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East Central Florida


East Central Florida begins at the Space Coast in the north and extends 72 miles to Palm Bay. It’s called the Space Coast because of its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center. Space Coast cities include; Titusville, Cocoa Beach and Melbourne.

Awhile back with the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the U.S. manned space flight program drew to a close. At least for now it has ended. Shuttle launches may have come to an end, but rocket launches haven’t. Unmanned rockets still launch from the Kennedy Space Center. You may have a hard time finding an astronaut, but not some of a rocket’s red glare.


  Shuttle Launch Pad  
  Kennedy Space Center | Cape Canaveral – The shuttle launches have come to an end. But you can still catch a rocket launch and they are very exciting as well.  


Just south is Florida's Treasure Coast, aptly named for the discovery of sunken treasures in the Atlantic Ocean. The Treasure Coast stretches from Sebastian in the north to below Hobe Sound in the south, including all of the coastal counties of Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin. Among the space technology and hidden treasures, you'll find some great Florida beach bars.

Port Canaveral
Just south of the Kennedy Space Center is Port Canaveral, a cruise, cargo and naval port and one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Over a million passengers a year start their cruises here. If they arrive a bit early you may find them on Glen Cheek Drive, on the south side of the port, enjoying a local band at one of the local beach bars. Parking is plentiful, and all of these Florida Beach Bars are within walking distance of one another.


  Port Canaveral  
  Port Canaveral Port Canaveral is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Each year over 1 million passengers make their way through the port. Some of the cruise lines using the dock are Carnival, Disney, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean International.  

Just south of the Kennedy Space Center is Port Canaveral, a cruise, cargo and naval port and one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Over a million passengers a year start their cruises here. If they arrive a bit early you may find them on Glen Cheek Drive, on the south side of the port, enjoying a local band at one of the beach bars. Parking is plentiful, and all of these Florida Beach Bars are within walking distance of one another.

Fishlips Bar and Grill is located in The Cove at the Port and has an upper deck that provides a great view of the waterfront. You can sit on the upper deck and watch the ships come and go. There is a large stage at Fishlips beach bar, and you can catch great live entertainment most days. You might even catch a rocket launch, too. The views are pretty good at this Florida beach bar.

Grills Tiki Bar has two locations, one in nearby Melbourne and the other at Port Canaveral next to Freddie Patrick Park. Grills features a waterfront dining room and outdoor tiki bar and stage. Dine and drink in air conditioned inside or enjoy Florida’s great weather outside.

Rusty’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, located on the waterfront, is a large restaurant with lots of seating, but off to the side is a little outside bar. The outside bar at Rusty's has a small stage, and on weekends Rusty's does have live entertainment.


  Milliken’s Reef | Port Canaveral  
  Milliken’s Reef | Port Canaveral - Milliken’s Reef is a beautifully designed Bahamian style restaurant that features three fully stocked bars, friendly bartenders, and a man-made beach.  

Milliken’s Reef is a beautifully designed Bahamian style restaurant that features three fully stocked bars, friendly bartenders, and a man-made beach. There is a piano bar in the dining area. The Hook-Up bar is a covered outside patio with a great view of the water, the sand, and the band. And, of course, there is a tiki bar that overlooks the water, and provides a great spot to view the cruise ships arriving and departing the Port.

Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach is just south of the Space Center and gained popularity during the development of the U.S. Space Program. It was also the setting for the 1960's sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie", but no episodes were actually filmed there. Barbara Eden did make 2 publicity appearances in 1969. I Dream of Jeannie Lane in Cocoa Beach is a street named after the show.

Cocoa Beach was the playground of early astronauts. The seven original Mercury Astronauts invested in the Cape Colony Resort, now the La Quinta Inn Cocoa Beach. There is a commemorative plaque outside by the front pool entrance. There were motels named after space themes like The Sea Missile and Satellite.

Even though the shuttle program has ended, Cocoa Beach is still a great place to watch an occasional rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center. It is also home to the world famous Ron Jon Surf Shop open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


  Cocoa Beach Pie  
  Cocoa Beach Pier | Cocoa Beach – Cocoa Beach Pier, but this is way more than an ordinary fishing pier. Established in 1962 and extending 800 feet over the Atlantic, this fishing pier is home to several beach bars including, the Boardwalk, and the Mai Tiki Bar at the very end of the pier.  


