travelgrove Travel Guides

San Diego Nightlife, California

One would never be left unsatisfied when it comes to the nightlife entertainment in San Diego. If you want proof, consider this. There are more than 1.2 million people living in the City of San Diego, which makes it the second largest city in California in terms of population. But that number balloons to an estimated 2.63 million from tourists each month with almost half of that number consisting of overnight only visitors. That amounts to more than 15 million people enjoying the San Diego nightlife scene every year!

With literally hundreds of happening hotspots - restaurants, bars, lounges, nightclubs and entertainment venues - San Diego is certainly one of the coolest nightlife destinations in the USA.

Key Entertainment Districts

There are several locales that make up the whole of San Diego City. Each of these places offers their own brand of merriment, from neighborhood pubs to upscale wine bars. However, the main nightlife districts are in Downtown and at the Pacific Beach areas.

Downtown San Diego - Undoubtedly, when it comes to spending the night in fun and frivolity, Downtown San Diego is where the action is. The historical thousand‑acre district, established in 1867 by Alonzo Erastus Horton, is the central hub of government, business and entertainment in the city. This is where the fabled Gaslamp Quarter is located along with numerous other large and small commercial establishments that cater to people’s want for some nightlife diversion.

Pacific Beach - The Pacific Beach-Mission Beach area is the premiere beach community of San Diego where the world famous Seaworld Park is located. After sunset, beach revelers take their parties to the club scene of Pacific Beach, which the locals unassumingly refer to as PB. Grill bars are the fare hang outs but there are other establishments serving every sort of cuisine and drinks. Wherever you go, the come-as-you-are atmosphere is inviting. If you’re at a loss on where to go, just head over to Garnet Avenue and scour the bars and clubs that dot the place.

Top Nightlife Hotspots

When looking for a nightlife place to go to in San Diego, you might get overwhelmed with the wide array of choices available. From the sleek to the scintillating, the lavish to the laid-back, San Diego has it.

Gaslamp Quarter - The heart of San Diego’s nightlife is at the Gaslamp Quarter, a legendary stretch of Downtown San Diego from Broadway to Harbor Drive. That’s a 16-block party place that rocks from sundown to sun-up, every night of the week.

There are several nightlife establishments at the Gaslamp Quarter for almost every letter of the alphabet, From Aubergine, Belo and Croce’s (named after musician Jim Croce), to Visions, Whiskey Girl and Xavier’s.

Elsewhere in San Diego - Be sure to also check out Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach for an amazing night of live music. If you’re looking for the alternative vibe, go visit the Casbah just a few blocks from the San Diego International Airport. For the best beers in the county, have a few pints at O’Brien’s Pub - top 8 for the best places to have beer in the USA, located over at Northeastern, San Diego. Then of course, there is the Pacific Beach Bar and Grill where you can drink, dance and delight in their delicious grilled specialties.

Fire up your nights this side of California. Just take your pick of places and events. Go watch a movie, attend a wine tasting, listen to live music, sing your heart out at a karaoke, laugh at a side-splitting comedy club, or just dance the night away. The nightlife fun is non-stop in San Diego.

Ask our travel experts a question about San Diego

Things about San Diego you may be interested in


Read our members' reviews about San Diego

  • mohds2The vibrant San Diego
    review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
    San Diego is very robust and vibrant place to visit, in contrast to other towns of same size. Maybe it’s due to ideal climate, which is experienced by San Diego citizens, who always want an excuse to move into the city and take a look of it's area. San Diego possesses various outdoor...
  • mohds2And so it bacame San Diego...
    review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
    In the past, just the Kumeyaay people colonized the small city, which is currently recognized as San Diego. This city is now famous for being the largest and richest town in the U. S. Its current population is up to 1,255,240 and is thought to be the 2nd biggest town in California as well as the...
  • MadSuhThanksgiving in Carlsbad and visit in San Diego
    review by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    I drove down to San Diego on the 22nd for another business meeting. I was meeting with a group hotel company. San Diego has changed quite a bit. LA is still the same somehow but San Diego is being redeveloped over and over again. New office space everywhere, I should move down there sometime. ...
view all

Read our members' travel tips about San Diego

  • lindamuraCucina Urbana
    travel tip by lindamura posted more then 30 days ago
    Is one of the greatest place to dine. Cucina Urbana was opened not long ago, but it's very popular and I can understand why. I loved the floral table clothes and the nice waiters. Besides, I didn't find anything in the menu that...
  • szbogiGas Lamp Quarter
    travel tip by szbogi posted more then 30 days ago
    It is the greatest club district in the city. There are a lot of very good restaurants and nice shops as well. All the clubs have either DJs or live music. You are not supposed to wear jeans or sandals, wear more decent clothes, a...
  • MadSuhTurf Supper Club
    travel tip by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    Turf Supper Club in San Diego is a retro jazz bar in the middle of Golden Hill, with cheap and strong cocktails. Musicians are playing the piano as well as they can and whatever the musicians don't know how to play, the jukebox an...
view all


Members Who Have Been to San Diego

Community Galleries About San Diego

Browse our members' San Diego galleries to get a better impression of the place
show alladd gallery
the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...
  •$194Virgin America flightVirgin America
    Portland, OR (PDX)  San Diego, CA (SAN)
    10/27/2016 12:10 pm
    San Diego, CA (SAN)  Portland, OR (PDX)
    11/03/2016 03:05 pm
  •$223Spirit Airlines flightSpirit Airlines
    Seattle, WA (SEA)  San Diego, CA (SAN)
    10/27/2016 06:25 am
    San Diego, CA (SAN)  Seattle, WA (SEA)
    11/03/2016 09:11 am
  •$259Multiple Airlines flightMultiple Airlines
    Vancouver, BC (YVR)  San Diego, CA (SAN)
    10/27/2016 04:01 pm
    San Diego, CA (SAN)  Vancouver, BC (YVR)
    11/03/2016 08:45 am

San Diego City Ratings

  • Rating79%
    City Rank158
  • History & Culture: rated for 78%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 90%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 90%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 75%
  • Food: rated for 85%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 75%
  • Shopping: rated for 80%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 60%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 80%
   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it