When it comes to country bars with good bands, line dancing, and the 2-step, Southern California has many places to show off your dance moves. If you’re a fan of country music and dancing and looking to have a great night out with your friends or significant other, Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire serve up several hot spots to choose from.
After taking up the interest in dancing a few years ago I naturally found myself in one spot night after night, but over time searched a little and explored some other great venues. It was so fun to get a change of scenery and see a whole different crowd and a different vibe-but the same activity: country dancing!
So… radiating out from central orange county I have made this post to give you an “At-A-Glance” view of 15 dance venues I’ve checked out and the important particulars about each one. Compare the venues and see what works for you. The Google Map gives you a bird’s eye view of the spots and if you are viewing on your mobile device just tap the bar you want and let your navigation do the rest!
For me, The Ranch in Anaheim holds the top spot in general entertainment and appeal. But there are pros and cons to every place. But since it’s my spot it’s where this list begins. Then all radiate out in terms of miles away. Also, since this site is called Country Dancing Tonight!…this is intended to make sure you can go dancing TONIGHT! (even if it’s Monday!) And, you’ll quickly notice there IS some country dancing going on somewhere every night!-that’s the good news!
Following is a summary block for each of the 15 venues I have covered. Each block gives you the location, days open and a website address! These are all great places to listen to music, dance, and have fun, but there are a few that are particularly special!
15 Southern California Country Bars At-A-Glance
Click on any of the pictures to jump down to see specifics about that dance venue.
1. The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim
The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim is the premier venue for country music and dancing in Orange County. Located on the first floor of the Extron building on Ball Road in Anaheim, you can’t miss it!
Before the Covid pandemic, the Saloon was open 5 nights a week-offering the most opportunities around for country line dancing and partner dancing. The hours were: Wednesday: 5:30 pm – 10 pm, Thursday-Saturday: 5:30 pm – 1 am, Sunday: 4:30 pm -10 pm. With the re-opening, currently, the Ranch is just offering 3 nights: Thurs. – Saturday. Hopefully, over time they will add Wednesday and Sunday back to their calendar. On Fridays and Saturdays, there is a live band, always beginning at 8:00. Come early to find a great bar stool seat at the rail, and jump in on the lessons at 6:30 & 7:15 (typically a partner & line dance). For what the lessons will be for a given night and what band will be playing click here for their calendar. Also for a deeper dive into more information about The Ranch check out my article here.
2. InCahoots Country Bar in Fullerton
InCahoots in Fullerton is the next closest country bar in Orange County about 3-1/2 miles north of the Ranch. Boasting over 15 years of country nightlife entertainment, this bar features live entertainment, special DJ appearances, a mechanical bull, their Rio Grill, and the largest dancefloor in Orange County.
InCahoots offers 18+ nightlife, as well as 21+ events 4 nights a week! Come enjoy traditional Country music mixed with a great blend of the new stuff. There are drink specials, concert tickets giveaways, and other special events as well as celebrity guest appearances. Of the 4 nights (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday) all are for 18+ except Tuesdays (21+ only) and for Friday it is 21+ until 7 pm, then it opens to 18+.
3. Cowboy Country Saloon in Long Beach
Cowboy Country Saloon, at 17-1/2 miles west in Long Beach, is a great spot to land if you live closer to Los Angeles and a little too far from Orange County. Open 3 nights: Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. There’s no cover charge when you come before 7.
Cowboy Country has a unique rustic charm all-its-own, and a much more old-style Honky Tonk feel than other bars. Wednesday & Saturday offer both a partner dance lesson and a line dance lesson, come Wednesday for 2 line dance lessons. Check here for their current calendar detailing who is teaching what dances on which days.
I have gone dancing there on several occasions now, click here to check out my detailed review that highlights the interesting particulars of this pretty historic honky-tonk bar.
4. Gas Lamp Restaurant & Bar in Long Beach
The Gas Lamp is located at 6251 East Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach. The Gas Lamp is open 4 nights a week, Thursday – Sunday.
But as a country dance fan, you’ll look for their “Country Thursdays.” This is their night dedicated to Country Music. A DJ plays country music all night and there are also line dance lessons.
