Planning a Socially Distanced Night Out in San Diego

Social butterflies have had a rough go of things lately. In a mask-wearing, socially distanced world, those of us who enjoy a nice evening out have really had to learn to adapt to a harsh new normal.

Still, it’s important to remember that fun isn’t canceled. Even though some businesses are closed, many public activities are inadvisable, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to take conscientious precautions for the safety of ourselves and others. It’s still possible for us to get out and enjoy ourselves. We just have to make a few adjustments. 

Check out some great ways to enjoy a socially distanced evening on the town in “America’s Finest City.”

Distanced Dining

True — many restaurants in San Diego are not able to operate at the moment. But a little sleuthing reveals that a meal out can still be on the table. Restaurants with patios and terraces where diners can enjoy their meals outside are still open for business. You’ll be able to grab an alfresco bite at great eateries like Casa Guadalajara, Kettner Exchange, Island Prime, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, and Portside Pier

Decadent Dessert

Once dinner is in the books, it’s time for a little something sweet. Gelato is fast becoming a San Diego tradition, and the sweet, rich treat is available at many local shops that bring a gourmet-level flair to the preparation. All offer carry-out cones and dishes, and some even have outdoor seating. Best bets include Bobboi Gelato, Portside Coffee and Gelato, Gelato Vero Caffé, and Duo Confections

View this post on Instagram

Still open 7am-8pm…and till 9pm Fri & Sat:)

A post shared by Gelato Vero Caffé (@gelatoverocaffe) on

Up on the Roof 

San Diego’s famously mild climate has given literal rise to a bumper crop of hip rooftop bars and cafés. And with enclosed spaces suddenly off everyone’s go-to list, they’re also a much lower-risk alternative for social distancing in San Diego while we wait for the air to clear. Don’t miss stopping in for a beverage or bite at the lofty lounges of Garibaldi, Point Loma Seafoods, The Nolen Rooftop, and OB Brewery.  

See Some Safe Cinema 

Drive-in movies have always had a unique kitsch appeal. And now, given that most cineplexes are understandably shuttered, heading to the outdoor screen is one of the only ways you’ll see a movie outside of your smart TV. South Bay Drive-In has been a San Diego favorite since 1958, and Santee Drive-In Theatre is a great place to catch a double feature. Pop-up drive-ins are also fast becoming a trend. 

Gallivant on Gaslamp

San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is one of America’s most interesting neighborhoods. Named for its roots as an industrial-revolution business district dotted with Victorian architecture, the Gaslamp of today is a bustling nightlife district filled with interesting shops, quirky bars and restaurants, and lively nightlife. Strolling the streets of Gaslamp makes for an evening full of surprises.

Stroll the Beach

Sure, “I enjoy long walks on the beach” has become something of a cliché. But at the base of every cliché is a nugget of shared experience. And there really is something to be said for capping your evening by kicking off your shoes and strolling the sand while the warm waves crash nearby. San Diego has no end of shoreline just waiting to be explored. Try Sunset Cliffs, Windansea Beach, or Moonlight State Beach for a memorable experience.