Nightlife San Diego – Rooftop Lounges in the Gaslamp Quarter

As I write this blog post I am in the process of planning my evening’s itinerary and have decided that tonight is a rooftop night. Not only does San Diego’s great climate allow for fantastic beach days, tons of water sports and plenty of outdoorsy activities, it also allows locals and visitors alike to enjoy the nightlife outside as well!

Rooftop bars, lounges and nightclubs abound in San Diego – where revelers often relax in front of fire pits, listening to the soft thump of lounge music and sipping on their favorite cocktails.

Many of these rooftop oases are spread throughout, though not limites to, the Gaslamp Quarter. Here are just a few options for an evening of lounging under the stars:

Altitude Sky Lounge

Altitude Sky Lounge atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter

Altitude Sky Lounge

Located at the top of the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter and overlooking PETCO Park, Altitude Sky Lounge enjoys amazing views of Padres’ games as well as downtown and the bay. A giant fire pit keeps those who may be a little chilly toasty warm and projection screens entertain with scenes to accompany their low key, lounge music.  Altitude is a great place to post up for a relaxed evening of chatting with friends over a few drinks and taking in views of the city.

Float Bar - Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Float Bar atop the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Float Bar

Hard Rock Hotel’s Float Bar features multiple VIP seating areas and a number of fire pits giving of that Southern California vibe. Classic Hard Rock dance music plays throughout the area while guests enjoy time on Float’s dance floor. This area is also prime territory during Hard Rock’s Sunday Intervention pool parties during the late Spring/Summer months.

Ivy Rooftop - Hotel Andaz San Diego

Ivy Rooftop atop the Andaz San Diego

Ivy Rooftop

Andaz San Diego’s rooftop provides multiple areas for guests to enjoy an evening in San Diego. The massive firepit draws crowds on cooler nights, but it is the views of Downtown that truly impress.  And don’t be shocked when you walk into the bathroom area and see someone of the opposite sex at the sinks – the sink area is co-ed with separate rooms for your more private concerns.

Rooftop - Stingaree

Rooftop of Stingaree San Diego night club


As featured in our Gaslamp Quarter nightlife video, Stingaree is a mega entertainment venue with 3 floors of excitement. The nightclub’s rooftop features private, VIP cabanas, fire pits and often a completely different sound from the music playing on the dance floors within the building. For those wanting to take a break from the pounding beats of the DJ below, the rooftop oasis is the perfect place to catch up with friends and scope out your next dance partner.

Well now that I’ve thought about it, I think I just might have to rooftop hop to all of these spots tonight! The weather is going to be great and I could use a little time soaking up the San Diego scene. See you out there!

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Benjamin Eastman

About Benjamin Eastman

I lead a pretty active lifestyle and try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. On any given Saturday morning you'll find me on one of San Diego's beach volleyball courts and quite possibly on the water or a hiking trail at some other point during the weekend. As a single professional I definitely enjoy experiencing the nightlife throughout the county - but lean more towards the Gaslamp Quarter, North Park or Hillcrest when planning a night out. I love to eat, and try to keep my ear to the grapevine about new and exciting restaurant openings.  And while I'm certainly excited to try the latest, trendiest restaurant in town, I am also infamously known for late night trips to 24-hour taco shops. Basically, whether I'm in board shorts or a bow tie, I try to enjoy all the many opportunities available to me in San Diego!What would you do on your ideal San Diego day?I’d start with a leisurely, late morning brunch.  Spend some time on the beach.  Grab some rolled tacos at a taco stand and then grab a nap.  In the evening I’d hit the Gaslamp District for dinner and then end the night at a rooftop bar/lounge.If you were invisible, where would you go?If I got to pick a superpower, I don’t know that I would pick invisibility…but if I were to become Mr. Invisible, I guess I would go to all the live music, theater and symphony performances in town.What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?On a beautiful, San Diego day there is nothing better than playing beach volleyball.  The sun on your back, a gentle ocean breeze, and a whole lot of bump, set, spiking!  And of course the perfect day of beach volleyball isn't complete without a grill to barbeque some burgers or carne asada on.Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?Both actually!  That’s the beauty of the San Diego food scene.  I CAN have my cake and eat it too!  Depending on my mood (and my finances!) I am happy to chow down at a hole-in-the-wall neighborhood burger joint or a luxury steakhouse. I'm actually a founding member of a Burger lunch group that eats at a different burger restaurant each month.  We've been going for 6 months now and still have plenty of locations to visit before we exhaust all our options!

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