Five Best Places for Students to go on College Night


After working hard all week at school, work, and whatever else has you tied down, sometimes we just need a break. Every Thursday night in downtown Santa Barbara, various bars and nightclubs celebrate a phenomenon also known as “college night” – a night typically marketed towards college students to go out and get deals such as drink specials and cheap transportation at the liveliest most-celebrated locations. If you’re a student looking to blow off some steam and have a good time on a budget, here are the best places to do it:

1) Tonic Nightclub-

Tonic Nightclub

Cotton Candy Machine at Tonic

Located mid-State Street, Tonic has dubbed their college night “Candy Crush Thursday”. On Thursdays the club is decked out in a candy theme featuring a real cotton candy machine at the front of the club allowing students waiting in line to enjoy some fresh cotton candy. There’s a Piñata that routinely makes its way around the club and you can find bowls of candy lining both the indoor and outdoor patio bar. Besides all the sugar rush madness that makes Tonic a great place for college students on Thursday nights, it’s also the only night of the week that they don’t charge a cover fee.

Wildcat Lounge

Wildcat Mascot Tearing Up the Dance Floor


2) Wildcat Lounge-

Rated Santa Barbara’s number one place to dance, Wildcat Lounge is the perfect place to go if you want to blow off some steam on the dance floor. Located off of Ortega Street, Wildcat features a big dance floor and an even bigger outdoor patio. Wildcat has exclusive transportation through Bills Bus on Thursdays that allows college students to buy a pass for $5, get dropped off at Wildcat, and then enjoy $4 well cocktails throughout the night. Also be on the lookout for the giant wildcat mascot that makes appearances in IV and on the Wildcat dance floor, he often has free drink tickets for you.

3) Eos Lounge-

Located on the corner of Anacapa and Haley just steps away from State Street, Eos is a major pillar for college night. Eos features a Mediterranean beach styled club with an enormous dance floor that features not one, but TWO DJ’s on any given night. Besides no cover charge on a Thursday, they offer their own transportation services through Bills Bus. For the ladies that arrive before 11:00 pm, Eos offers a free glass of champagne. They also offer discounted bottle service deals for students as well as discounted cocktails until last call at 1:30 am.


A Packed Dance Floor at Eos

4) Sandbar-

A Mexican restaurant and tequila cantina by day, and a dance club by night, Sandbar holds a pretty unique experience unlike other nightlife scenes downtown. Sandbar has a DJ and a bar both inside the restaurant and outside in their lounge. If you’re craving the nightlife atmosphere, hang out inside until you’re ready to chill out then just step out onto their patio and enjoy comfortable cushioned seats and fire pits. Sandbar also offers their college night patrons the best deal in town where you can enjoy three drinks for the price of one.

5) Indochine-


The Inside Bar at Indochine

That one place you see while walking on lower State Street that has sweaty people dancing against floor to ceiling windows but looks like the most fun ever. Indochine is a really small club with amazing Asian décor. The bulk of the club is their outdoor patio but they also have a small dance floor that is always packed and can be seen from across the street. Indochine features moderately priced handcrafted cocktails as well as no cover charge for college students every Thursday.                                                                                                                              

For all the students living in Isla Vista, also check out Bill’s Bus. It’s a transportation service combating drunk driving. They provide a safe journey that picks up and drops off college students on Thursday nights at various places downtown and in Isla Vista. You can check the schedule here:



About Author

Devin Brown

Devin is a young media enthusiast from Santa Cruz California. She’s currently working on obtaining her Bachelors degree in marketing from Antioch University in Santa Barbara. When she’s not busy at school or work, she spends her time traveling and going to any and every rock show she can. She has an irrational love for music, cats, the 49ers, and all things horror related.

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