After being curious for a while about the Gas Lamp, I have finally been a few times and really enjoyed everything about this smaller line dance venue and group. The typical Thursday night here has both line dancing and partner dancing! So, you’ll enjoy some chances for the Two Step, Cowboy Cha Cha, etc. in addition to all the line dances called. Click here to see my more detailed overview and get a feel for what an evening at the Gas Lamp is like!
Also in addition to Country Thursdays, Cindy Massengale has line dance classes there on Mondays. Click here for more details.
5. Montana’s Country Club in San Dimas
Continuing away from Anaheim, Montana’s is north up the 57 Fwy about 23-1/2 miles located at 657 W Arrow Hwy, in San Dimas. Montana’s is at first hard to find. But it is located in the same strip mall as Boot Barn so if you find Boot Barn – you’re close! Just go upstairs.
This club is dimly lit but has a large floor and even a pool table if you need a break from drinks and dancing. There isn’t a band, and the DJ seems to play more traditional country songs and calls some more obscure line dances. He welcomes 2-steppers to take the outside lane around the line dancers, which there’s definitely room for.
6. Whiskey River Dancehall & Saloon in Norco
The Whiskey River Dancehall & Saloon is located at 980 West 6th Street, easily accessible off of the 15 freeway in Norco. Formerly The Water Wheel Saloon, The Whiskey River Dancehall & Saloon is a great option and a go-to dance venue for folks in the Inland Empire.
And Norco is “Horse Town USA”! You can tie up your horse on the patio before you come in as a real cowboy to enjoy a great night of live country music, great food and drink, and of course friends and country dancing. There are free line dance lessons as well. The weekend nights start a little slow, but the closer it gets to 9 PM (when the live music starts) the more packed and exciting the place becomes!
As things began to open up a bit Whiskey River was one of the first to look like normal again. I took the drive out to check it out and had a great time dancing there. One thing great was the line dance lessons that took place after 7:30. There are two and they are generally pretty easy to pick up. Word has it that there are also beginner line dance lessons being taught at 6:30 if you come a little earlier.
Also, with the rename and new beginning, Whiskey River’s website is great! Check out the calendar that shows the schedule for the up-and-coming live entertainment.
Note: It is official. Water Wheel is now Whiskey River Dancehall & Saloon! But this made me a little sad, cause what about the awesome actual giant water wheel (recently fixed and in working order) that is still right out front? It seems funny to me and I wonder if it won’t still be known as “The Water Wheel Saloon” to many.
7. The Swallow’s Inn in San Juan Capistrano
The same distance out from The Ranch at 28-1/2 miles is Swallow’s Inn but to the South. Swallow’s Inn is in San Juan Capistrano, located at 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. It is a very well-known dive bar with great eclectic decor, open 7 days a week. There is live music 4 nights (Wed. – Saturday) and on Sunday there are free Two-Step dance lessons.
While there’s no cover charge the bar is cash only. And please notice Swallow’s Inn is your go-to country hang out if you need a place to go on Monday nights! In fact, while there’s country dancing here 7 nights a week they specifically advertise their “Country Mondays” with their basic Two-Step lessons from 6-7 pm and then dancing ’til 10 pm.
To learn some other interesting things about Swallow’s Inn and hear what I discovered about it in person, click here to read my more in-depth review.
8. StillWater Spirits & Sounds in Dana Point
Just south of Swallow’s Inn by about 5 more miles is StillWater Spirits & Sounds, a much more upscale bar and restaurant. StillWater is located at 24701 Del Prado Ave, Dana Point (very near Doheny State Beach). There is lovely outdoor patio dining here with embedded firepits. StillWater makes for a great night out with friends. Start with getting food outside and go into the bar area when the band gets playing.
9. The Canyon Club at Montclair Place in Montclair
The Canyon Club, like Montana’s, is a club in north Orange County, but about 33 miles drive from Anaheim and just about 10 miles east of Montana’s. It is located at 5060 N Montclair Plaza Ln. in Montclair. The Canyon is found on the 2nd floor in the center of the Montclair Place Mall.
Unfortunately, the Canyon Club has discontinued their “Country Thursdays” for now, but still go onto their website for all the Canyon Club locations and events. Their Agoura Hills & Santa Clarita venues still have Country Nights! See information about these two venues below! You might still want to visit sometime for one of their tribute bands. I went one time when they had a George Strait tribute band and it was a great night. George Strait all night and lots of country dancing on the little dance floor there.
