By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com San Diego Blogger
San Diego has the nickname of “America’s Finest City” but it is also one of American’s most fun cities when it comes to bars and nightlife.
There are several areas of the city which has nightlife but three stand out more than the others. They are Pacific Beach/Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and the Gaslamp Quarter. Read on to learn more about these happening areas, which beings with fun daylife and ends with even more fun nightlife. Or, for those who get lucky, a bottomless mimosas brunch the next morning.
All in the relaxed what that is the San Diego way.
Pacific Beach/Mission Beach Nightlife
The party starts in these coastal towns, which are side-by-side between La Jolla and Ocean Beach. Most tourists would not know if they are in one or the other, which is why they are combined here.
Pacific Beach, known affectionally to locals simply at “PB,” is the most raucous place in San Diego. It’s young and forever young in the bars, which range from dives (PB Shore Club, Lahina, Open Bar ) to nice places (Waterbar, Tower 23), with pretty much everything in between.
Some bars are on the beach path overlooking the Pacific Ocean while others are a few blocks inland, mainly on Mission Blvd., and Garnet Ave. The best Pacific Beach bars, in addition to those listed above, are Duck Dive (it’s especially busy on weekend late mornings/early afternoon with its ridiculous large and bottomless drink specials), Maverick’s (if you want to get in there on a weekend afternoon, you better arrive before 3 p.m.), and Firehouse, which is on fire Sunday afternoons.
If its daytime in Mission Beach, head to the WaveHouse Bar & Grill, an all-outdoor bar in front of the walking and bike path. Guava Beach is THE locals’ sports bar, and long-standing locals’ hangout The Pennant. Other top bars are Beachcomber (a dive bar and what’s a beach without a good dive bar or two!?) and the multi-level Sandbar.
Ocean Beach Nightlife
There’s more than hippies in OB. There’s also great nightlife, including one of San Diego’s best live music bars, The Holding Company. This multi-level, multi-personality bar has an awesome weekend brunch on its rooftop and a mid-level bar for hanging out and drinking; it’s on Newport Blvd., half a block from the beach and the OB Pier.
Around the corner, and also with massive beach and ocean views, is Wonderland Ocean Pub. The name “pub” is misleading for it’s a few bars in one and takes up half a block and three stories.
Newport Blvd., is the best place to find Ocean Beach bars, as there are several right next to each other.
Gaslamp Quarter Nightlife
This downtown nightlife area by the San Diego Padres’ Petco Park and the Convention Center is such a centerpiece of San Diego nightlife that officials block off the main street every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
That would be Fifth Ave., and it stretches for six or seven blocks. Top bars include The Field Irish bar, the always popular barleymash (this is actually the Gaslamp Quarter’s “go-to bar for many people, locals and tourists alike), Toro (a thumping music nightclub), American Junkie (fun and mostly young) the three-level Tipsy Crow and a PubClub.com personal favorite, Trailer Park After Dark.
Other recommended spots are Patrick’s (live music, on F Street between Fifth & Fourth avenues), Tin Roof (more live music), the funky Vin De Syrah (900 block of Fifth Ave.) and Bottlegger, a kick-up the heels bar in East Village (8th & Market). Parq is a dance club.
The Gaslamp is like New Year’s Eve every Friday and Saturday night. Unlike the beach cities, the party doesn’t get started until about 9 at night.