Party Scene

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Party Scene


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4 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Lots of parties on the beach which is the only place near campus that students without a car can go to have fun and not worry about getting written up by the university.

3 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Blacks Beach. Anything on campus gets shut down fairly quickly but kick backs are common. Off campus is where most parties are held.

3 College Senior

Party Scene: I personally do not go out to parties just because I do not have the time to go out, so I really do not know what parties are like here. But based on what I've seen on Snapchat, it seems alright and reasonable.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: I get by with a lot but maybe I got lucky.

4 College Freshman

Party Scene: I like what I have going on


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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UCSD is not known as a party school, and there are very few on-campus parties, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. It’s a little harder to find fun things to do when you’re under 21. Most people recommend checking out Tijuana (TJ), especially Club Safari, but just remember to be careful in Mexico, and always bring a passport and be cautious. Some people hate going clubbing in TJ, but for most it’s a great time. Wednesday nights, which are college nights, and the weekends are both popular times to head down to Mexico. There are still a lot of fun things to do if you aren’t 21 and choose to stay north of the border. There are usually frat or house parties every weekend, along with a couple of 18-and-up clubs around San Diego. Another great option is going to a comedy club, hooka bar, or sporting event.

Once students hit 21, they tend to go off to the local bars, which are busy Thursday through Sunday nights. Pacific Beach is a popular place for all college kids in San Diego. Most of the places are primarily bars with smaller dance floors in case you want to get out and shake some booty. The nicer clubs are in the Gas Lamp District, downtown. The nightlife directly around campus is slim to none, but all these places are worth the short commute—but only with a designated driver.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Garnett Avenue in Pacific Beach
  • The Gas Lamp District
  • San Diego State
  • Tijuana (TJ)
Student Favorites
  • Club Safari
  • International House Parties
  • PB Bar & Grill
  • Typhoon Saloon
Other Places to Check Out
  • The Australian Pub
  • Club Velvet
  • Porter's Pub
  • The Silver Fox
Local Specialties
Imported Mexican beers:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games (Kings, Pyramid, Poker)
  • Century Club
  • Power Hour
  • Quarters
  • Taboo
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • The San Diego Reader
Closing Time
1:30 a.m. 3 a.m. in Tijuana
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Tijuana bars—drinks are free all night with a $5–$10 cover.
Organization Parties
There is a festival each quarter on campus: Fallfest, Winterfest, and the Sun God Festival. For each, there are booths and events during the day and a concert at night. The Sun God Festival is the most popular. Traditionally during the Sun God Festival, students spend the entire day drinking and having fun. Some say it is the only day that UCSD students don’t act nerdy. UCSD students look forward to the Sun God Festival all year long. The concerts usually combine famous groups along with local San Diego Bands. Groups that have played in the past include Bad Religion, the Long Beach Dub Allstars, Coolio, Ozomatli, Jurassic 5, and Cake.
Did You Know?
  • Always have a designated driver (DD). If you don't, you can call a Triton Taxi, which picks you up and takes you back to campus.
  • For those under 21, forget the fake IDs. San Diego is very strict about IDs, and they are always checked. Also, most places will not take paper, expired, out-of-state licenses, or state identification cards. Make sure you bring a valid CA license or a passport!

Club ListingsWhat's This?

E Street Alley

E Street Alley is known for its excellent DJs. Also, there is a sushi bar attached to the club. However, it is know to be a little cliquey and mostly caters to a predominantly Asian crowd.

919 4th Ave.

Gas Lamp District

(619) 231-9200

Club Safari

Club Safari is the most common place for UCSD students to go when they head down to TJ. It is always crowded with college kids and military boys looking to dance the night away and occasionally make out in the corner. There is a $5 cover charge ($10 for guys) and free drinks all night. Fridays and Saturdays are very popular, along with College Night on Wednesdays.Make sure you bring your driver's license or passport, otherwise, it is difficult to get back into the U.S. When going to Mexico, always go in groups and be sensible-it is no fun to spend the night in jail in a foreign country! Club Safari is open until 3 a.m.

Tijuana, Mexico

Seven Nightclub, Restaurant & Lounge

Seven is similar to the other clubs in the Gas Lamp District. However, there are drink specials, and it tends to be a little cheaper.

