Humphreys by the Bay Concerts has been a San Diego tradition for over 25 years. Concerts span the range of styles, from rock and jazz to comedy, blues, folk and international music.
The surroundings are simple, but the sound system is excellent, and even from the last row, you'll get a terrific view of the stage. You can also buy room/dinner/concert packages that include great seats.
While you can't bring your own picnic to Humphreys, they do have a concession stand and - even better - roaming servers who will take your order and bring your drinks to your seat.
This outdoor venue is on the shore of Shelter Island, with the marina on one side, Humphreys hotel on the other and palms soaring overhead. Seating is in comfortable folding chairs. It feels smaller than its 1,400-person capacity, and every seat has a good view of the elevated stage. If you sit in the first 15 rows, you won't need binoculars.
Why You Will Like Humphreys by the Bay - and Why You Won't
If your favorite performer is on Humphreys schedule, you won't find a better place anywhere in California to see them up close. They get high praise for their sound quality, too.
Seating is somewhat crowded compared to other places in California. General admission tickets may be for standing only.
Security strictly enforces rules about photography, smoking, using cell phones during the performance and making too much noise. I'm happy to have a distraction-free concert experience, but apparently, not everyone agrees because online reviewers often complain about it.
To me, the biggest downside of Humphreys is also one of its positives: the location. It's so close to the water that evenings always feel damp and cold even in mid-summer.
Humphreys Concerts by the Bay Tips
- The gates open 45 minutes before showtime but getting inside a few minutes before the concert starts is fine. Area streets can get really busy, so you do need to leave with plenty of time to get there.
- If you dislike being in the middle of a crowded row of seats, buy your tickets as early as possible to get aisle seats.
- All concerts are held rain or shine.
- No matter what the weather forecast says, the breeze coming off the water can be just... plain... cold. Bring plenty of layers and don't forget something to cover your head (the part of your body that loses heat the fastest).
- You can't take food or beverages into the concert area, but you can buy them on site (including hot drinks for those chilly evenings).
- Tickets are required for all ages. No lap sitting is allowed, no matter how small your child is.
- Leave your umbrellas, cameras, and recording devices at home. They won't let you take them in.
What You Need to Know About Humphreys Concerts by the Bay
Concerts are held mid-April through October at Humphreys by the Bay Hotel in San Diego. You'll find the season schedule and more details at the Humphreys by the Bay Concerts website.
Buy your tickets online or stop by the Humphreys Concerts by the Bay box office at 2241 Shelter Island Dr. (619-224-3577) as early as you can to avoid disappointment. Have a seating chart with you so you can decide ahead of time where you want to sit.
For a really nice night out, try the hotel's premium concert package, which includes dinner in their restaurant, seats in the front of the house and overnight accommodation.
Sold Out Shows
Tickets for the hottest performers sell out. Your best bet is to plan ahead. If you can't do that, you can still get tickets. If the seats for the performer you want to see sell out before you get a chance to buy, try ticket reseller website StubHub, where you can connect with others who have tickets to sell.
How to Get to Humphreys Concerts by the Bay
Humphreys Concerts by the Bay are held on the grounds of Humphreys Half Moon Inn at 2241 Shelter Island Drive.
There is a parking fee if you park at Humphreys, but you can find free public parking lots nearby.