This stretch of beaches has plenty of Florida beach bars. At the northern tip of the beach is Cocoa Beach Pier, but this is way more than an ordinary fishing pier. Established in 1962 and extending 800 feet over the Atlantic, this fishing pier is home to four beach bars including the Mai Tiki Bar at the very end of the pier. This is old Florida at its best. There is nothing quite like being perched over the ocean and enjoying a drink at the Mai Tiki Bar or the Boardwalk.  Imagine this.  In the early 60’s, people could actually drive their cars up onto the boardwalk.

Other Cocoa Beach Florida beach bars are the Beach Shack, Coconuts on the Beach, and the Sandbar Sports Grill. The Sandbar is a small but mighty Florida beach bar. There is an indoor restaurant that looks like a combination of an old fashioned diner and an old beach bar. The outside bar is shaded by umbrellas, and it is inviting as well. The Sandbar is the home of the fish taco and is also famous for their Category 5 Hurricane drinks. Can you handle one?

The Beach Shack is located right on the sands of Cocoa Beach next door to Coconuts. The Beach Shack is a no frills Florida beach bar, doesn't’t serve food, but they do serve up a good time and lots of blues music.


  Coconuts On the Beach  
  Coconuts on the Beach | Cocoa BeachThis top rated Florida beach bar has music daily, is right on the beach, and is a favorite of locals and visitors.  


One of the most popular beach bars on Cocoa Beach is Coconuts on the Beach. This toes-in-the-sand beach bar has music daily starting at 2 PM. You can show up in your bathing suit or your best shorts. The large deck extends onto the beach, and the live entertainment goes into the late evening hours.

Melbourne Beach
Just south of the Space Coast is the Treasure Coast and places like Sebastian Beach Inn on Melbourne Beach. As their menu points out, "If you look due east at the ocean, you may be looking at real sunken treasure”. In 1715 a fleet of ships returning to returning to Spain filled with gold and silver from the New World sunk off the Melbourne Beach shore. You are invited to walk their small beach and see if you can find any treasures that may have washed up on shore. Treasure aside, this is a terrific little beach bar that sits smack dab on the Atlantic Ocean, and is the last remaining coastal watch station dating back to World War II.


  Sebastian Beach Inn  
  Sebastian Beach Inn | Melbourne Beach Sebastian Inn was originally built as a Coastal Watch Station during World War II. In the 60s and 70s the bar's Bahama Mama drink became legendary. Those who finished the drink wrote their names on the walls and ceiling. On that list were astronauts and the first Soviet Cosmonaut.  


Other Melbourne beach bars include; Bonefish Willy's Riverfront Grille, Grills Riverside Deck & Tiki Bar, Sand on the Beach Bar and Grill, and Squid Lips. Some are on the beach and others are on the Indian River. Bonefish Willy's Riverfront Grille is located on the Indian River in Melbourne and is known for their delicious food. This Florida beach bar is housed in what looks like an old Florida cracker style home. It exudes charm. There is even a front porch.

Just south on US 1 is Squid Lips, a waterfront restaurant and tiki bar also located on the beautiful Indian River. This Florida beach bar apparently decided they needed a beach, so they built one. Sit on the shore with your cold drink and enjoy the view.


  Grill's Riverside Deck and Tiki Bar  
  Grill's Riverside Deck and Tiki Bar | Melbourne – Grill's Riverside Deck and Tiki Bar, sister bar to Grill’s at Port Canaveral, is located on the shores of the Indian River.  


Grill's Riverside Deck and Tiki Bar, sister bar to Grill’s at Port Canaveral, is located on the shores of the Indian River. Grill’s exudes fun, youth and a waterfront charm. The center bar draws the crowd who just wants a cold drink, to watch the TVs, or make new friends. There is a large stage and bands play often and long.


Sebastian

Sebastian Florida is part of the Treasure Coast and located approximately midway through the east coast of the Florida Peninsula. The “Welcome to Sebastian” sign reads Home of Pelican Island (the first designated wildlife refuge in the United States), Friendly People, and Six Old Grouches. Stay away from the grouches. It is also home to a couple of Florida Beach Bars. Captain Hiram’s SandBar | Sebastian – This place is something else. It features three full service bars: the SandBar, Coral Bar, and Scoops. All three overlook the Indian River.

