Northeast Florida covers the coastline from Fernandina Beach at Florida’s northernmost point to New Smyrna Beach, just south of Daytona Beach. If you’re on the east coast looking for Florida beach bars, you will need to follow the beaches. To Floridians that can only mean one thing, A1A. This highway stretches from the northernmost part of the state to Key West. It's a scenic ride that takes you from beach town to beach town and a ton of Florida beach bars.
Other than the Atlantic Ocean and The Gulf of Mexico, there are two notable and obvious differences between east and west coast Florida beaches. Gulf Coast beaches have sunsets and east coast beaches have the sunrise. Many east coast beaches let you drive your car on the beach. It’s something you need to get used to, if you are visiting from the other coastline. Fernandina Beach
At the northeastern point of Florida is Fernandina Beach, one of Florida's northernmost cities. The city and beaches of Fernandina Beach are located on Amelia Island. As a point of interest, Amelia Island was selected as the mystical land for the 1988 film, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. Pippi’s movie home is now Posada San Carlos, a pink-painted bed and breakfast inn.
On Amelia Island and only a few steps from the Atlantic Ocean, is Sandy Bottoms Beach Bar and Grill. You can actually sit at a table on the beach and put your toes in the sand. Thus, the name, Sandy Bottoms. It is a true Florida beach bar where bathing suits and bare feet are welcomed and expected. They bill themselves as “Amelia Island’s only restaurant and bar located directly on the beach where you can dig your toes into the sand and the closest to the ocean on the eastern seaboard.”
Just down the road on Fernandina Beach is Sliders Seaside Grill. They claim to be, “Fernandina Beach's only oceanfront tiki bar and dining”. So to help clear things up, here are the subtle differences. Sandy Bottoms is right on the beach, Sliders backs up to the dunes on the beach. You can dig your toes in the sand at Sandy Bottoms, but Sliders has the “oceanfront tiki bar”.
Sliders Seaside Grill began life as The Seaside Inn that opened in 1945 and provided rooms and meals to the traveling public. When Amelia Island Plantation opened in 1974 the Fernandina Beach area was rediscovered by whole new set of tourists. It was then the roadhouse shifted its focus to the restaurant. Sliders Seaside Grill was renovated in 2011 to include second floor banquet facilities, bar and an oceanfront verandah. Today Sliders Seaside Grill has three bars; the Tiki Bar, Breakers Bar, and the Lounge. The Caribbean themed restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night.
Sliders Seaside Grill | Fernandina Beach– Recently renovated, Slider's is Fernandina Beach's only oceanfront tiki bar and dining establishment. It has 3 bars including the tiki bar in the backyard, and it is right on the beach.
Head further south and you will find The Surf Restaurant and Bar. It is across the street from the beach and offers “good food and good times in a casual beach atmosphere”.
Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida. Jacksonville Beach is part of the Jacksonville Beaches Community, a group of towns and communities on the northern half of an unnamed barrier island on Florida’s east coast. All are suburbs of Jacksonville and include; Mayport, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Ponte Vedra Beach.
The Northern most community is Mayport which is home to Naval Station Mayport, the third largest naval surface fleet concentration area in the United States. Other beachside towns are filled with plenty of food and entertainment establishments, bars, and shops. But there are just few true Florida beach bars; those that are right on the beach.
On Neptune Beach, just south of Mayport and just east of downtown Jacksonville, is the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn, home of the Lemon Bar. The Lemon Bar is located right off the beach offering Atlantic oceanfront views, cocktails and great times. The signature drink is Lemon Bar Freeze. Lemon Bar offers no food or live music, but it is a great place to have a cool drink and gather with other beach enthusiasts.
Down the beach is Bukkets Oceanfront Grill & Bar, a full service beach bar with good food, drinks, and plenty of music in a casual beach atmosphere. When it comes to drinks, Shooters are their specialty or enjoy buckets of icy cold beers. I guess that would be called getting a bucket at Bukkets. If you need to get a little more sun, the beach is just a few steps away. The crowd and the staff are friendly and fun. Who wouldn’t be at this great beach place? It is the best beach bar on Jacksonville Beach.
Bukkets Oceanfront Grill & Bar | Jacksonville Beach– Bukkets Oceanfront Grill & Bar, a full service beach bar with good food, drinks, and plenty of music in a casual beach atmosphere.
