The Best Beach Bars in Florida

Jimmy B's Beach Bar
Photo: Jimmy B's Beach Bar

With more than 1,300 miles of coastline, the Sunshine State is lush with margarita-worthy real estate. But there are the regular bars—the ones you stumble into aimlessly and sunburned after a day on the sand. And then there are the bars—the legendary outposts that you actually pencil into your itinerary alongside snorkeling, antiquing, and paying a visit to your Aunt Gertrude. Whether you're searching for views, live tunes, greasy baskets of fried seafood, or delicious frozen concoctions, here are nine iconic waterfront hangouts that have it all.

01 of 09

Flora-Bama, Perdido Key

Courtesy of Flora-Bama

You couldn't compile a list of places to imbibe in Florida without mentioning the Flora-Bama. Technically straddling the Florida-Alabama state line, this behemoth of a bar unwinds through multiple rooms before spilling out onto the Gulf's sugar-white sand. Multiple live bands perform nightly across five stages; if you're wondering what to order, the famous Bushwacker is a perennial Panhandle favorite.

17401 Perdido Key Dr, Pensacola, FL

02 of 09

Lorelei Cabana Bar, Islamorada

Lorelei Cabana Bar
Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar

For many, this laid-back bar's gigantic mermaid that greets drivers along the Overseas Highway is the unofficial signal that vacation in the Keys has begun. The Islamorada mainstay, which sits on the Florida bayside with spectacular sunset views, has been luring motorists by land and sea for decades. With no walls, there's plenty of space to catch the breeze and a view. If the beach is what you crave, dine in the sand with the tiki bar just steps away; the signature Lorelei Sunset (made with the bar's own tangerine-infused vodka) tastes just like vacation.

96 Madeira Rd, Islamorada, FL

03 of 09

Jimmy B's Beach Bar, St. Petersburg Beach

Jimmy B's Beach Bar
Jimmy B's Beach Bar

There's a reason this Gulf-front hangout consistently ranks among Florida's best drinking spots. Aside from the atmosphere—a large, rustic wooden deck with a boardwalk that leads straight out to the sand—the mood is always cheerful and fun. Live music is always on the calendar (all day, every day) from some of the best bands on the Gulf coast. And if you're there for sunset—which you absolutely should be—you can enjoy a complimentary shooter along with your shrimp cocktail.

6200 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL

04 of 09

Aruba Beach Café, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

Aruba Beach Cafe
Aruba Beach Cafe

Grab a seat at this steps-from-the-sand establishment and you'll feel like you're transported to the Caribbean. From the music to the menu, Aruba's knows how to set the tropical mood. Snack on some scrumptious "world-famous" Bimini Bread while you await your conch fritters; a lineup of fruity, rum-laced sippers is the perfect complement.

1 Commercial Blvd, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL

05 of 09

High Tides at Snack Jack, Flagler Beach

High Tides at Snack Jack
High Tides at Snack Jack

Were it not for the accolades this rustic seafood dive has garnered over the years (and its incredible location), it might be the type of place that you'd overlook. But while the little beach shack on the sand is unassuming, it's also blessed with all the makings of a memorable beach bar. You won't find hard liquor here, but you hardly need it: The 70-year-old watering hole has perfected its post-beach refreshments, from the wine-based "cocktails" to the bountiful seafood platters.

2805 S Ocean Shore Blvd, Flagler Beach, FL

06 of 09

Square Grouper, Jupiter

Square Grouper
Square Grouper

Even if you haven't yet had the pleasure of sipping something tall and strong at this palm tree-blessed waterfront hangout, you probably recognize it: The Square Grouper was the setting—and one could say the star—of Alan Jackson's "Five O'Clock Somewhere" music video with Jimmy Buffet. Opened in 2003, the sandy bottomed restaurant on the Jupiter Inlet boasts a beach-centric menu (think fruity drinks and fish tacos) and views of the historic lighthouse.

1111 Love St, Jupiter, FL

07 of 09

Peg Leg Pete's, Pensacola Beach
Peg Leg Pete's

Whether you're walking in weary and sunburned from the sand on one side or idling in from the marina on the other, Peg Leg Pete's is the perfect gathering spot. Everything about the pirate-themed bar with a penchant for Gulf delicacies, like oysters and shrimp, is casual and fun, from the mural-covered walls to the menu, which includes their "must-try" Oyster Shooters and their specialty Cajun dishes.

1010 Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL

08 of 09

The Mucky Duck, Captiva Island

The Mucky Duck
The Mucky Duck

You can thank kismet for making this little slice of paradise—with front-row views to Captiva Island's legendary sunsets—accessible to all. Back in the '70s, two entrepreneurs intended to turn the old building (once an inn) into a rental home, until they inadvertently discovered an expired beer and wine license. Thus, they switched gears and the Mucky Duck, a British-inspired pub, was born instead. Today, the casual bar and restaurant is a fixture on Captiva Island, with an unexpectedly elevated menu featuring dishes such as Grouper "Café de Paris" and Salmon en Croûte.

11546 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva, FL

09 of 09

The SandBar, Delray Beach

Sandbar Delray Beach
SandBar Delray Beach

There's something for everyone at this open-air hangout: By day, it lures beachgoers in for a cold drink underneath the shade of palm trees; by night, it transforms into a lively nightclub with a signature scent of ocean air. Despite its trendy turn after dark, the mood still leans casual, with beachy drinks served pitcher-sized from a thatched-roof tiki bar.

40 S Ocean Blvd, Delray Beach, FL

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