Sure, we don't have an established gathering spot, a la New York City's Times Square or even Seattle's Space Needle, that San Diegans can go to without being charged an arm and a leg. Nevertheless, there are big bashes where you can go, even places where the whole family can go. In addition, many hotels and restaurants around town have special New Year's Even dinner packages, if you're so inclined.
Here are a few suggestions to ring in the New Year with a bang. Check the links below for more info for each event. Just remember to be careful and don't drink and drive.
In fact, San Diego County public transit is offering free rides and special late-night schedules. Visit GoNCTD.com/New_years_eve to find out more.
Big Night San Diego
Hilton Bayfront, One Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Sunday, December 31, 2011, 9 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Tickets: $109.99 per person (advance purchase, all-inclusive, 21 and up only). $169.99 VIP tickets also available
This event has become popular with young adults because of its size and the price is all-inclusive of food and drink. Big Night San Diego is the perfect, all-inclusive night. Leave your wallet at home, because your ticket includes everything - all drinks included all night - with no long lines (so you won't be waiting in line all night to then have the hassle of paying $15 for each watered-down drink). Plus, a buffet and entertainment throughout the 12 different party zones. (All you need to remember is your ID, because you must be at least 21 to attend.)
New Year's Eve Gala Aboard the Midway Aircraft Carrier
December 31, 2011 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
USS Midway, Navy Pier
Individual Tickets: $169 per person
This event is unique (and pricey) but where else can you celebrate the New Year aboard an aircraft carrier? Ring in the New Year at Peartrees Catering annual New Years Eve Gala on board the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier for the best view of the midnight fireworks extravaganza over the San Diego Bay. The event includes an open premium bar, elegant dinner buffet, dancing to the live music of The Big Daddy Orchestra and is from 8pm until 1am.
SOLD OUT: National Comedy Theatre
December 31, 2011, 8:30 p.m.
3717 India St., San Diego
Tickets are $69 per person
The National Comedy Theatre will present its annual New Year’s Eve Spectacular. Similar in style to Drew Carey’s “Whose Line is it Anyway,” the National Comedy Theatre (NCT) is a high-octane improvisational comedy show based completely on audience suggestions. In addition to the regular performance, there will be catered food, and an after-show party with the cast, culminating in a countdown to the New Year. The show has received national acclaim and is appropriate for all audiences.
New Year’s Yacht Party :
December 31, 2011, 8 p.m.- 1 a.m.
1800 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101. The yacht sits between Grape Street and Hawthorne Street on N. Harbor Drive.
Ticket price: $179 per person (advance purchase)
Saunter aboard the largest private charter yacht in Southern California and enjoy unlimited beer, wine, top shelf liquors, hors’ devours, chocolate fountains and other tasty delights. This event will feature 3 levels of music including a Hip-Hop dance deck, a legendary 80’z all-stars cover band and a variety of smooth tunes on the open air deck. Enjoy the best view of fireworks in San Diego. Boarding will be from 8-9:30 PM and the yacht will return to dock at approximately 12:30 and debark guests from 12:30am-1:00am.
New Year's Eve Beach Party:
December 31, 2011, 8 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Ticket price: $129 per person (advance purchase)
VAVI Sport and Social Club and Millennium Events have partnered up to host the Beach Party 2012 aboard the Bahia Belle and at the Catamaran Resort, Hotel & Spa. All-inclusive ticket includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and entertainment, expanded bar service – more bars and bartenders, expedited first drink for each party guest, four rooms of top-tier DJ entertainment
Various times and prices
If a nice dinner and festive atmosphere are more your speed, and you don't want to be locked into one enclosed space, the restaurants of the Gaslamp Quarter is your best bet. Virtually all of the venues have some sort of New Year's Eve package, and you can take in the revelry of Fifth Avenue as well.