Ring In 2024 with These Fun New Year’s Eve Parties in San Diego

Let’s give 2023 the sendoff it deserves.

NYE San Diego Bar Crawl
NYE San Diego Bar Crawl | Photo courtesy of NYE San Diego Bar Crawl
NYE San Diego Bar Crawl | Photo courtesy of NYE San Diego Bar Crawl

Happy New Year, San Diego! It’s time to kick 2023 to the curb, embrace new beginnings, and hope for even better things to come in 2024. Whether you fancy a luxurious bay cruise to watch the fireworks, a rowdy party at the beach, a transcendent celebration, or a 1920s-themed masquerade, San Diego’s restaurants, bars, clubs and party venues are stepping up with all the glitz and glamor we’ve come to expect in America’s Finest City. There’s so much going on that it’s hard to choose just one place to celebrate. Relax, we’ve got you covered with this handy list of all the best parties in town to ring in 2024.

Books & Records
Books & Records | Photo courtesy of Books & Records

New Year's Eve Parties in San Diego

Hilton Bayfront, $104.99 and up
Big Night San Diego offers the splashiest, most indulgent say-goodbye-to-2023 New Year’s Eve party in the city, with eight different party zones, unlimited drinks, a first-class buffet and the hottest party bands and DJs. Grab a beverage, then cruise through the zones, from the Retro DJ Ballroom for the best of the '80s dance tunes, to the Club Dance Ballroom, Indigo Club Room, Urban Dance Zone, or the Silent Disco. Upgrade to VIP status for additional lounges and club zones, top shelf liquor and upgraded dining. Book tickets online.

Bankers Hill, $75
Gatsby-themed New Year’s Eve parties are all the rage this year, so deck yourself out in sleek or sparkly 1920s cocktail attire for the Gatsby Gala hosted by Books & Records in Bankers Hill. Two dinner seatings are available, 6:30 pm or 8:30 pm, and will spotlight chef Sam Deckman and his team’s refined three-course dinner, accompanied by a live, three-piece band. Speakeasy Sips ($50) is an optional, add-on beverage pairing of exclusive wine and cocktails chosen to enhance each course. After dinner, the Midnight Mingle dance party ($35) keeps the fun going with a DJ, hors d’oeuvres, and a midnight toast. Reservations can be made online.

Petco Park, $145 and up
Dance till you drop at FNGRS CRSSD PROPER NYE/NYD, San Diego’s premiere dance/electronic music festival, at Petco Park. Groove to four stages and nearly sixty dynamic acts like CamelPhat, Chris Avantgarde, Claptone, Cloonee, Diplo, Eli & Fur, HUGEL, Layla Benitez, TESTPILOT, Walker & Royce, ZHU, and more. There’s a limited number of general admission passes still available, so get your tickets online before they’re gone. 21+ only.

Downtown, $225 and up
The Guild Hotel is celebrating the beginning of its centennial year with an elegant, Gatsby-influenced 1920’s soiree in the sparkling ballroom. General admission includes a welcome glass of champagne, hors d’oeuvres and light bites, and a glass of bubbly at midnight, and Golden Admission adds an open bar. For the most luxurious experience, spring for VIP tickets and get a table for ten, a table VIP hostess, two bottles of champagne and open bar with server service, your own lounge area and another full bottle of champagne when the ball drops. Reservations can be made online

Balboa Park, $20 and up
Looking for a different way to ring in 2024? The WorldBeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park welcomes everyone to its Alternative New Years Eve Ascension 2024. The sober curious, transformative event includes Aztec dance, African drumming, qigong, yoga, sound baths and crystal healing, plus alcohol-free drinks and kombucha on tap and an international vegan buffet dinner. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased online.

Moonshine Flats
Moonshine Flats | Photo courtesy of Moonshine Flats

New Year's Eve Drinks in San Diego

Various locations, $20 and up
While the rest of the country scrapes ice off their windshields and hunkers down in freezing temperatures, you can relax, sip cocktails, and soak up the sun all day long at one of San Diego’s posh local hotel pools before the big night. Day passes are available from Resort Pass for as little as $20 per person, or you can splurge on a cabana for ultimate pampering at rooftop or beachfront pools and spas across San Diego County.

Pacific Beach, $20 and up
Let loose and party your way into 2024 at Pacific Beach’s beloved country bar, Moonshine Beach, with Coriander, Southern California’s premier party band, in a high energy show that’ll get you up and dancing all night long. Doors open at 8 pm, with the live show beginning at 10 pm. Tickets can be purchased online until 6 pm on December 31, or at the door, capacity allowing.

East Village, $20 and up
On the other side of town, Moonshine Beach’s sister venue, Moonshine Flats, gets rowdy with the powerhouse vocals of hometown southern rock favorite Ash Easton. Doors open at 8 pm, with the live show beginning at 10 pm. Tickets can be purchased online until 6 pm on December 31, or at the door, capacity allowing.