Although Joe's Crab Shack is indeed a chain restaurant, it also smack dab on the beach. Its location alone makes it an interesting and special place. So if you are in the area, check it out. St. Augustine Beach
St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. It was founded in September 1565 by Spanish explorer and Admiral Pedro Menéndez de AvilésSt. St. Augustine is filled with history and is a great place to visit. It is also the location of the Fountain of Youth. You can be young or feel young. To be young, check out the Fountain of Youth. But, to feel young, head to a Florida Beach Bar.
Daytona Bike Week at St. Augustine – Daytona Bike Week riders taking in the St. Augustine scenery.
Hurricane Patty's is located on the water at the Rivers Edge Marina in St. Augustine and has been a local favorite for many years. This Florida beach bar has an old Florida appearance, is fun and lively, and has indoor and outdoor seating available. So it is an all-weather beach bar. Come by boat or car to relax and have a drink. There is plenty of parking and boat dockage.
There are plenty of great restaurants and bars in downtown St. Augustine but to find more beach bars you need to head across the bridge to St. Augustine Beach. St. Augustine's 43 miles of pristine beaches stretch from Vilano Beach north of the city to Crescent Beach in the south.
The Conch House, is not on the beach, but on the water on Matanzas Inlet. This is one cool beach bar. It is more of a complex than a single location. The outdoor restaurant deck has dozens of personal tiki huts. On Sundays, there is Reggae music played from a floating dock. On the pier that anchors the dock is the round shaped Conch House Lounge which sits 300 feet out over the water. There is live music Thursday through Saturday.
At the south end of St. Augustine Beach is the World Famous Oasis Deck and Restaurant. It is not on the beach, but it is near the beach. The lower level is an old Florida restaurant. The upper deck is a full blown Florida beach bar. There is music daily, and it is always in an “Oasis state of Mind”’
Flagler Beach is a small beach community with a pier, surfers, and yes, Florida beach bars. This is a great little beach town and a place where you can easily spend a day or two, especially if you like beach bars. With one exception, beach bars are located just across the street from the beach. It is the home of The Golden Lion Cafe, Flagler Beach's most awarded restaurant. In 2011 The Golden Lion was selected the Best Waterside Beach Bar by FloridaBeachBar.com.
In 2012 they were voted one of Florida’s Top 10 beach bars by visitors to FloridaBeachBar.com. When owners Tony and Carolyn Marlow first purchased The Golden Lion Cafe it was little more than a tiny shack across the street from the beach. Today it has an expanded upper deck, a tiki bar, a raw bar and a toes-in-the-sand beach in the tiki bar area. The Golden Lion has been a key influence on the popularity of Flagler Beach. As owner Tony Marlow says, "Live your vacation one hour at a time." There are few better places to be than here.
High Tides Snack Jack has a cool name and has the distinction of being the only bar right on Flagler Beach. Although the High Tides at Snack Jack only serves beer and wine, and there is no live entertainment, the views and the sand more than make up for it. It has been a local favorite since 1947.
Finn's Beachside Pub is at the center of Flagler Beach and across the street from the pier. The beach bar is the entire second floor deck of this two story building. Finn’s large bar offers a panoramic beach view and the bandstand has live entertainment or Karaoke nightly. On most weekend afternoons, you are apt to find a band playing at about 2:00 pm at the rooftop bar. No matter what, you will have a great time at Finn's.
Located on Moody Lane and off the main beach road is Hurricane Patty's, the sister bar to Hurricane Patty’s in St. Augustine. Although this Florida beach bar is not on the beach, it is on the water. Right in the center of the property is a huge fish diving right up into the air, which I am sure someone can identify by species. There’s a large bar area with plenty of seating affording views of the water or the other patrons. Either way, you will have something interesting to look at.
Think Daytona and chances are you think of the Daytona 500. Daytona Beach bills itself as "The World's Most Famous Beach®". Once the spring break capital, Daytona has given up most of its Florida beach bars to the Ocean Walk venue filled with condominiums, shops, movie theaters and restaurants. Ocean Walk is on the beach side of A1A where you will find Sloppy Joes from Key West, Bubba Gump Shrimp, The Mai Tai, Johnny Rockets and Hyde Park Steakhouse.
Daytona Beach Pier and Joyland Amusement Center – Joyland is located on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk on the North side of the Daytona Beach Pier. The pier has been around for over 100 years.
