony Square at 14th & Peachtree) is popular.  If you want to dance, check out  Opera, or Sutra Lounge.  For the same trendy vibe but no dancing, try Halo - their s'mores are awesome!  There are also a few bars that serve decent food - like Front Page News and Twisted Taco - which are more laid-back than the clubs.  Most of these places are near Crescent Street. 

Atlantic Station is another popular nightspot.  Lots of restaurants here have cute patios and stay open late.  The Grape (which has several locations throughout Atlanta) is a hip wine bar, and PJ's Coffee & Wine has a full liquor selection and a DJ that plays mostly techno music.   Lobby at Twelve gets rave reviews for its classy bar scene and upscale food, and Strip offers steak, sushi, and dancing in its enormous 3-story space.

Virginia-Highland is another area with lots of restaurants and bars; it's very-laid back.  At Moe's & Joe's (Virginia Ave & Highland Ave), you pay for your PBR with cash only, while Noche serves great sangria along with their tapas.   Nearby Little 5 Points is a lot funkier: the Brewhouse has a great patio and tons of import beers. World traveler and prolific writer Anthony Bourdain writes in his book "The Nasty Bits" (Bloomsbury, 2006)  "Atlanta can lay claim to the best of the best (which is to say the worst) chef-friendly dives in America; the legendary Clairmont Lounge." This is the place you take frat brothers during their initation to see the celebrated Rubenesque stripper "Blondie" who has the title for longest and oldest performer going well past the two decade mark. See if you can get a autographed crushed can of Pabst Blue Ribbon from the veteran entertainer. Alton Brown, a celebrity chef, has been seen at the bar that serves shot in plastic cups. It was featured on the Food Network. Good Luck, Bring Cash.