With stunning scenery and little rain, averaging just over 10 inches annually, and in recent years significantly less, San Diego is an ideal place to enjoy a cocktail or two on a rooftop bar. And, lucky for those who like to imbibe, you’ll find plenty of them in this spectacular Southern California city. If you want to sample some of the best, start with these fabulous options.
The stylish Float San Diego in the Gaslamp District overlooks the harbor, the Coronado Bridge and historic Gaslamp Sign, providing an elegant oasis during the day for sipping drinks above the busy streets and firepits to warm up next too after dark. It also happens to boast one of the best rooftop pools in the city. On Saturdays in the summer it hosts the popular “Sunburn Pool Party” and in the evening year-round you can expect more of a nightclub lounge atmosphere complete with DJs and a hip crowd.
Just as the name belies, the Altitude Sky Lounge is the highest rooftop bar in San Diego, sitting at 22 stories above street level atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter offering one of the best views of the city around. You can even watch the Padres play for free at Petco Park which is just next door - just don’t wear those baggy jeans with an old baseball jersey or you’re be turned away as there is a dress code. If you’re on a budget, head here for happy hour with great specials on draft beer and premium cocktails. You can also go to dance the night away, with fantastic live DJs many nights of the week.
If you’re looking for a rooftop bar with an ocean view, it’s hard to beat Ocean Beach Brewery. This laidback bar sits three-stories high near the Ocean Beach Pier and serves craft beers, appetizers and simple dinners that can be enjoyed while watching a colorful sunset over the water. It’s the perfect spot to go after enjoying a day at the beach.
Cannonball is another good casual option by the beach if you don’t mind the crowds, located right along the Mission Beach Boardwalk. This is where you want to go to enjoy a gorgeous view and some great people watching with the quintessential Southern California scene that includes lots of beautiful people cycling, skating, jogging or walking past as well as a long expanse of sandy beach. While you’re enjoying the view, you can sip refreshing creative seasonally-inspired beach cocktails and dine on delicious California fare, including sushi.
Mister A’s is located in the heart of downtown providing one of the best views in San Diego, which include the entire city from the bay to the airport. You’ll be able to watch the planes fly in between the high-rises just before they touch down, and if you come just before dusk, you can catch an amazing sunset over the city skyline too. It’s the ideal place for a date night, with a fine dining atmosphere for brunch, lunch and dinner as well as an outstanding cocktail list.