On my quest to find the best venues in California I stumbled across Belly Up Tavern. Just twenty miles outside the heart of San Diego lies a sleepy town of the Solana Beach. It’s a beautiful quaint quintessential beach town nestled next to Del Mar, Ca. From the outside, it would appear as a regular saloon type venue. To my surprise once I entered it was one of the best-kept secrets I have found in a long time. It holds roughly 600 people with an open freestanding floor and seating that wraps around the edges of the venue.
If you’re lucky enough to get there early you can snag one of the coveted seats (best to call ahead to make a reservation) where you can order dinner and drinks, making for a better concert experience. Also, I recommend the seats on the upper level – it can be tough to see the stage at times if you’re not the tallest person in the house.
I was lucky enough to catch the amazing Kris Kristofferson perform at an intimate sold-out show. The sound was impeccable- you could hear a pin drop while Kris Kristofferson’s amazing voice radiated throughout the venue. With storytelling and all of his greatest hits, Kris was better than ever. He was such an inspiration to all who were there. You would never be able to tell that he is 81 years old – he stood for the entire set while he played his heart out.
If you haven’t had the chance to see one of the original outlaws of country music, you better check your calendars because there are not that many of his kind left. Besides Willie Nelson and David Allen Coe, Kris Kristofferson is one of the last American treasures of country music. It was truly a magical experience in a venue that fit the Music perfectly.
If you are in or around the San Diego area, Belly Up is a must for a great concert experience or just grabbing a drink. They have a nice-sized bar where you can post up, sip on a cocktail, and stare at the walls filled with photos of celebrities and past musical acts. I could have stayed there for hours looking at all the history of this unique venue. All in all, I left as an avid fan of Belly Up and will definitely be back!