1146 7th Ave.

Gas Lamp District

(619) 696-7071

On Broadway

On Broadway is one of the best and biggest clubs downtown. It has four different rooms, one room with electronic music, two with hip hop, and one with `80s. On Broadway is also keenly decorated, each room has with a different theme. There is a high cover charge and drinks are very expensive.

615 Broadway

Gas Lamp District

(619) 231-0011

Blue Tattoo

The Blue Tattoo is known as the "ghetto" club of San Diego. There is a very strict dress code to prevent a crowd that may fight at night. The crowd is older and mostly filled with regulars. Although they play some good hip hop, tourists and most college kids don't usually go there.

835 5th Ave.

(619) 238-7191


Aubergine is home to a young crowd. Make sure you are dressed nicely and have fun dancing to techno and hip hop. There is a restaurant and smoking lounge attached to the club.

500 4th Ave.

Gas Lamp District

(619) 232-8100

Che Café

The Che Café is a club on campus that caters towards independent music. It regularly has concerts featuring San Diego bands. It also is a hang out place on campus, and every Thursday serves a big all-you-can-eat vegetarian dinner. Alcohol is not served here.

UCSD campus

(858) 534-2311

Café Sevilla

Café Sevilla has a more casual, friendly crowd than some of the other Gas Lamp clubs. Most people are in their mid-20s, and, in the summer, there are lots of tourists. The club is unique because it plays mostly Latin house music.

555 4th Ave.

(619) 233-5979

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Pacific Beach Bar & Grill

PB Bar & Grill is extremely popular and usually crowded almost every night of the week. Famous for the amount of people celebrating 21st birthdays, drinks are usually cheap, the dress code is casual, and there's always a line to get in.

860 Garnet Ave.

Pacific Beach

(858) 272-4745

The Tavern At the Beach

The Tavern is like all the other bars in Pacific Beach, but it is a lot smaller. If you come late, it can take hours to get in. There are drink specials on Thursdays similar to Typhoon Saloon, and each month there is a different beer special on tap. The dance floor is awkwardly placed so there is less dancing, but the bar is still always packed.

1200 Garnet Ave.

Pacific Beach

(858) 272-6066

Typhoon Saloon

Typhoon Saloon is a lot like PB Bar & Grill, with a casual college crowd, cheap drinks, and a big dance floor. It does have a more entertaining atmosphere, featuring a country look and also mechanical bull riding competitions. There are drink specials all night on Thursdays with $4 mixed drinks and $3 32-ounce beers. On the weekends there is a cover charge of $5 after 9:30 p.m. The lines do sometimes get a bit long. The dress code for men is more strict than for women.

1165 Garnet Ave.

Pacific Beach

(858) 483-8226

The Bitter End

The Bitter End is a causal bar located in an old renovated storefront. There is an upstairs dance floor which plays `80s music some nights and hip hop others. Like most of the Gas Lamp bars, it is expensive.

770 5th Ave.

Gas Lamp District

(619) 338-9300

Cane's Bar & Grill

Cane's Bar & Grill is more like the Pacific Beach bars in that it is casual and cheaper. However, it has different musical acts playing almost every weekend. The crowd is mixed with college students and older people. Local radio stations often host nights.

3105 Ocean Front Walk

Mission Beach

(858) 488-1780

Dick's Last Resort

Dick's Last Resort is one of the most causal bars downtown. It is a restaurant during the day and attracts an older crowd in the evening. Every year there is an infamous Elvis impersonator contest, and the winner gets a free trip v

345 4th St.

Gas Lamp District

(619) 231-9100

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

Before they are 21, most UCSD students go to Tijuana. Most of them end up at Club Safari, which has a $5-$10 cover charge and free drinks all night long. Just don't drink the water! There are always parties at the International House. I-House is on campus but is not patrolled by the campus police. The National Comedy Sports Club is also popular.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 208 responses

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

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 203 responses

  • 1% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 16% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 30% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 26% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 27% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 120 responses

  • 88% Sun God
  • 5% Sun God--but it was terrible this year (2015)
  • 3% Tight n Bright/Frost (PIKE)
  • 2% Other
  • 1% LGBT


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