Benjamin Eastman

San Diego 2013 New Year’s Eve Parties Are Epic!

Another year of amazing nightlife has come and gone in San Diego. We’ve had some top-notch talent visit America’s Finest City this year and if you didn’t get out much this year, make it a New Year’s Resolution to get out more and enjoy some of San Diego’s nightlife!

> Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Events

San Diegan’s like to celebrate milestones as much (if not more!) than the rest of the country and as such, there are a multitude of parties to choose from this New Year’s Eve.  Here’s a modest selection of those parties:

Bottom’s Up @ Marriott Gaslamp

Bottom's Up NYE 2014 at the Marriott Gaslamp

Marriott Gaslamp’s “Party From The Street To The Sky” features both the lobby level and rooftop! All Inclusive tickets include unlimited alcoholic drinks, a great selection of food (think sushi, carving stations and chocolate fountains!), DJ’s spinning top tunes in both the lobby and at their Altitude Sky Lounge and a champagne toast at midnight to start the 2014 clock ticking!

Where: 660 K St, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 8:00 PM to 1:30 AM
Cost: $165
> Find out more about Bottom’s UP NYE 2014 at the Marriott Gaslamp

FLUXX’s New Year’s Eve Big Top Extravaganza

NYE Big Top Extravaganza at FLUXX

Join FLUXX as they say farewell to 2013 and their latest Fluxxuation “Big Top”. Close out 2013 at one of San Diego’s hottest clubs with music by DJ Karma and Special Guest Rico De Largo live on trumpet. General Admission tickets including entrance and a midnight champagne toast are currently around $80, or spring for the extra $10 and get a VIP ticket which also includes hosted champagne from 8:00 to 10:00 PM and hosted apps from 8:00 to 9:00 PM.

Where: 500 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Cost: $20-$80
> Find out more about NYE Big Top Extravaganza at FLUXX

VAVI’s New Year’s Eve Yacht Party 2014

New Year's Eve on the Inspiration

Ring in the New Year on the bay with the San Diego skyline as the perfect backdrop

Hosted on the 3-deck Hornblower Yacht “Inspiration,” you and 1,000 of your closest friends can party it up to the beats of Sleeping Giant artists DJ Who & Paulo Da Rosa, DJ Demon and DJ Chris Devoy  This All Inclusive, All VIP experience features unlimited alcoholic drinks and gourmet hors d’oeuvres.

Where: 970 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Cost: $179-$189
> Find out more about VAVI’s New Year’s Eve Yacht Party 2014

Big Night San Diego at The Hilton Bayfront

Big Night San Diego New Year's Eve Champagne

There will be plenty of toasting champagne at Big Night’s New Year;s Eve Party

Probably one of the biggest and most well-known San Diego New Year’s Eve parties is Big Night. Sponsored by radio stations Channel 93.3 and 91X, Big Night has 12 different party zones including 6 dance floors featuring both DJ and live band music. Their All Inclusive tickets include unlimited alcoholic drinks, a tasty dinner buffet and fun party favors to get you in the spirit! The party runs from 9pm – 3am and tickets start at $130.

Where: One Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM
Cost: $109.99-$239.99
> Find out more about Big Night San Diego at The Hilton Bayfront

The Grand Del Mar’s 3 New Year’s Eve Parties

Grand Del Mar's New Year's Eve

Pick from one of three NYE parties at the Grand Del Mar

Those a little farther north, might want to check out one of the Grand’s two NYE parties.  80’s lovers will want to check out one of SoCal’s top 80’s bands BETAMAXX at the main party, or head to Club M for sounds by DJ By The C and DJ Showtime.

Where: 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130
Times: 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM (each event has different times)
Cost: $50-$180
> Find out more about The Grand Del Mar’s 3 New Years Eve Parties

And lets not forget San Diego New Year’s Eve party mainstays: Hard Rock Hotel, Andaz San Diego, VAVI’s Beach Party @ The Catamaran Hotel, Stingaree and Side Bar.

> Find even more great San Diego New Year’s Eve Parties

Remember, it’s all about having a good time, but be safe and arrange alternate transportation if you’re going to be drinking. We want you out partying hard in 2014!

