See the sites of San Diego during the day, then hit these hot spots for nighttime fun.

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San Diego may be known for it’s 100-acre zoo, but what are you going to do with all that time once the park closes? Most likely, you’ll be drinking.

Home to a thriving craft-beer culture, San Diego is teeming with some of the best bars in the US. We’ve picked out a few spots that serve everything from local brews to expertly blended cocktails. Don’t worry if you don’t have evening plans — these lounges, bars and pubs are going to keep you entertained all night long.


3175 India St.

Start your night off on the classier side and head over to Starlite, where you’ll find an extensive craft-cocktail list that will excite even the most discerning taste buds. The décor is tastefully midcentury-influenced (think “A Single Man” not “Swingers”), and the outside patio is somewhere you can perch for hours. Pro tip: Get the burger. Don’t ask any questions, just get one. You won’t regret it.


1521 30th St.

If you are a craft-beer nerd, you’re going to want to head over to Hamilton’s. Though they’ve never been nominated for a Tony, this place deserves an award for its beer list. It’s filled to the brim with some of the most eccentric beers on the West Coast. Take a look at the extensive list on a chalkboard behind the bar to find out the percentages of each tap available that night.


4927 Newport Ave.

If you’re looking to fulfill some of your mermaid fantasies, Pacific Shores is for you. The outside screams kitschy underwater-theme silliness, but the inside has comfy booths, a pearlescent clam-inspired ceiling and beachy murals. As far as booze goes, the bar is pretty standard, serving up beer, wine and well cocktails. Rockabilly kids should make a point of heading to this one, as you’ll feel right at home.


2236 Fern St.

Whistlestop is a great choice if you’re feeling a little gritty. With a fully stocked bar and a vibrant event schedule including VIDEODROME and Booty Bassment, you could have a pretty wild night here on any day of the week. And smokers don’t hide in the shadows; this old-school haunt offers a very comfortable outdoor smoking section.


3365 India St.

Looking for the hard stuff? Head over to AeroClub to sip on one of their more than 400 whiskeys. Built in 1947 by a pilot who wanted a place to hang with her fellow flying friends, this divey spot serves up some excellent drinks in a no-frills atmosphere. If straight whiskey is a little too much for you, they also have a significant cocktail list. Check out the jukebox — you may see some songs in there that will really get your nostalgia flowing.