Most San Diego nightlife is concentrated in the Gaslamp Quarter—at least this is where most of the best nightlife in San Diego is located. However, you will find good nightlife in many neighborhoods throughout the city as well as in several of the far-flung suburbs. Like its sprawling neighbor of Los Angeles, the metropolitan area spreads south all the way to Tijuana and the border with Mexico. It spreads north to the town of Carlsbad on the edge of Camp Pendleton, the only thing separating this city from Los Angeles. In between is the downtown area, and there are San Diego night clubs and bars in all the places where tourists congregate.
Also, there is a wide variety of San Diego nightlife available to suit many different tastes. You will find comedy clubs in San Diego as well as gay and lesbian bars; quiet supper lounges with smooth jazz; as well as huge discos that rave until the wee hours of the morning. You can even find night time entertainment at sea aboard sailing ships and party boats that have cocktail and dinner cruises with dancing.
But the best nightlife in San Diego found in the Gaslamp Quarter. This is the oldest part of the city and full of rich and colorful history. The most exclusive of the San Diego night clubs are found here, among them the Bitter End that is located in the oldest building (1874) in the city. It has three areas on three levels. The elegant VIP Lounge boasts fireplaces and fine art worthy of the city's museums. The Main Bar boasts a 40-foot mahogany bar, pool tables, and sidewalk level views of the bustling sidewalks. The Underground is a happening music club with live bands, disc jockeys, karaoke, and weekend dancing.
Right on the Embarcadero across the bay from Coronado Island is the famous Hard Rock, which is one of the San Diego night clubs as well as one of the city's stylish luxury hotels. Its Woodstock outdoor concert venue (complete with swimming pool) hosts headliner acts like the Black Eyed Peas for audiences as large as 900 people. In the rooftop bar Float, you can enjoy more subdued evening entertainment with light piano music. You will find this kind of more subdued San Diego nightlife in many of the beach hotels, like the Hotel del Coronado as well as in some of the better airport hotels.
The majority of the best nightlife in San Diego for the gay and lesbian community will be found north of Balboa Park in the Hilcrest District and around the airport. All along the beaches from Carlsbad down to Point Loma, you will find laid back beach and sports bars. There are more than 30 microbreweries in the city, and several of these have music on weekend nights. The most famous of these is the Jacob Strauss Brewing Company in La Jolla. You will even find several lounges and clubs for the under 21 crowd; cigar bars, just about the only drinking establishments where smoking (cigars only) is welcome; as well as numerous traditional Irish and English pubs.