San Diego Music & Nightlife:

San Diego Music Venues

San boasts some of the best music around, and there are many San Diego music venues hosting the best in music every night. Whether you want to check out a dive bar for a few local tunes or hit up one of the larger venues for touring bands, use this page to help you quickly browse the best venues and nightlife in San Diego. Check out the following San Diego music venues and see what's playing during your next trip to San Diego.

  • Soma San Diego: Soma is one of the most legendary music venues in San Diego for punk and hardcore bands. It gives off the feel of an underground music venue in a warehouse-like setting. Along with the main stage there is also a side stage where there is often a band playing in between sets, so you won't be without music the entire show.
  • The Casbah: The Casbah continues to be one of the best San Diego music venues and has been hosting bands the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and MGMT since 1989. Their original venue had a tiny maximum capacity of 75 people. In 1994 they moved to their current location where they can accommodate around 200 people. It remains a small venue, but that is why locals love it so much. You can get up close and personal with some of your favorite bands.
  • House of Blues: The House of Blues in San Diego opened in 2005 and continually hosts some of the best bands touring through San Diego. Situated in downtown San Diego (just a few blocks from the Gaslamp Quarter), this top San Diego music venue makes it easy for you to keep partying after the show lets out.
  • 4th and B: 4th and B is another popular music venue in downtown San Diego often hosting newly popular and upcoming artists touring through San Diego. A lot of times the shows end a little early, so you have plenty of time to check out some of the more popular bars and nightclubs in downtown San Diego.
  • Belly Up Tavern: Located in Solana Beach, this relatively small music venue hosts all sorts of bands from the hottest new artists to classic cover bands and upcoming local groups. Expect cheap well drinks and tall boys of PBR at this rad venue in north county.
  • Cricket Wireless Amphitheater: Formerly the Coors Amphitheater, this is one of San Diego's largest music venues hosting all the biggest names in music year-round. Located in Chula Vista, this top music venue is about a 15-20 minute drive from downtown and has easy, convenient parking on-site.
  • Viejas Arena (formerly Cox Arena): The Viejas Arena is located on the campus of San Diego State University near Mission Valley. The Viejas Arena is the home of the SDSU Aztecs basketball teams, and while smaller than Cricket Amphitheater, it has hosted the likes of Drake, Foo Fighters, Metallica and Green Day.
  • Humphrey's: Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay are great for a date night show. They tend to have a wide variety of classic artists and contemporary bands, so be sure to check their schedule online and see who is coming to the San Diego music scene.

Those are just a handful of the larger music venues in San Diego, and you will discover that many dive bars in North Park, downtown San Diego nightclubs and other venues scattered around San Diego are great places to catch local San Diego music.

 San Diego Nightlife

While San Diego might not be entirely known for its nightclubs and bars, San Diego nightlife is still some of the best around, if you know where to look. There are a few sections of the city where San Diego nightlife is more concentrated, and if you are looking for some nighttime entertainment, check out the following areas.

  • Gaslamp Quarter/Downtown: Downtown and the Gaslamp Quarter has the highest concentration of San Diego nightclubs and bars making it one of the best places to experience San Diego nightlife. Many of the larger downtown Hotels have popular nightclubs and host there own special parties worth checking out. The only downside to the downtown nightlife in San Diego is that it can be much pricier than other areas of San Diego, but you get what you pay for because the nightclubs in downtown are the best.
  • North Park/South Park: North Park and South Park are continually becoming more popular with young locals seeking that perfect hidden bar or club. The two areas tend to have more of a hipster sort of crowd and often times there are lots of local musicians playing small shows in these hidden gems. If you are looking for upbeat but not over-the-top San Diego nightlife, you will surely find it around here.
  • Pacific BeachPacific Beach is loaded with bars and small clubs that offer cheap drink specials and happy hour bar food attracting a much younger crowd of the college student type. This area boasts a very upbeat and fun nightlife in San Diego, but expect lines and small covers at the more popular digs, especially on the weekends.
  • Mission BeachIf you keep heading south from Pacific Beach, you will find yourself in Mission Beach, which is mostly residential with some cool shops and dive bars. As you get a little closer to the famous Belmont Park, you will find a little more San Diego nightlife. While this area isn't too far from the wild nightlife of Pacific Beach, the crowd here tends to be a little old, but you will enjoy great drink specials and some awesome bar food.
  • Ocean BeachOcean Beach is for the true world traveler. This part of San Diego is really a "locals only" type of scene, but if you are a free spirit, the San Diego nightlife in Ocean Beach is pretty awesome. Checkout the various dive bars with live music and take a walk on the OB pier for a cool end to the evening.

For more San Diego nightlife and music venues, browse our site under the keywords: music, nightclub, bar or nightlife.