Where to Throw a Party: San Diego

So it's time to bring together 50, 100, or 900 of your favorite people and unfortunately you can't just buy a few kegs and invite them to the Kappa Sig house. Fortunately San Diego is a hot spot for all party purposes, from office parties to intimate weddings to your pug's first birthday. (Photo by Paul Barnett, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art )

Updated: December 16, 2009

Trendy as a Sweet Tea Martini


901 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Give your guests the VIP treatment at this downtown club/restaurant. Plush leather furnishings, plasma screens, and an upper loft with a DJ booth create a sleek, pass-me-another-martini vibe. Can hold 150 people for cocktail parties and 60 for seated dinners.

Museum Of Contemporary Art-Sd

700 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037

The chic La Jolla spot has a court with installation art pieces and an outdoor terrace featuring sculptures and Pacific views. Galleries can be rented for part of the event so guests can view some of the current art exhibitions. Dinner seating fits up to 200 people.

New Children's Museum

200 W Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

The downtown museum is spankin? new (no pun intended) and perfect for stylish parties with a dash of playfulness. Choose among the galleries and studios in the three-floor building to find appropriate spaces for groups of 50 to 1,000 people.

Keeping it Classy

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay

1441 Quivira Road, San Diego, CA 92109

No elaborate decorations required; the bay view here provides more than enough visual entertainment. The hotel has 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space in a resort complex that overlooks a full-service marina of sailboats, kayaks and jet skis. Party planners can opt for an open bar, cash bar, or a selection of wine and beer.

Humphreys Half Moon Inn And Suites San Diego Hotels

2303 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

Waterfront reception spots at this Shelter Island hotel can host groups of 10-200. Catering packages range from theme buffets to plated dinners, and event attendees are often eligible for special room rates, especially during the holidays.

Maritime Museum Assn San Diego

1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Party like a pirate: this museum operates the Star of India, the oldest operational sailing ship in the world. The more understated Berkeley Ferry Boat and H.M.S. Surprise are also available for hourly rental.

Thursday Club

1224 Santa Barbara St, San Diego, CA 92107

This elegant Point Loma venue has retained some of its 1920s charm with stained glass windows, a large fireplace, and a beautifully-maintained garden that features a panoramic ocean view. Best for afternoon gatherings, events must end by 9pm (even on weekends).

La Valencia Hotel

1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037

Slip on the designer sundress before driving up to the valet station at this bubblegum pink-colored hotel in La Jolla. The hotel hosts corporate gatherings, weddings, and other upscale events in its ocean-front restaurants and patios.

Hoping for Sunny Skies

22nd District Agricultural

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014

When there aren't horses racing around the track and fairgoers racing to devour fried Twinkies, this is a perfect spot for parties ranging from 50 to 50,000 guests. Find classic Spanish mission architecture with archways, fountains, and flowers. Patio heaters can be rented for outdoor events in the paddock area.

Hornblower Cruises & Event

1066 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Anyone who caught SNL's Timberlake/T-Pain skit ?I?m on a Boat? will want to board a San Diego yacht party someday. The fleet includes everything from a 1940s classic yacht with a dining capacity of 40 to the Inspiration Hornblower, a ship that can accommodate massive dance parties with 500 guests per deck.

Karl Strauss Brewing Co

9675 Scranton Road, San Diego, CA 92121

It might be in the middle of a suburban office complex but this Karl Strauss location in Sorrento Mesa has a backyard garden with a gorgeous Koi pond, waterfall, and lush landscaping. Beverage service includes the full line of hand-crafted beers and California wines.

San Diego Botanic Garden

230 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024

Good for serene weddings and relaxed social events, the North County garden's spaces include a Victorian gazebo, an intimate walled garden surrounded by lush ferns and trees, and a deck that overlooks a three-story waterfall and exotic tropical plants.