San Diego

A diverse and sophisticated arts scene probably isn’t the first thing that visitors—or even locals—associate with San Diego. It’s a destination for those who seek out its perennial sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and beautiful scenery. Even those within the arts scene readily admit their fiercest competition is the beach! But just a little to the right of the Pacific Ocean, there are some amazing and diverse artistic offerings to prove that San Diego can hold its own.

The theater scene in San Diego may not have the commercial appeal that Broadway does, but it more than makes up for it with talent. In fact, a long list of Broadway-bound productions started right here, including Jersey Boys, The Who's Tommy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Memphis.

Balboa Park’s Old Globe Theatre is modeled after the Shakespearian Globe Theatre in England, and hosts both an annual Shakespeare Festival as well as contemporary plays. A little bit north is La Jolla Playhouse, which was founded by Gregory Peck in 1947, and has hosted dozens of world-premiere productions, in addition to star actors like Laura Linney and Neil Patrick Harris. The playhouse has also launched the Without Walls initiative, which places theater in a new context by removing the theater entirely.

Music also has a major presence in San Diego, courtesy of the world-class San Diego Opera, which performs major works by Puccini and Mozart, and the San Diego Symphony, which caters to a diverse audience thanks to both its classical concerts and its more accessible Summer Pops series.

There’s always something new and exciting happening with visual arts in San Diego. No longer limited to a collector’s market, younger urban artists are making in-roads with warehouse gallery spaces in Barrio Logan, while galleries in La Jolla and Little Italy showcase bold works of contemporary art on their walls. The annual San Diego Art Prize highlights rising figures in the visual arts realm, and in the field of architecture, Orchids and Onions honors the best and worst in structural design—and with a sense of humor at that.

Sort by: 52 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
  • 1. Copley Symphony Hall

    Gaslamp Quarter | Music

    The great acoustics here are surpassed only by the incredible Spanish baroque interior. Not just the home of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra...Read More

  • 2. La Jolla Playhouse


    Under the artistic direction of Christopher Ashley, the playhouse presents exciting and innovative plays and musicals on three stages. Many...Read More

  • 3. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

    Downtown | Art Galleries–Arts

    Centrally located in Downtown between a trolley stop and the train station, MCASD has built up a reputation for being the premier site for cutting...Read More

  • 4. The Old Globe

    Balboa Park | Theater

    This complex, comprising the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, and the Old Globe Theatre, offers some of...Read More

  • 5. Arts District Liberty Station

    Point Loma | Art Galleries–Arts

    The former Naval Training Center at Liberty Station is a hub for arts and culture with over 120 tenants, including artists, galleries, museums...Read More

  • 6. Arts Tix

    Gaslamp Quarter | Tickets

    You can buy advance tickets, many at half price, to theater, music, and dance events at Arts Tix. ...Read More

  • 7. Balboa Theatre

    Gaslamp Quarter | Music

    This renovated theater offers a variety of performances including ballet, music, plays, and even stand-up comedy. In addition to architectural...Read More

  • 8. Bread & Salt

    Barrio Logan | Music

    The spacious factory setting that houses Bread & Salt feels like a modern art warehouse, though its name nods to its long history as a former...Read More

  • 9. California Ballet Company

    Gaslamp Quarter | Dance

    The company performs high-quality contemporary and classical works September–May at the Civic Theatre. The Nutcracker is staged annually...Read More

  • 10. California Center for the Arts, Escondido


    The center presents mainstream theatrical productions such as Grease and The Odd Couple , as well as concerts, art shows, and dance performances...Read More

  • 11. City Ballet

    Gaslamp | Dance

    The ballet holds performances at the Spreckels Theatre and a few other area venues from November through May. At Christmastime, they dance a...Read More

  • 12. Coronado Playhouse


    This cabaret-type theater near the Hotel del Coronado stages regular dramatic and musical performances. ...Read More

  • 13. Cygnet's Old Town Theatre

    Old Town | Theater

    A 246-seat theater operated by Cygnet Theatre Company, this is one of the more interesting small San Diego theater groups. Catch local takes...Read More

  • 14. Diversionary Theatre

    University Heights | Theater

    San Diego's premier gay and lesbian company presents a range of original works that focus on LGBTQ themes. ...Read More

  • 15. Flagship Cruises and Events

    Little Italy | Entertainment Cruise

    Flagship Cruises welcomes guests aboard with a glass of champagne as a prelude to nightly dinner-dance and holiday cruises. ...Read More

  • 16. Hornblower Cruises

    Little Italy | Entertainment Cruise

    Take a dinner-dance cruise aboard the Lord Hornblower —the trip comes with fabulous views of the San Diego skyline. ...Read More

  • 17. Horton Grand Theatre

    Gaslamp Quarter | Theater

    After being home to the long-running Triple Espresso, the Horton Grand Theatre hosts productions from the likes of San Diego Musical Theatre...Read More

  • 18. Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

    Point Loma | Concerts

    This waterfront, outdoor venue stages intimate shows from big-name national acts from April into October. There's not a bad seat in the house...Read More

  • 19. Industry Showroom

    Gaslamp Quarter | Art Galleries–Arts

    This large space in downtown serves both as a workspace for local designers and artists, and as a storefront showroom to show off their wares. ...Read More

  • 20. Ion Theatre Company

    Hillcrest | Theater

    The little theater company that could, most of Ion's unique and sometimes controversial productions now take place in the quaint BLKBOX Theatre...Read More

No performing-arts Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

There are no results for {{ strDestName }} Performing-arts in the searched map area with the above filters. Please try a different area on the map, or broaden your search with these popular suggestions:

Around the Web