San Diego’s Best Outdoor Music Venues

kristy.walker

One of the best ways to enjoy an evening in San Diego is seeing a favorite band outdoors as day transitions through sunset to warm night. Because of the temperate climate, some outdoor music venues are able to host events all year long. Here are the best places to catch music under the beautiful San Diego Sky. 

1. Humphrey Concerts by the Bay / 2241 Shelter Island Dr.
It’s iconic San Diego, situated on the San Diego Bay surrounded by wind blown palm trees and sail boats. 

Located on “Shelter Island” that connects to Point Loma. The summer concert series are 1,400 seated shows but sometimes throw GA standing only concerts. The artists booked are often legends like Willie Nelson and Family, Sheryl Crow, Steely Dan, Bonnie Rait, Buddy Guy, the Pixies, and Brandie Carlille – just a drop in the bucket of examples.

The price for this intimate and unique experience is not cheap. The crowd is often upper crust and more mature but it doesn’t mean everyone isn’t welcomed and can enjoy themselves with the right band. 

People can also listen to the show from a boat or Kayak if they want an adventurous and free way of taking in the music. Huphrey’s offers some food and nice cocktail, beer, and wine options. 

2. Cal Coast Credit Open Air Amphitheater / 5500 Campanile Dr.
This venue is located on the San Diego State University campus. It’s a legit amphitheater with three sections of permanent stadium seating and a small GA area at the back. With a seriously steep incline, there is not really a bad seat in the house.

The 4,600 capacity theater is simple – selling decently priced drinks and some snack food at the top. The sound is good from most seats and if the music rocks enough, people aren’t sitting. 

Some bands that have played recently include The Raconteurs, Lizzo, Duo Lipa, Post Malone, Billie Eilish, The Lumineers, and Lana Del Ray.

3. North Island Credit Union Amphitheater /  2050 Entertainment Cir
 A Livenation hosted venue, it may be the place to catch the biggest acts fromRock, Pop, and Country genres. This massive concert venue is a 20,500 -seat outdoor amphitheater built in the 90’s and first of it’s kind and size in the San Diego.

There are drawbacks to it’s size, though. The theater does not have a steep grade so even expensive seats in section 200 are far away from the stage making it hard to see the artists with the naked eye. It may be worth it to splurge for for tickets up close if seeing the band is important. Or choose the opposite extreme and buy affordable GA tickets for the large lawn in the back if just being there, picnicing on a blanket or sipping drinks in a lawn chair is the experience that satisfies.

North Island offers a large variety of food and an array of beer, wine, and cocktails. Recent acts include Heart and the Zac Brown Band.

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