Nightlife

Location
Sacramento, CA
Undergrads
20,625
Tuition (in-state)
$16,632 ($5,472)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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College Senior

Nightlife: I do not attend parties nor do I associate with people who do so I can not rate this.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: The night life is okay compared to other big cities

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: I don't really party too much, but from the few I've gone to, they seem pretty cool.

College Sophomore

Nightlife: I don't live on campus or go to any parties being held from fellow students so I have no idea what the nightlife is like.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: There are plenty of clubs and bars around since we are so close to downtown Sacramento.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 431st
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 629th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 938th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Hilton Collins
Major
English
View all previous student authors

Sacramento's bar and club scene is very low-key compared to the ones in more prominent cities like nearby San Francisco. Still, it's not hard for students to make the most of what they've got. There's more to do than just go out to places where you have to pay for drinks and a cover charge; you can go to house parties, too, especially if you're part of a Greek organization. Frequently, classmates or co-workers get to know each other and throw parties. The employees of the student newspaper, for instance, have been known to have quite a few parties at each other's houses. If you're a fan of more intimate personal gatherings where you know most of the people, you might want to go the house-party route.

On the other hand, if you need strangers and bright lights, hit the streets. Sacramento has a large number of single people, and clubs and bars are the places to find them on the weekends. Students over 21 will have a much better time enjoying the nightlife than others, so your options are limited if you're young. However, some places definitely fill the need for 18-and-over night owls. Some students are disenchanted with the club scene because they see the same people over and over again, and others are skeptical about what kind of nightlife, if any, a city like Sacramento has. It's out there—you just have to look for it.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • College Town
  • Downtown Sacramento
  • La Riviera
Other Places to Check Out
  • BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
  • Blue Lamp
  • Bonn Lair
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Chambers Room
  • Club 2 Me
  • Club Tropicana
  • District 30
  • Dive Bar
  • Elephant Bar Restaurant
  • Laughs Unlimited Comedy Club & Lounge
  • The Limelight
  • Marilyn's On K
  • Midtown Stomp
  • MVP Sports Grill
  • Old Ironsides
  • O'Mally's Irish Pub
  • Players Sports Pub & Grill
  • Punch Line
  • The Shack
  • Shakers
  • Streets of London Pub
  • Torch Club
  • TownHouse Lounge
  • Zebra Club  
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card Games (A$$hole)
  • Flip cup
  • Kings Cup
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • www.sac.napkinnights.com
  • www.sacvibe.com
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Bisla's
Organization Parties
Many Sac State clubs will often rent out a restaurant or club and throw private parties. Sometimes, fraternities and sororities do it; other times, groups like Samahang Pilipino and the Chinese Culture Organization will do it. Some groups, like the Queer-Straight Alliance, just meet together at certain bars to hang out. These parties are usually more specialized and intimate because the people know each other and have a history together.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Harlow's

Named after actress Jean Harlow, this is one of the more expensive clubs, as the cover charge can skyrocket depending on what's going on inside. But the atmosphere is about what you'd expect from an upscale club with chrome accentuating the interior. It's a more sensual, romantic place, featuring jazz, blues, and more melodious tunes. But things do speed up a bit with hip-hop, salsa, and other musical genres. The weekends draw louder crowds, but other nights are more chill. Sometimes, patrons talk over the live music, which angers people who want their money's worth.

2708 J St.

Sacramento

(916) 441-4693

harlows.com

Press Club

Dance club downtown with an art-deco atmosphere. Most nights, a DJ plays mostly `80s music or soft club tunes for patrons who like to move. Every Sunday there's free live music, and parties for events like Halloween are common.

2030 P St.

Sacramento

(916) 444-7914

Ace of Spades

The atmosphere is industrial, and although it's already pretty big, it looks even bigger because of the high ceiling. Lots of video and flashing lights accompany the music, and on concert nights, the dress code isn't enforced. Entertainers, musical acts, and DJs keep the place jumping.

1417 R St.

Sacramento

(916) 930-0220

aceofspadessac.com

Faces

A large gay club that's a hit with straight people, as well, and famous for good times and karaoke. It's divided into areas like the front piano lounge, the smoking area, the express bar, the dance bar, video bar, swimming pool, and Internet café. The large size definitely gives the sense that there's a lot happening in this place.

2000 K St.

Sacramento

(916) 448-0706

www.faces.net

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Stingers Sports Pub

Not as popular as it once was with the college crowd, but still prominent. Lots of drinking and flirting goes on, especially after dark. Barbecue is served on Wednesdays, but breakfast is served every day at any time. You can play video games, pool, or watch television.  

7890 La Riviera Dr.

Sacramento

(916) 381-4800

Pine Cove Tavern

Professionals come here, but college crowds rule this place at around 9 p.m. It gets rowdy sometimes because every night has a shot special and sports games on television. If you like to drink, you could be intimidated by the twisty stairs that connect floors, and drinks come fast and cheap. One-dollar, two-dollar, and three-dollar drink specials are common, so it's nice to know this is a bar that's kind to broke college students. There's also karaoke and happy hour.

502 29th St.

Sacramento

(916) 446-3624

Monkey Bar

The signature Monkey Punch is a hit, but there are other available specialty drinks and "safer" drinks like draft beer for those who don't like to experiment. Service is often slow because of the crowds, but college students love the place anyway. They often come during happy hour and on weekends. Sometimes, a DJ plays house music late at night, but the place isn't popular for its tunes, just the cheap drinks and atmosphere.

2730 Capitol Ave.

Sacramento

(916) 442-8490

www.monkeybarmidtown.com

Blue Cue

A good place to go if you're not an expert pool player but want to do more than just sit at a bar while you drink (though you can do that, too, if you like). Many well-dressed people come, and patrons are charged hourly to use the purple-felt pool tables. It's housed in an old brick building and touted as an upscale place to hang out. People like it for the trendy atmosphere, the recreational activity, and the drink selection, but the service gets mixed reviews. Take your pick from dozens of scotches and numerous vodkas, among other top-shelf drinks. Remember to leave your ripped jeans, tank tops, and flip-flops at home, because the employees like their patrons snazzy.

1004 28th St.

Sacramento

(916) 441-6810

www.bluecue.com

Bisla's

7042 Folsom Blvd.

Sacramento

(916) 383-0133

www.bislas.net

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Country Club Lanes

Bowling, video games, and food—what more do you need? Alleys are available 24 hours a day, and there's glow-in-the-dark bowling. There actually is more to life than bowling. Not much, but there is—honest!

2600 Watt Ave.

Sacramento

(916) 483-5105

www.countryclublanes.com

Sacramento Zoo

The zoo is fun for all ages.

3930 W. Land Park Drive

Sacramento

(916) 808-5888

www.saczoo.com

Cobblestone Café

This is a hookah bar that also features music and a dance floor.

910 University Ave.

Sacramento

(916) 565-1281

cobblestonehookahlounge.com

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 110 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 105 responses

  • 3% There are no good options.
  • 63% Use a designated driver.
  • 10% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 10% Public transportation.
  • 10% Taxis.
  • 6% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 114 responses

  • 23% Parties? What parties?
  • 20% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 25% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 31% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 2% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 15 responses

  • 38% From friends
  • 24% Athlete parties
  • 24% Sororites and Fraternities
  • 14% I am not a party person

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 13 responses

  • 38% Club Rush Sororities
  • 31% Causaway Classic
  • 23% 10:01s
  • 8% Clubs and programs on campus

Photos

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