The Complete Guide to New Year’s Eve in San Diego

Who needs a cold, damp, over-crowded Time Square New Year’s Eve experience? Instead, you can find a San Diego New Year’s extravaganza that suits your personal style where it’s always sunny and 72°.

It’s your world. How will you ring in the New Year?

Choices make New Year’s Eve in San Diego special. No two people are the same, so the way they ring in the New Year shouldn’t be either. From romantic to family-friendly and everything in between, San Diego has the perfect NYE event for you. Here’s a peek at the options.

  • Families can enjoy NYE festivities at our famous attractions and museums throughout the city, all of which end conveniently right before bedtime.
  • Craft breweries are prolific in San Diego where partiers can indulge in artisan beers with friends in a relaxed and casual environment.
  • For those who call the beach their second home, a beachfront party that incorporates a party boat option is surely a no-brainer.
  • Loved-up couples who want the night to themselves can reserve a private table at one of San Diego’s premier restaurants.
  • The ultimate partier might want to choose a hotel that’s hosting a party, so when it’s time to crash they’re only steps from their hotel room.
  • For the traditional NYE experience, the Gaslamp Quarter has some of the city’s hottest nightclubs.
  • Epicurean travelers with a fondness for exclusivity will feel at home at a NYE party aboard one of San Diego’s luxury yachts.

Who Does it Best?

Now that you know the variety of New Year’s Eve celebrations offered throughout the city, here are the ones we think do it best. Our favorites may not be your favorites, but you can’t go wrong ringing in the New Year at any of these festive events.

Family Friendly

Our favorite choice for a family-inclusive New Year’s Eve bash is the 2018 New Year’s Eve Family Party at the Living Coast Discovery Center located in Chula Vista. The tickets are moderately priced ($20 to $25), and the party lasts two hours, (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) making sure you get the little ones tucked in long before midnight.

The two hours are jam-packed with activities. There will be a hot chocolate bar, cookie decorating, wildlife animal encounters, and a photo-booth, as well as a kid’s room with arts and crafts and a teen room with band karaoke.

Adults will enjoy the NYE party room with trivia, games, champagne, and live coverage of Times Square New Year’s Celebration (9 p.m. PST/Midnight EST). When it’s all over everyone will leave with NYE party favors, the perfect end to the perfect night.

Blue-Collar Casual

With a theme of blue collar chic the AleSmith New Year’s Eve Hop Drop hosted by the AleSmith Brewing Company is the ideal venue for a casual good time. This special dinner and beer pairing event includes live music and dancing, specialty AleSmith craft beers paired with MIHO Catering Co. cuisine, a celebratory AleSmith “Hop Drop” East Coast NYE cheers, and a take-home commemorative tasting glass.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with ticket prices between $55 and $250 per person leaving guests plenty of time to get home and watch the NYE ball drop from the comfort of their living rooms.

Beachside Shindig

Say goodbye to 2017 with the VAVI Legendary NYE Experience hosted at the luxurious Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in Pacific Beach. Not only does the event overlook scenic Mission Bay, but the all-inclusive tickets ($140 to $160) provide four ballrooms with premier DJs and entertainment, craft cocktails, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and themed photo booths.

For those of you who want to kick the experience up a notch, the optional VIP party boat upgrade is a must. It includes everything from the main event, plus a cruise around the bay aboard the three-story historic William D. Evans Sternwheeler. While on the boat, you’ll enjoy complimentary buffet appetizers, two open bars, casino games, and multiple decks featuring music.

Romantic Island Vibes

Whether you’re looking for an early romantic NYE dinner before heading out on the town or an intimate late dinner experience that ends early enough to make it home before midnight, the Tidal restaurant at Paradise Point Resort has you covered.

They’re offering two extravagant sit-down dinners, the three-course dinner seats at 5 p.m. and the five-course dinner seats at 8 p.m. The latter features a champagne toast, dancing to live music performed by The Cronies, and take-home party favors.

You can expect to dine on gourmet selections such as Spiny Lobster Bisque, Ginger Rubbed Atlantic Salmon, and Caramelized Pineapple Carrot Cake, among other scrumptious selections. Tickets for the first dinner are priced at $70, with the second seating priced at $95.

Stay N’ Play

For those of you who want to end 2017 with a bang, and enter 2018 with an even bigger bang, the Kimpton Solamar Hotel is the ideal NYE venue. The main event will take place on their newly renovated Upper East Bar and rooftop terrace featuring a beach luxe lounge overlooking the bustling city streets.

DJ Sabor will be spinning the tracks all night long from 8 p.m. on the 31st until 2 a.m. on the 1st while you enjoy refreshing Vueve Clicquot Champagne and a creative menu of craft cocktails and accoutrements designed by JSIX Executive Chef Anthony Sinsay.

Solamar will also feature outdoor games, cozy fire pit areas, and of course a large dance floor. Tickets are just $25 per person. At the end of the night you can retire to your guestroom or suite just an elevator ride away.

The Traditional NYE Experience

New Year’s Eve is traditionally one big party. You’re saying goodbye to the past whether you loved it or can’t wait to leave it, and saying hello to what we all hope will be an exciting future.

Double Deuce in the Gaslamp Quarter is offering revelers a wildly good time while saying farewell to 2017. Tickets range from $25 to $750 and include four rooms of NYE entertainment, music and DJs, bull rides, boots + booze, and a midnight confetti pop celebration.

This is the biggest party place for the 21 and up crowd and sure to be a night of wild abandon, so make sure you have your designated driver or Uber ride planned in advance.

Exclusive Opulence

When it comes to NYE Cruises it doesn’t get any more luxurious than the Moonlight San Diego NYE Cruise 2018 aboard the $15 million dollar luxury yacht, California Spirit. This annual excursion is in its sixth year and they’ve more than outdone themselves. The price tag ($155 to $1,695) per person tells you everything you need to know about this stylish and exclusive event, so plan on dressing to the nines if you hope to set sail.

You’ll be rewarded with an open bar for the entire cruise, two amazing DJs on two separate levels, each with dance areas, and complimentary gourmet bites while enjoying picturesque views of the San Diego skyline, Harbor, and Coronado Bridge. This event goes from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. with a check-in time of 9:30 p.m. and is only for the 21 and up crowd.

That rounds out the San Diego New Year’s Eve list. How do you plan to ring in the New Year? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy New Year’s everyone! May 2018 be your best year yet!