10. The Canyon Club at The Rose in Pasadena
Unfortunately The Canyon Club at The Rose in Pasedena is no longer there. But know that the Canyon Club franchise is alive and well! There are a total of 7 locations:
- Agoura Hills – See their Country Wednesdays!
- Santa Clarita – See their Country Thursdays!
- Beverly Hills
- Montclair – Country Thursdays have been discontinued for now!
11. The Brandin’ Iron Country Nightclub in San Bernadino
To find the next venue you need to head on out again into the Inland Empire about 46-1/2 miles. The Brandin’ Iron (AKA the BI), is located at 320 S E St. in San Bernardino. The Brandin’ Iron is a famous and long-standing country nightclub that has hosted rising country stars for years. The bar has seen over the years stars such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dolly Paton, Merle Haggard, George Strait, and Kenny Chesney.
More recently Nashville stars like Jason Aldean, Tayor Swift, Thomas Rhett, Jon Pardi and Kelsey Ballarini have also played at the Brandin’ Iron. While the club boasts of deep country history and traditional roots, currently on any weekend there is a very contemporary, new country feel to the music being played.
The local DJ plays a selection of hard-driving country that the regular crowd loves. Like the Ranch, the Brandin’ Iron is open 5 nights a week (closed Mon.-Tues.). Check out their Facebook page for more current updates. I’ve also taken a deeper dive into this venue in another post. So click here to read more!
Check out this video to get a glimpse of the expansive floor:
12. The Cowboy Palace Saloon in Chatsworth
The Cowboy Palace, located in Chatsworth is twelfth on my list at 58 miles out from Anaheim. Like Cowboy Country in Long Beach, this bar considers itself the last real honky-tonk bar. (So, a little competition here I guess!) But Cowboy Palace is really a sight to see. There is a genuine charm and fun atmosphere. What is really unique is that because of its great decor and authentic western look it has been featured in several country-western music videos as well as TV shows. The most famous would be Toby Keith’s I love this bar. But Keith Urban’s song Coming Home with Julia Michaels was also shot there! Check out the bar’s website where they have links to all the videos on YouTube. It is indeed a magical place. How do I know? I checked it out for myself. Click here to read my review!
13. The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills
The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills is pretty far out from Anaheim, at about 61 miles! This is the 3rd of the 4 Canyon Clubs that have been hosting “Borderline Country Nights.” The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills is located at 28912 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills.
The Agoura Hills club has a similar feel to the other Canyon Club locations. It is a large open well lit venue with the same oriental rugs and high as well as low tables for sitting and dining. This one also has the large chair for fun photo ops as well as a giant gold Budha as you come in. Like the other Canyon Clubs, to go country dancing, you’ll be looking for their one-night-a-week country night and here it’s on Wednesdays.
While it is only one night a week the Club is just 16 miles south of The Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth, another spot to go dancing open every night of the week.
14. The Canyon Club in Santa Clarita
The Canyon Club in Santa Clarity is also very far from Anaheim, at 61+ miles! This is the 4th of the 4 Canyon Clubs that have been hosting “Borderline Country Nights.” The Canyon Club in Santa Clarita is located in the Westfield Valencia Town Center at 24201 Valencia Blvd, Suite 1351, Santa Clarita.
Like the other Canyon Clubs, to go country dancing, you’ll be looking for their one-night-a-week country night and at this one, which is Thursdays. Their DJ Cody calls the dances: both line dances as well as two-step. The Canyon Clubs have been really great to support the Borderline Bar and Grill and provide a new venue for country dancing in the Ventura and Thousand Oaks area.
While it is only one night a week the Club is just 24 miles north of The Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth, another spot to go dancing open every night of the week.
15. The Temecula Stampede in Temecula
The farthest spot from Anaheim for country dancing is the Temecula Stampede at about 62 miles away, but great for Riverside County residents or people south of San Juan Capistrano. The best nights to come out to the Stampede are Fridays and Saturdays when they have free dance lessons beginning at 7 pm.
Now, while InCahoots in Fullerton boasts of the largest dance floor in Orange County the Temecula Stampede can lay claim to the largest dance floor on the west coast with a 4,000 square foot dance floor! If you’ve been to some of these other venues like the Swallow’s Inn, for instance, you will be happy for a venue like the Stampede – more than enough room for line dancing, Two-Stepping, etc.