There is one pure Florida beach bar that still stands on Daytona Beach and that is the Ocean Deck. It was voted a 2011 TOP 10 Florida Beach Bar by FloridaBeachBar.com. The Ocean Deck is right on the beach with an upstairs area that serves as an air conditioned restaurant. The lower level has a bar, bandstand, and opens up to the beach. There’s live music, a tiki bar, and plenty of special events. It is a classic beach bar in every way. The Ocean Deck is a very special beach bar. It takes you back to a time when Daytona Beach was the spring break capital of the world.
Ocean Deck | Daytona Beach – The Ocean Deck is Daytona Beach’s last remaining toes in the sand beach bar. The lower level has a bar, bandstand, and opens up to the beach.
Ponce Inlet is just south of Daytona Beach. This small stretch of beach has no less than five beach bars, two of which have been voted to FloridaBeachBar.com’s 2011 TOP 10 list. This town also has Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station which is a beautiful red and recently restored lighthouse. It is 175 feet tall and is the second tallest lighthouse in the country affording gorgeous views of the nearby Florida coastline.
If you like NASCAR and fast cars, and you are looking for a Florida beach bar, Ponce Inlet is most likely your best Florida destination. While you may be familiar with the Daytona 500, did you know the race got its start on Daytona Beach in Ponce Inlet? On that spot is Racing's North Turn, another pure Florida beach bar
Racing's North Turn | Ponce Inlet– Racings North Turn is located on the beach at the location of the original North Turn of the Daytona race track. This beach bar was voted 4th in both the 2011 and 2012 FloridaBachBar.com TOP 10 competition.
Racing's North Turn is on the beach at the location of the north turn of the original Daytona stock car races. The bar doubles as a museum displaying old race pictures, race paraphernalia, and items signed by race car drivers that visit the bar during Daytona races. If you are a race fan, particularly a Daytona 500 or NASCAR fan, you have to go here. And don't be surprised if you run into some of today's Daytona drivers.
Racing aside, this is a fantastic beach bar and was voted 4th in the state in the FloridaBeachBar.com TOP 10 Florida Beach Bar competition in both 2011 and 2012. There is music nightly, good food, and some of the hardest working, nicest staff you will ever meet. Locals love it, and you will too.
Inlet Harbor Restaurant | Ponce Inlet – Inlet Harbor is one of the most colorful beach bars around. It sits adjacent to its own marina making it perfect for casual boaters or those out fishing for the day. This beach bar was voted 5th in the 2011 FloridaBachBar.com TOP 10 competition.
There are 5 Florida beach bars in Ponce Inlet and each has a unique character. On the Inlet side, and a few miles south, is Inlet Harbor Restaurant, another 2011 TOP 10 Florida Beach Bar. This colorful Caribbean style beach bar is right on the water and easily accessible by boat. Live music is played from the large indoor stage. It’s another beach bar with a hardworking staff that makes you feel at home and special.
Down the Hatch is on the Halifax River and accessible by boat or car or whatever means you choose. It is an old fishing camp that has gone through several transformations since the 1800's. Bet they never dreamed it would be one great Florida beach bar someday.
Walk a few steps away from the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Florida, you will find the Hidden Treasure Rum Bar and Grill. This uniquely painted restaurant has the charm of a cool Key West, Florida beach bar. There is a parking lot, but there are trees that grow up through the lot. It is a bit of a challenge on arrival so be extra careful on departure.
Jerry's Pizza and Italian Restaurant with Tiki Bar is one of Florida's coolest beach bars. Just head south along the beach on Ponce Inlet and look for a tiki hut in a parking lot. There is no water on this side of the street, but they get credit for the beach being across the street. However, don't let that stop you. This place has one of the most tropical and attractive tiki huts around....and there are a lot of them.
New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna Beach is just south of Daytona Beach and has a population of about 20,000 people. It is also the location of Toni & Joe's Patio and Chase’s on the Beach.
Toni & Joe's Patio is an old style Florida beach bar located right on the beach. Drive down the street or down the beach to get there. Toni & Joe's Patio has a small inside bar and large outside deck right that is in the sand. The outside stage has live entertainment on the weekend. Nothing fancy here, just a down and dirty pure Florida beach bar. It’s cash only at Toni and Joes.
Drive on the road or on the beach down to Chase’s on the Beach. a New Smyrna Beach landmark. There is a covered deck out by the beach or sit at the bar or a table. The restaurant draws people from the beach dressed in their bikinis and flips flops, and they mix well with the fully clothed people from the street. Crowd watching is part of the fun at any good Florida beach bar. There is even a cat that wanders from table to table looking for some tasty morsels. Even cats like Florida beach bars.