Dubbed “America's Finest City,” San Diego is known for its warm climate and hot nightlife. It’s a beach city that’s only a 20-minute drive from Tijuana, which means San Diego has the laid-back cool of a California border town coupled with a little something picante. San Diego has something on offer for every discerning hedonist, no matter their preference for mild, hot or extra spicy. With so much to see and do, you’re going to need a strategy if you’re planning on staying up and having the night of your life.
3 P.M. - The Pearl Hotel
(Courtesy The Pearl Hotel, photo by Tim Mantoani)
You’re going to need a place to stash your stuff and grab an hour’s shut-eye before checkout, so do it in style at the Pearl Hotel. The retro-renovated motor inn is decorated in suave, mid-century modern cool. The Pearl Hotel also boasts a fantastic cocktail bar, an acclaimed restaurant, a vintage oyster-shaped pool, room rates starting at only $100, outdoor movies at the pool. There's also a pet fish in a wall-mounted bowl in every room so you don’t feel lonely, ever.
5 P.M. - Cantina Mayahuel Tequila Bar
(Courtesy Cantina Mayahuel)
Is San Diego the tequila capital of America? Considering you can beam over to Mexico via public transit in no time flat, you’d better believe this is the destination city for quality agave. The rustic Cantina Mayahuel, named for the Aztec goddess of tequila (you may already be acquainted), will amaze you with their menu of over 100 tequilas and mezcals. But it’s not all tequila goddesses: their killer cocktails and mixed drinks are equally divine. Grab an order of mole, too—in a city teeming with excellent Mexican food, Cantina Mayahuel offers some of the town’s best. And you’re going to need to fuel the rest of your night’s adventures.
8 P.M. - Polite Provisions Cocktail Bar
(Courtesy Polite Provisions)
Don’t knock the notion of cocktails on tap—they could be just what the doctor ordered. The Polite Provisions mixologist lounge has a 1920s drugstore atmosphere that complements its amazing mixed drinks. Whether you order up one of their artisanal cocktails (made with their homemade syrups, sodas and infusions), one of their pre-made cocktails or one of their many microbrew draft beers, their medicine will fix you up.
10 P.M. - Turf Supper Club
(Courtesy Turf Supper Club)
Time for a late-night meal? The Turf Supper Club has a cook you can trust: you. The lounge, with a neighborhood bar feel and a hip clientele, features a grill where you can whip up your own supper. It’s surprisingly fun to throw down some steak with pals, plus the Turf has a rad jukebox, intimate booths and a live piano player every weekend.
12 A.M. - U31 Cocktail Lounge
(Courtesy U31 Cocktail Lounge)
You need to be where the best DJs in the city are hitting the decks and that’s at U31. Looking like the world’s coolest basement lounge, its cheap cover and decent drink prices go well with its champion dance floor. It’s also the place to party down with a cross section of San Diego’s night set: hipsters, downtown yuppies, college students and out-of-towners all rip it up to the beat.
2 A.M. - Spin Nightclub
(Courtesy Spin Nightclub)
Last call is at 2 A.M.,but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack it in. Spin Nightclub keeps the good times coming until the sun comes up. Three levels of awesome, featuring a thundering sound system and elaborate lights and lasers, give you all the stimulation you need to keep going. You also have their open-air roof lounge to take in the always-warm SoCal night with any of your beautiful new beach babe friends.
6:25 A.M. - Sunrise on the Beach
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve watched the sun come up while laying in the still-warm sand, listening to the waves hit the shore. It’s the perfect end to the perfect night.