California Nightlife – Clubs, Bars, & Nightlife Tips

From smartertravel on Feb 15, 2017

California Nightlife

California is known for a lot: beaches, big cities, mountains, and a laid-back lifestyle that draws millions to the state every year. Here are some tips for enjoying the nightlife, bars, and clubs as much as the outdoors.

Bring Identification

Make sure you bring government-issued photo identification with you or you may not get into any bars or clubs. If a bar gets caught serving an underage patron in San Francisco, for example, the bar will be shut down for 30 days (no exceptions) so establishments rightfully take patrons’ IDs very seriously.


If you’re planning to go to the trendiest places in California, make sure you have the money. Some places will charge you $20.00 or more just to get in the door, and then you’ll pay top dollar for drinks. Parking might cost extra in addition to the cover charge you’ll have to pay at the door.


California dreaming might make people think of warm sunny beaches, but once night falls it can get cold: wether you’re visiting the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego or star-gazing in Yosemite National Park. You need to make sure you have warm clothes. You’ll also need nicer clothes to get into many high-end bars. Jeans and T shirts are fine during the day or at casual bars or music venues, but plan on changing before heading out at night.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about bars and clubs in California.