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BAY AREA NIGHTLIFE GUIDE

The Best Nightlife in the Bay Area

San Francisco is a fun city with a lot of events activities, however it is definitely a different feel from cities like New York, Miami and Los Angeles. You’ll notice more of a focus of bars and music venues than the mega clubs you will find in other cities. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find more than enough places to party, though. Another thing about nightlife in San Francisco is that things kind of come to a halt at 2AM. There is a general lack of late night party spots and diners where you can go when the bars shut down. Most people opt for afterparties at apartments if you want to keep the party going. But don’t get me wrong, San Francisco is a great place to go if you want to find a lively nightlife scene. 

San Francisco Bars

San Francisco has an incredible selection of bars from dive bars to fancy cocktail lounges, with each San Francisco neighborhood offering a unique selection of places to grab a beer or cocktail with friends. And you can have those drinks pretty much anytime of the day or night because San Francisco is all about the day drinking (and sometimes morning drinking), so the hard stop at 2AM can sometimes be a blessing when you started your night out with brunch at 11AM. 
Pub crawls are a popular activity in San Francisco, from the large pub crawls on Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day to a small group of friends throwing on some themed costumes and hitting up the best bars in each neighborhood. 

San Francisco Nightclubs

While San Francisco may not have the super trendy, celebrity-filled nightclubs that some other major cities have, that doesn’t mean that you won’t find some incredible nightclubs with bottle service, state of the art lighting and sound systems, popular DJs and a massive line of people waiting to get in. Clubs like DNA Lounge and Cat Club have been around for decades and still draw a great crowd with their weekly and monthly events. Other newer clubs like Audio, Temple and Halcyon add a more high tech spin, rounding out the nightclub scene to make sure there is something for everyone. 

San Francisco Music Venues

San Francisco really shines when it comes to the live music scene. The location of the 1960’s “Summer of Love” and home to music legends like The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Journey, Third Eye Blind, Sly and the Family Stone, Metallica, Carlos Santana and more, the San Francisco Bay Area has a rich musical history. The biggest bands and DJs in the world consistently stop in the Bay Area at popular music venues like Shoreline Amphitheater, SAP Center San Jose, Oakland Arena, Chase Center, Greek Theater Berkeley and more. However, in our opinion, the best part of the San Francisco music scene lies in the smaller venues, where you can see a show in an intimate setting and really get an up close experience. Some of the best small music venues in San Francisco include The Independent, Great American Music Hall, The Chapel and more. Oh, and if you have a chance, you should check out the historic venues that have seen some of the best bands of all time play on their stages, The Fillmore and The Warfield. 

San Francisco Wine Bars

Being so close to Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, you will see a lot of influence from the wine industry. From the incredible selection of wines at local restaurants to a huge variety of wine tasting events, the city is definitely a place for wine lovers. There are also large number of wine bars that keep popping up all over the city, so whether you want to sit outside and enjoy a nice glass of chardonnay or gather your posse for a nighttime all you can drink wine crawl, you will find everything you need in San Francisco. 

San Francisco Comedy Clubs

If you want to get away from the bar and nightclub scene for the night, enjoying a night of comedy is always a great choice. Many comedy greats got their start in San Francisco including Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, W. Kamau Bell and Margaret Cho and the city is filled fun fun, little clubs and theaters where you can see a mix of comedy legends and impressive up and coming acts. Comedians like Dave Chappelle frequent clubs like Punchline SF, Cobbs Comedy Club and more. Aside from the amazing clubs, you can also find some great comedy festivals like Clusterfest and SF Sketchfest.

San Francisco Pub Crawls and Events

If you want to enjoy some of the best that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer, you should check out the massive list of awesome events that happen throughout the year. From famous annual events like Bay To Breakers, San Francisco Street Fairs, Outside Lands and Bottlerock Music Festival to special events like San Francisco Pub Crawls and New Year’s Eve Parties, there are plenty of things to choose from every week of the year.