San Diego is known for its sparkling beaches, surfing, and exciting beach cities. However, when the sun sets and the surfboards are put away, the entertainment sure does not end! Just a few hours from Los Angeles and an hour from Orange County, San Diego has access to some of the greatest talents in the entertainment industry. Not interested in comedians or musicians? There are plenty of small quaint towns to explore for entertainment throughout your night.
1. Visit Old Town San Diego
San Diego is one of California’s most historic counties, which is why Old Town gets the nickname, ‘The Birthplace of California’. Filled with plenty of cultures, entertainment, and exciting restaurants, old town San Diego plays host to live music, art & craft shows, theater performances, and so much more. Stop by for some late night tacos as you hear the sound of mariachis playing just outside. Visit a haunted building for some extra spooks or take a tour to hear all the folklore of this historic town.
2. Stop By Balboa Park
While it may appear to be just a park, Balboa park lights up at night providing plenty of entertainment for locals and tourists. If you are visiting during the holidays, check out some of the Christmas lights. In the summer listen to some live music or check the Balboa Park calendar for fun events, like a food truck festival. Another option, just stop by! Explore the area and find something to discover!
3. Explore The Art Scene
If you know anything about the locals of San Diego, you know the love art! Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art or the Aaron Chang Ocean Art Gallery. There are tons of galleries scattered throughout the city, both inside and out. Stop by one and find incredible photography. Walk a block or so and witness a street artist creating masterpieces right in front of you.
What is so incredible about so much of this art, is that it is largely inspired by San Diego. So you can purchase a piece to remember your trip or find a beautiful painting that makes you feel like you are always near the shores of the Pacific.
4. Check Out The Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter is where you will find the hottest clubs, thrilling dive bars, and the most unique cocktails in San Diego. The scene is vibrant and geared towards the younger crowd. Check out restaurants with cuisine from all over the globe. Hang out on the grass while you end the night with some ice cream or coffee. The summer night a bit too warm? Cool off in the interactive fountain. There is tons to see and do, but more so if you leave the kids at home!
5. Discover Seaport Village
While the Gaslamp Quarter is for the young adults, Seaport Village is for those who are looking for a less noisy night but still want a taste of nightlife. Seaport Village is filled with fun events like outdoor concerts, Greek food and music festivals, and family attractions like carousels. But first, grab some dinner by the ocean watching the sunset. Munch on some of the freshest seafood and enjoy a refreshing cocktail before you begin the most exciting part of your day!
6. Stand Up Comedy
As mentioned, San Diego is fairly close to Los Angeles. Which means your local comedy club has access to some of the greatest jokesters in the business. Check out National Comedy to find some of the top acts coming to San Diego! Some frequent guests of the San Diego comedy club scene include Weird Al Yankovic, Tim Allen, Dane Cook, Jeff Ross, Kevin Heart, Kathy Griffin, and David Cross.
7. Search For Concerts
Similar to the point above, because of San Diego’s location entertainers that stop by Los Angeles or Orange County, frequently make a stop in San Diego as well. This means you can enjoy the incredible talent without the crowds (or traffic) of Los Angeles. Check out outdoor music concerts or the indoor Repertory Theatre.
8. Enjoy SeaWorld Fireworks
Looking to cap your night off with a spark of entertainment? Check out SeaWorld Fireworks! Unfortunately, these are only taking place during summer holidays, so plan in advance. There are two ways to see the show, one is by buying tickets and entering the park to see the show for $10. Another option is to park yourself at a nearby park where you can watch the show for free, but with a less stellar view.
9. Munch & Stroll A Cultural Festival
San Diego is home to many diverse cultures. Just a couple hours from the Mexico border means you are guaranteed to find some incredible Mexican food. Looking for something less spicy? Check online for some cultural festivals that may be taking place. For example, Little Italy hosts an Italian festival every year. Complete with cooking lessons, cannoli’s, and traditional dancing!
10. San Diego Zoo
Looking for a way to entertain the little ones at night? Check out the San Diego Zoo! Open until 9:00 PM on summer nights, this is the perfect option to keep your young ones having the best time. Worried the animals may be asleep? Some may be, but the zoo is also home to many nocturnal animals. So you may have the opportunity to visit animals you would not be able to see during the day.
If you are planning a visit to San Diego you will always find plenty to do during the day. It is at night when people are completely surprised at how much there is to see once they arrive. San Diego has a vibrant night scene for every individual, couple, and family, Whether you are a single lady looking for a night out with your girls, a couple looking to enrich your cultural experiences, or a family hoping to make lifelong memories with their little ones. San Diego is the perfect place to make lasting memories.
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Updated: June 7, 2018