Santa Monica night clubs are more laid-back than those in downtown Los Angeles or Hollywood - and that's a good thing. We keep it real here, and Santa Monica nightlife reflects that.

Sure, you'll need to queue up occasionally - is there anywhere worth going to that isn't going to attract a good crowd?

Whether you're looking for a rooftop bar, a happening live music venue, or a dance club that vibrates into the wee hours, Santa Monica night clubs deliver.  These are some of the best venues to visit under the stars in Santa Monica.

Upscale Santa Monica Nightlife

Stepping into The Bungalow at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel is like stepping into the coolest California house party you've ever been to.

It's easy to feel comfortable here, from the cozy decor to ping pong tables and readily available board games. Stop in early to avoid a long line (before 8 pm), grab a Bungalow margarita or lychee gimlet, and let the night unfold in front of you. The crowd here is young and very trendy. 

For unparalleled views of the Pacific, a staple of Santa Monica Night clubs is The Penthouse, located at the top of the upscale Huntley Santa Monica Beach. Enjoy California cuisine and signature craft cocktails in one of the swanky restaurant cabanas while soaking in the 360-degree views of the city and beach.

Circle Bar: From Jim Morrison and Truman Capote to today's contemporaries, the Circle Bar continues to attract a vibrant and diverse crowd on the West Side with DJs and dancing every night of the week (except Monday) - 9 pm to 2 am.

Circle Bar has made vast improvements to the decor, ambiance, music, and, most importantly, service with careful attention to detail. What makes the Circle Bar unique is that it outlives trends that come and go.

With the same floor plan since it opened in 1949, patrons know what to expect when they arrive - a good time. The neighborhood may change, the music here and there, but the spirit of Circle Bar will live forever.

​Many generations return to Circle Bar whether they met their mate there, had a birthday bash, or stopped in while passing through. By embracing our nostalgia, heritage, and commitment to good service, Circle Bar remains a vibrant nightclub destination in LA. 

You can always count on Cameo Bar at the Viceroy Santa Monica to play host to a happening scene with a festive crowd.

The curated drinks are strong - and creative. Grab a drink and wander out back for poolside mingling at patio tables or on the deck lounge chairs. Heat lamps keep the outdoor ambiance cozy and comfortable at night.

If You Want to Be Above It All, These Venues Deliver

Looking for a rooftop nightspot in Santa Monica? The Penthouse on the 18th floor of the Huntley Hotel is an indoor rooftop bar that can always be counted on to play host to an eclectic mix of upscale travelers and fun locals. 

Once a penthouse suite, today’s ONYX Rooftop Lounge effortlessly captures the elusive sense of Hollywood glamour by the ocean with a timeless Art Deco design and world-class Pacific Ocean views.

​Onyx features a carefully curated small plates menu complemented by specialty cocktails like the Tami Tini, The Last Tango, and London Calling.

Atop the Art Deco-style Hotel Shangri-la, you can expect stellar views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Pier, and beyond while savoring signature cocktails and small plates. If you can get seats around the fire pit, you're set for a memorable night.

Santa Monica Night Clubs to Hang Out and Dance

Rick's Tavern: on Main is a California beach bar and grille for locals, visitors, bikers, and business folk.  Rick's Tavern - Santa Monica has been at the center of the nightlife options on Main Street since 1997.  Expect a neighborhood atmosphere with a California pub menu and sports bar theme. You don't have to be a local to be treated like one at Rick's.

The Room Santa Monica is a popular gathering spot to bust a move for a dancing night out. Here you'll find classic libations in a swank, dark setting, cozy booths, and nightly DJs who keep patrons dancing the night away.

Santa Monica Night Clubs with Live Music

Harvelle's Blues Club, the oldest live music venue on the West Side, is a small, dimly lit venue hosting live music and dancing nightly. Check the club's calendar online before you go; with blues, jazz, rock, funk, and burlesque on the agenda, there's something different nightly.

  • TRiP Santa Monica: One of the Westside's leading music hot spots, presenting an impressive variety of rock, world, acoustic, indie pop, and other live music nightly.

Santa Monica Night Clubs and Dive Bars Worth Diving In To

Chez Jay: When you mention dive bars in Santa Monica, Chez Jay will inevitably come up in conversation. 

Known as the "celebrity dive," Chez Jay has served Santa Monica for more than 50 years.  Grab a seat at the bar and rub elbows with locals while enjoying a glass of wine or a pint of beer. Chez Jay has a happy hour, running from 4:30-6 pm with specials on wine and food items.

Consider The Daily Pint for another Santa Monica nightlife go-to dive bar. With pool tables, shuffleboard, darts, plenty of big screen televisions, and a hefty selection of draft beers and whiskey, it's a great place to crack open a beer and have a great time. 

Whether it's to watch a big game or unwind after a long day of sightseeing, this dive bar on Pico Boulevard is a low-key hideaway. They have a craft beer and whiskey club with specials and discounts for the true connoisseur.


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