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4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Once you find a good group of friends to go out with, the night life is fantastic. The party scene is a great way to meet people and is very safe. People are always looking out for each other even if they don't know each other.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Parties are everywhere you look, from Wednesday to Saturday.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Lots of people go out

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: It definitely could be worse. There is one college bar off campus that seems to be pretty popular. Other than that, students have to travel a few miles to downtown San Jose for any real nightlife.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Parties generally open, as the year goes on, mostly frat parties, but a lot of other people find places to drink regardless.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 108th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 383rd
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1264th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Lauren Silk
Bainbridge Island, WA
English and French
View all previous student authors

Given its small size and residential location, Santa Clara offers few nightlife options for students. "Going out" usually consists of attending small house parties or bar hopping around campus, and while there are occasionally frat parties, they don't happen as consistently as at larger schools. Santa Clara nightlife comes most alive during spring quarter when the weather gets nicer and students tend to have lighter courseloads. To take advantage of the beautiful weather, most "nightlife" activities are bumped up to afternoon "day parties" hosted by fraternities or off-campus houses. 

Because it's hard to get in to small parties if you don't know many people, partying regularly as a freshman often requires befriending older students or joining Greek life. For students ages 21-and-up, there are a few bars close to campus, but clubbing requires a cab ride to San Jose or a Caltrain trip to Palo Alto or San Francisco. The bars near campus are only one to three blocks away and are pretty inexpensive; some even offer weekly events such as drink specials or live music featuring SCU student bands.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Downtown San Jose
  • Palo Alto
  • San Francisco
  • Santana Row
Other Places to Check Out
Miyake Restaurant (popular for sake bombs on Friday or Saturday nights)
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Flip cup
  • King's cup
  • Power hour
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • The Santa Clara student newspaper
  • Wave magazine
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Frat parties
Organization Parties
Several on-campus organizations throw parties during the year, usually during the fall and spring. The campus literary magazine, the Santa Clara Review, hosts a twice-annual publication party featuring student bands and catered appetizers, and many of the multicultural clubs on campus host annual fundraising events with live music, dancing, and food.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Wet Nightclub

Wet is a large nightclub known for hosting exclusive events featuring international DJs and performers.

396 S. First St.

SoFA (South First Area) entertainment district

(408) 282-8938

Rudy's Pub

Located just a few blocks from the Caltrain station, Rudy's features DJs and dancing every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

117 University Ave.

Palo Alto

(650) 329-0922


Located a few miles off campus, Avalon offers 21-and-older students a range of nightlife activities from a typical club scene to occasional concerts featuring artists such as Sir Mix-a-Lot and Rick Springfield.

777 Lawrence Expressway

Santa Clara

(408) 241-0777

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

C&J's Sports Bar

C&J's is a casual sports bar a few blocks off campus with pool and foosball tables, televised sporting events, and occasional live music.

1550 Lafayette St.

Santa Clara

(408) 423-9013

Da Silva's Broncos ("the Claran")

"The Claran" features karaoke and occasional live music performed by SCU student bands.

1251 Franklin Mall

Santa Clara

(408) 248-4682

Blinky's Can't Say

Blinky's features several events throughout the week, such as Karaoke Fridays, Live Music Saturdays, and the "Blink Show" on Thursdays hosted by an SCU student DJ.

1031 Monroe St.

Santa Clara

(408) 985-7201

The Bronco Hut

Considered the "classic" Santa Clara bar, the Hut is known for its two-for-one Tuesday drink specials and student events like senior class fundraisers and "Dads and Grads."

3200 The Alameda

Santa Clara

(408) 296-8934

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

Take the Caltrain to San Francisco

Many students choose to take the train up to San Francisco for dinner, concerts, or special events like Chinese New Year.

1001 Railroad Ave.

Santa Clara

(800) 660-4287

Santana Row

With more than 20 restaurants, a movie theater, and numerous retail stores, Santana Row is a popular place for students to go have dinner and hang out on weekend nights.

3055 Olin Ave.

San Jose

(408) 551-4611

Locatelli Student Activity Center

The brand-new Student Activity Center hosts tons of activities such as live music, DJ events, movie showings, open mic nights, karaoke, pingpong, and foosball for students of all ages.

On campus

Santa Clara

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 57 responses

Very poor
  • 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 50 responses

  • 66% Walk.
  • 0% Taxis.
  • 8% Public transportation.
  • 0% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 20% Use a designated driver.
  • 6% There are no good options.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 54 responses

  • 4% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 67% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 19% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 4% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 7% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 7 responses

  • 71% Move-in weekend
  • 14% Rehab
  • 14% Cinco de Mayo

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 6 responses

  • 56% Frat houses
  • 44% Off-campus houses


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