Benjamin Eastman

Mardi Gras in San Diego – Carnival in Paradise!

Mardis Gras in the Gaslamp

Would it surprise you to know that San Diego is the city with the largest Mardi Gras festival west of the Mississippi River? I mean, you know San Diegan’s like a good party, right? The following are just a few of the debaucherous ways that you can celebrate on Fat Tuesday (February 12, 2013):

19th Annual Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp

Mardis Gras in the Gaslamp

It’s a carnival atmosphere in the Gaslamp during Mardi Gras. Photo Courtesy of Be Water Photo.

Featuring an electrifying talent lineup ranging from local, regional and national zydeco, blues and rock bands, electronic and House music DJs, dance crews, acrobats and visual artists on 4 stages – this celebration will be a wonderland of fun!

Location: 5th Avenue between Market & L Streets (Gaslamp Quarter)
Time: 5:00 to 11:00pm
Cost: In Advance – $40. Day of – $50.
> Find out more about Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp

Gaslamp Mardi Gras – The French Connection

Gaslamp Mardi Gras - The French Connection

Get into the Gaslamp’s hottest clubs during Mardi Gras with the French Connection VIP pass.

Rather celebrate the holiday inside a bar or nightclub? Check out Club VIP’s “The French Connection” passport which gets you VIP Access to a number of Gaslamp nightclub celebrations (including those at the Hard Rock, Belo, Onyx, McFadden’s and the Pussycat Dollhouse!) and runs until 4:00 in the morning! Your passport cost includes welcome shots at 10 different venues and food & drink discounts at all participating venues.

Location: 5th Avenue between E and G Streets (Gaslamp Quarter)
Time: 5:00 PM to 4:00 AM
Cost: $29 pre-sale
> Find out more about Gaslamp Mardi Gras – The French Connection

12th Annual Hillcrest Mardi Gras

HIllcrest Mardi Gras

HIllcrest Mardi Gras. Photo credit: Jim Winsor

The Hillcrest Street Party will feature live entertainment, special guest performers and food & drink options. Count on lots of beads and lots of fun! For an even more memorable event, check out their VIP options (an additional $50) which provides partiers with an express entry and private reception & bathrooms.

Location: University Avenue between First & Fourth Avenues (Hillcrest)
Time: 6:00 to 11:00 PM
Cost: $15-$75
> Find out more about Hillcrest Mardi Gras

More Mardi Gras in San Diego

And for those who want to start early, check out the Little Italy Carnavale and the San Diego Brazilian Mardi Gras Ball happening on February 9th!


Side Bar, It’s Where the Party’s At

Side Bar sets the bar.

Side Bar sets the bar.

Last night, my friend and I went to check out the new Side Bar in Gaslamp Quarter, which reopened in May after a multi-million dollar renovation. 

Upon entering, this bar/lounge/club was unlike anything I had ever seen. The black, red and silver décor was over-the-top in the most fabulous way –  I swear, I spent a couple of minutes actually considering how I could attempt to steal all the lights, mirrors and rugs – and the ambiance exuded a sense of mischief, intimacy and dare I say… sexuality.

Aside from all the amazing décor there are a lot of neat design details that many may not notice. For example, the VIP booths have secret compartments for girls to hide their purses, and the bench cushions you sit on?? Yeah, they come off to reveal your very own personal dance floor underneath. How cool is that?!

After making our usual lap, (you know, the one where you walk around and scope out the scene) we sat down at a table to taste some of the menu selections. While everything was fantastic, I highly recommend the Toasted Raviolis and the White Spinach Pizza, they were delish! For drinks, we tried the Watermelon Mojito (fabulous, but strong) and the Absolute Side Bar (mmm, the fresh strawberries were a nice touch, except for when they clogged my straw, sad face).

After dinner, we hung out for a bit as the DJ revved up for the evening, but as responsible girls with work the next day, we called it an early night and left before the mass crowds came to let loose.

Side Bar is open Tuesdays – Sundays from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. for dinner, drinks and dancing. The owner told me that the place gets packed on Fridays and Saturdays, so come early to avoid the lines… I know I’ll be there, with my Toasted Raviolis in one hand and my Absolute Side Bar in the other. Cheers!