Gaslamp Quarter, $29 and up
San Diego’s best New Year’s Eve bar crawl has ten different parties at the Gaslamp Quarter’s hottest bars, starting with a pre-party at Bloom Nightclub, drink specials, welcome shots at select venues, a map to all participating bars, clubs and lounges, plus a couple of restaurants for when you need to soak up some of the booze. Reservations can be made via EventBrite.

Kingfisher | Photo courtesy of Kingfisher

New Year’s Eve Dinners in San Diego

Gaslamp Quarter, $110
The Kimpton Alta San Diego Hotel’s mezzanine-level restaurant, The Desmond, has a chic 1960s era vibe, with sleek, minimalist furnishings and groovy tubular lighting. Acclaimed LA chef Jason Neroni and his team have created a five-course New Year’s Eve menu that is sophisticated and global, featuring signature dishes like Ribeye Tataki with pickled taro root, negi scallion, shaoxing glaze, and five spice rice cracker, and New York Strip, potatoes Robuchon, béarnaise, and black truffles. Après dinner, head to Alma’s rooftop pool for a complimentary midnight champagne toast while you watch the stars and fireworks over the Gaslamp Quarter.

La Jolla, $120
Executive Chef Masa Kojima ushers in the iconic La Jolla eatery’s 40th year with a stylish three-course prix fixe New Year’s Eve Dinner. Appetizer options include King Crab Chawanmushi with kohlrabi, yuzu and tatsoi, or Faux Foie Mousse accompanied by toasted brioche and citrus jam. Entrée selections feature lamb chop with Vadouvan curry spice, honeynut squash, pomegranates, and mustard greens or luxurious Eye of Ribeye, smoked potato puree, bone marrow stuffed mushroom, and steak jus. Finish on a sweet note with quince tangerine tart or firecracker guajillo. Reservations can be made online, with prepayments of $120 per person required at the time of booking.

Golden Hill, $125
Ring in the new year with a glam gala showcasing seven dishes prepared by chef David Sim and the Kingfisher team. Feast on Hokkaido Scallop Tempura, Green Papaya and Kohlrabi Salad, and Grilled Lemongrass Tomahawk Steak, and a champagne toast; optional wine pairings are available at $50 and $80 for premium selections. Count down the seconds until midnight with live action on the big screen from Times Square at 9 pm. A few bar seats will be set aside for walkins, with a limited a la carte menu. Reservations can be made online.

Kensington, $85
Bonne année! Kensington’s favorite French bistro will serve a three-course prix-fixe menu, plus the Clean Slate Martini, crafted with Kahlua, Armagnac, Frangelico, cream and Aztec chocolate bitters. Starters include Crab Croquettes with jicama rémoulade, rocket and tomato salad, and saffron aioli or Mussel Bisque; smoky black mussels, creamy broth, puff pastry and crème fraîche. Entrees feature Petit Filet Medallions; sauce au poivre, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and haricot vert, Confit de Canard; glazed Hudson Valley Muscovy duck leg confit, creamy goat cheese polenta, baby kale, olive relish, and sauce verte or Saumon Raifort; horseradish-crusted Faroe Island salmon, mashed Yukon golds, asparagus, and smoked tomato beurre blanc. Sweet endings include Mousse au Chocolat, a rich dark Callebaut chocolate mousse with seasonal red berries or Brioche aux Pommes, warm brioche bread pudding, caramelized apples, raisins, and white chocolate. Reservations can be made online.

Bankers Hill, $175, $125 for vegetarian/vegan menu
Celebrate New Year’s Eve while you enjoy the hands-down best views of the city from the elegant dining room, the stunning elevated lounge, or gorgeous wrap-around outside deck. Chef Stephane Voitzwinkler's prix-fixe menu artfully blends American, French and Alsatian influences into dishes—think Hudson Valley Duck Pate and black truffle, Lobster Bisque Cappuccino topped with sherry crème fraîche and maine lobster toast, Georges Bank Scallops with shoyu reduction, kabocha squash, hidden rose apple, and fennel and Mud Pie; chocolate cookie crust, coffee ice cream, and chocolate ganache. Don’t forget about the Elf on Twelfth holiday cocktail menu, which is available through New Year’s Eve. Reservations can be made online.

Downtown, $80 and up
Give 2023 the heave-ho aboard City Cruises’ luxurious VIP New Year’s Eve Premier Dinner Cruise. It includes a four-hour cruise around San Diego Bay, with spectacular 360-degree views of the glittering skyline, a four-course seated dinner, and a top shelf open bar. Not into late night celebrating? They also have a New Year’s Eve Brunch Buffet Cruise and a New Year’s Eve Sunset Dinner Cruise with a buffet dinner on a 2.5-hour tour of the bay at the golden hour. Book your cruise online.

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Bio: Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer.