San Diego

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When the sun goes down, an entirely different side of the city is revealed. ShermansTravel experts sort through the dives and overpriced cocktails to show you the best bars and nightspots that really give a taste of the local vibe, while also pointing out the jazz clubs, theater performances, and dancehalls that travelers might not find on their own.

San Diego Nightlife

Bourbon Street

For the gay crowd, Rich’s San Diego and Montage may offer great dance floors, but everyone starts their night at Bourbon Street; two outdoor patios and a second room with live DJs.

4612 Park Blvd., CA, 619-291-4043,
Tags: nightlife | patio | bar | gay


A Gaslamp mainstay, this tribute to singer-songwriter Jim Croce (by his wife, Ingrid) offers the best jazz in town. Make dinner reservation for the best seats.

802 Fifth Ave., CA, 619-233-4355,
Tags: nightlife | editor pick | things to do | bar | jazz

J6 Bar and Lounge

The sexiest lounge in town is poolside at the Hotel Solamar, where partiers mingle, nosh, and drink around fire pits overlooking downtown.

616 J St.; 4th Fl., CA, 619-531-8744,
Tags: nightlife | swimming pool | lounge | patio


This tri-level restaurant/nightclub is the hottest ticket in town, with a strict dress code, rooftop cabanas, dance floor, and VIP areas.

454 Sixth Ave., CA, 619-544-9500,
Tags: nightlife | dancing | nightclub | dj

Sycuan Casino

More than just a gambling destination, Sycuan (30 minutes from downtown) presents major concerts and performers.

5469 Casino Way, CA, 619-445-2613,
Tags: gambling | nightlife | casino

The Airport Lounge

Swank spot with shag carpet, circular booths, and waitresses wearing vintage stewardess uniforms; cover charge after 11pm.

2400 India St., CA, 619-685-3881,
Tags: nightlife | lounge | dancing | dj

The Beachcomber

Once a dive, it’s transformed into the best beach bar and dance club for college students. Don shorts, flip-flops, and T-shirts because this is casual San Diego all the way.

2901 S. Mission Blvd., CA, 858-488-2644
Tags: nightlife | dancing | college bar | casual

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