The Night is Young: Laguna Beach’s Best Nightclubs, Music Venues and Dive Bars

The Night is Young: Laguna Beach’s Best Nightclubs, Music Venues and Dive Bars

SOME NIGHTS you just want to go big—to laugh loudly and stay up late, to sing at the top of your lungs and dance until you hear “last call.” Some nights you just want to let loose. If that’s your mission, Laguna Beach has no shortage of options for you.

The Night is Young: Laguna Beach’s Best Nightclubs, Music Venues and Dive Bars

READ MORE about the hottest nightlife venues in Laguna Beach.


The sunset is such a huge draw in Laguna Beach that scores of people base their whole night around it. You can’t blame them, there are few sights as inspiring as watching the ever shifting sky at the end of another beautiful Southern California day.


Unarguably one of Laguna Beach’s best sunset watching locales, this bar, perched atop La Casa del Camino hotel, provides a bird’s-eye-view of nature’s nightly display. In a fast-paced world, it’s inspiring to see the mojito-swilling crowd go still at the moment the sun dips past the horizon.

Rooftop Lounge Happy Hour


Surf & Sand Resort in South Laguna boasts two spots to enjoy a Laguna sunset (also the name of a specialty house cocktail). 15fiftyfive has couches and comfy chairs crowded around a giant fireplace, perfect for getting cozy, while Splashes Bar is a little more social, features a small plates menu, and hangs right over the sand.

The Deck On Laguna


This open-air bar has made a name for itself with specialty cocktails, a great small plates menu, and stunning views. Fire pits help keep you warm once the sun’s heat begins to fade and mellow musical acts add to the cruisy vibe.

The Deck Cali Cooler


With the sun set, Laguna Beach officially comes to life. The nightclubs are a few hours away from getting pumping and the bands haven’t tuned their guitars yet, but there are still some great choices for a mid-evening cocktail.


To add a little history to your night, walk upstairs from The Deck to the Stateroom Bar inside Driftwood Kitchen. Situated where Hollywood icon Slim Summerville once had his library, the bar does a great job paying homage to this history with old photos on the wall, a throwback aesthetic, and a series of drinks named in honor of other legendary Laguna nightspots (like the now closed Boom Boom Room).


Definitely a favorite for locals, The Saloon (located along historic Peppertree Lane) feels akin to a speakeasy. Those planning a big night tend to stop in for a beer or a Piño—house infused pineapple vodka mixed with cranberry juice. A sign behind the bar shares the joint’s mentality in no uncertain terms, “Be Nice or Go to Newport.”

The Saloon


With savvy bartenders and a friendly atmosphere, even a wine novice can feel comfortable talking about pinots and chardonnays in this South Laguna hangout. Like The Saloon, this spot is a locals’ favorite for that 8 o’clock drink—even for non-wine drinkers (they keep six craft beers on tap). If you still haven’t eaten, considering ordering a pizza from the wood-fired oven or a selection of cheeses and cured meats.


Over the past few years, Laguna Beach’s live music scene has exploded. Whether your taste skews toward reggae, rock n’ roll, or ‘80s classics, you’ve got a dance floor waiting for somewhere in town.


Recently, the Marine Room has pivoted from its age-old biker bar vibe toward something younger and more hipster-infused. The whiskey selection is wide-ranging, as are the live acts going on stage every night. More and more, this is the spot where young people in Laguna Beach go to see and be seen.

The Marine Room


Though they have a great menu and a smartly curated weekly music lineup, Mozambique is best known for their Sunday reggae nights. Bands like Warrior King, Wailing Souls, and Kymani Marley have made this one of the best spots for reggae anywhere in Orange County. On Monday and Tuesday, when other bars are slow, a “Music Matters” series features Laguna legends like Nick I and Common Sense and good-vibe ambassadors World Anthem.

Mozambique Live Bands


No need for explanations here, you came to dance and that’s exactly what you’ll do—until “last call” is a memory and the lights are flipped on.


This spot is, by far, the most Euro-styled nightclub in Laguna Beach. The beats range from house to trance, the ceilings are low, and people are eager to move. This is where the 28-35 crowd hangs out on weekends—fueled by Belgian beers and Vodka + Red Bull.

Brussels Bistro


If you’re going to have “one of those nights”, if you’re going to push it to the brink, chances are you’ll end up at the ‘Dirty Bird.’ Don’t try to take a guess at what is going on—there’s no website for this place—just show up (flip flops and tank tops are perfectly acceptable), hit the dance floor, and soak up the atmosphere of Laguna Beach’s one true dive bar.

About the Author

Steve Bramucci

Steve Bramucci

A Laguna Beach ambassador, Steve Bramucci’s writing has appeared in the pages of USA Today, Afar, Outside, Huffington Post, COAST, OC Register Magazine, and other online and print outlets. His novel, Ronald Zupan and the Pirates of Borneo!, publishes with Bloomsbury in 2016. Follow him on Twitter @stevebram.

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