Photography Provided By: Haley Hill Photography
Photography Provided By: Haley Hill Photography

Get Out of the House! From Rooftop Bars to an Ocean Terrace, These 7 Outdoor Lounges in San Diego Are Safely Open for You to Enjoy

It’s Time to Quench Your Thirst!

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger Outdoor Bars San Diego

Wine and cheese? Yes. Tequila and lime? Yes! Nightlife and COVID-19? Not so much. In the midst of a pandemic, any hopes of a night out have diminished into sad, pre-mixed cocktails on the couch. If you’re itchin’ to get out of your sweats and paint the town, you’re in luck. San Diego’s hottest outdoor nightlife destinations have stepped up to give us the after-dark affair we so badly crave. Safety measures have been put in place (don’t forget your mask!), and these seven outdoor lounges are ready to fill your glass! 


1 | The Nolen Outdoor Bars San Diego

Situated 14 floors above San Diego, The Nolen rooftop bar and lounge is an elevated, swanky watering hole with timeless cocktails and breathtaking skyline views. Just a quick elevator ride up to the 14th floor of the Courtyard Gaslamp will bring you to this open-air lounge, which is serving up summer food and drinks you’ll love. In light of the current situation, The Nolen is currently operating at 50% capacity, separating tables 6 feet apart, and sanitizing surfaces to keep you safe.

Location: East Village

Hours: Thursday-Saturday 4-10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


2 | The Rooftop by STK

Perched on top of the seventh floor of the Andaz Hotel, this shi-shi restaurant boasts stunning views of the Downtown San Diego skyline. Grab a table and enjoy handcrafted cocktails and delicious dishes from a menu specially created by Executive Chef J.C. Colón. This starry nightlife spot will sweep you off your feet! Be sure to dress to impress because the “upscale casual” dress code is strictly enforced on the weekends.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

Hours: Friday 4-8 p.m., Saturday Noon-8 p.m., Sunday Noon-6 p.m.

3 | insideOUT Outdoor Bars San Diego

Hidden between the Eitol Towers apartment complex in Hillcrest, this urban oasis is in a class of its own. The main dining room opens to an open-air atrium that features a striking blue-lit water feature and private seating nooks. Lush plants, colorful lights and a trickling waterfall create a tropical, lounge-like vibe that will set your watch to island time.

Location: Hillcrest

Hours: Tuesdays from 4-10 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday 4-10 p.m., Sunday brunch 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Friday 4-6 p.m. (happy hour)


4 | Kettner Exchange

This two-story hub in Little Italy has a rooftop patio lined with intimate cabanas, which are perfect for private parties (and social distancing). Industrial lamps along with wood and nautical accents create a fashionable yet rustic warehouse vibe. The globally inspired bites and zippy drinks stem from a menu that leans on scotch, mezcal and infused tequilas. If you’re feeling frisky, order the Painkiller, made with a mix of seven different rums, lime, pineapple, passionfruit and coconut.

Location: Little Italy

Hours: Monday-Sunday 5-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (brunch)


5 | FLOAT Rooftop Bar Outdoor Bars San Diego

FLOAT is a hip fourth-floor oasis set atop the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Come nighttime, this poolside spot matures into a sophisticated lounge, complete with firepits, cabanas, flatscreen TVs and scenic views. Gather your quaranteam and cozy up under the stars at this urban, sky-high lounge in the heart of downtown.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

Hours: Thursday Noon-7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.


6 | George’s at the Cove

If you’re looking for a beachy-casual experience, head to George’s at the Cove’s ocean terrace for elevated, panoramic views of La Jolla Cove! This modern seaside restaurant features a full-service bar and daily food and drink specials. Check their website’s sunset tracker then book your reservation accordingly to catch a gorgeous La Jolla sunset.

Location: La Jolla

Hours: Daily 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (lunch), 4:30-9 p.m. (dinner)


7 | ALTITUDE Sky Lounge

Channel your bad and boujee side with a night out at ALTITUDE Sky Lounge. Situated 22 stories above the historic Gaslamp Quarter, this nightlife destination offers VIP bottle service in a sexy and vibrant setting. Look out at the city lights as you sip on a Mango Passion Cosmo made with Belvedere Mango Passion Vodka, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, fresh lime juice and white cranberry. Now that’s what we call “the high life.”

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

Hours: Thursday through Saturday 7 p.m.-close

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