The city won't be very busy during August. Most of the Scad (college) kids will still be on summer break, and tourism seems to be a little busier in spring/fall. However, this probably means you'll have better luck finding a bored bartender and striking up an interesting conversation.
River Street, while on the water, is touristy and prices reflect that. Congress is several streets south and between Drayton-MLK it has quite a few bars, pool halls and clubs. Congress also borders City Market which is a great place to get dinner first (Vinnie Van Go-Gos pizza -- yum!)
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