Inevitably, Santa Cruz's nightlife
is at its best during Carnival , which can make the other fifty weeks of the year seem like one long anticlimax. But, by normal standards the capital has a good range of bars
(supplemented by a number of huge outdoor venues nearby in the summer) and a respected venue for the performing arts
Most of the town's trendiest bars and clubs line the Avenida de Anaga , which follows the coast northwards from Plaza de España, and though they don't tend to get going until midnight, most pump out chart music until around 5am - one longstanding (though rather nondescript) favourite on the strip is Nooctua at no. 37 . During the summer months the clubs along this strip are largely eclipsed by the building of temporary outdoor bars and discos, so-called terraces . Locations vary each year, as do the "in" places.
The town's other main nightlife area is rather more sedate and tends to cater for an older clientele who like to stroll down Rambla General Franco, the main arterial road inland and to the north of the centre, which is lined with kiosks, cafés and some unusual modern sculptures.
The Plaza de la Paz is a vague focus for another area of bars including the Cervecería Metro, Rambla de Pubido 89 , a pleasantly furnished popular place where a varied crowd meets in the dingy pub-style bar. Opposite the entrance to this bar is a small alley, the Paseo, into which half a dozen small bars spill. El Desvan, at no. 17 , is one of the more stylish along here. Relatively undisturbed by nearby main roads, the bars in the alley hum for most of the night - with a good mix of age groups represented.
There's little in the way of live music in Santa Cruz with only occasional pop concerts taking place on Plaza de Toros (for ticket and concert information enquire at the tourist office). However, the capital's main performing arts venue, the Teatro Guimerá, C/de Imeldo Seris ( tel 922/29 08 38), is rather busier with its programme of Classical music and theatre performances . The annual Classical-music festival, the Festival de Música de Canarias , is the highpoint of the annual calendar here, and includes numerous performances by the well-respected symphony orchestra of Tenerife (tel 922/239 801, www.cabtfe.es/ost/ ) - which puts on its own festival here in March.