Captain Hiram’s SandBar is something else. It features three full service bars: the SandBar, Coral Bar, and Scoops. All three overlook the Indian River. There is an authentic lifeboat from the Sky Princess Cruise ship used as a cover for seating. The large bandstand accommodates all kinds of bands and many of them are nationally known and eager to play at the SandBar. The smaller band area provides a more intimate setting for some of your favorite local bands. Local bands play at the Sandbar every day and mostly twice a day. Can't beat that. Don’t miss this place!



  Captain Hiram’s SandBar  
  Captain Hiram’s SandBar | Sebastian – This place is something else. It features three full service bars: the SandBar, Coral Bar, and Scoops. All three overlook the Indian River.  


Just down the street on Indian River Drive is Squid Lips, a beach bar that sits on a pier in Sebastian, Florida. You can come by car or via your boat. Squid Lips has music during the weekend, and the patrons really appreciate a good and lively band. Choose a table by the window and enjoy the views of the water and incoming boat traffic.

Fort Pierce
Fort Pierce is the home of the Original Tiki Bar. Don't let the name fool you, this is the original Fort Pierce Tiki bar, but quite a place nonetheless. It's located on the Indian River. In 2004 Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne did some damage to the Original Tiki Bar, but crews worked four months round the clock, and the tiki bar opened up again December 31, 2004. That is beach bar love.

Cobb's Landing is located on the waterfront in downtown Ft. Pierce and offers a casual, tropical atmosphere. The patio overlooks the Marina. Head over to the Mojito Bar and order Cobb’s featured Pineapple Mojito.

Archie’s Seabreeze is a special kind of beach bar across the street from the beach. Archie’s is a collection bars, buildings, and beach artifacts. Archie's was established in 1947 as a military shack that served beer to soldiers stationed on South Beach. Patty McGee purchased Archie's In 1994, and as it says on their web site, made this a “feel at home place where you can put your feet up, relax and enjoy an Atlantic breeze, live entertainment, a fresh delicious meal and a refreshing beverage”. It is all that, indeed.



  Archie's Seabreeze  
  Archies Seabreeze | Fort PierceArchies web site calls this a "feel at home" place where you can put your feet up, relax and enjoy an Atlantic breeze, Live Entertainment, a fresh delicious meal and a refreshing beverage." It is!  


There are plenty more treasures found on this coast, treasures in the form of great little beach bars. And if you can't find them on A1A, just travel inland a bit to the inlets and bays. While these bars may not be on the beach, they have music, food, and are on or by the water. That's not half bad.

Stuart
Stuart, also part of the Treasure Coast, is an east coast city bordered by the St. Lucie and Indian Rivers. Here you will find Manatee Island Bar and Grill owned by “a couple of old restaurant guys from the northeast who swore we’d never move back up to the cold”. They say it’s “It's always Island Time at Manatee Island Bar & Grill”.

Manatee Island Bar and Grill has live entertainment and good food. These two things make for a great Florida beach bar. You can choose to be inside, or make the wise choice and sit at the tiki bar. You can get to Manatee Island Bar by land or by sea. Pull in and park or dock and enjoy a great time at Manatee Island Bar and Grill. This old style beach bar is complete with tiki hut and live music Wednesday through Sunday.



  Manatee Island Bar and Grill | Stuart  
  Manatee Island Bar and Grill | StuartYou can choose to be inside, or make the wise choice and sit at the tiki bar. You can get to Manatee Island Bar by land or by sea. Pull in and park or dock and enjoy a great time at Manatee Island Bar and Grill.  


Sailor's Return is nestled on Sunset Bay Harbor and Marina in Stuart. This Florida beach bar has one of the prettiest and most picturesque waterfront locations in the area. There is the restaurant, and then there is the Jolly Sailor outside Florida beach bar. The Jolly Sailor is shaded by triangular sails, and this feels very nautical. This feature gives this Florida beach bar a real contemporary feel as well. It really creates a beautiful effect.


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References

Wikipedia, Port Canaveral, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Canaveral
Wikipedia, Cocoa Beach Florida, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocoa_Beach,_Florida
Florida A vintage Cape Canaveral Tour - http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/cape-canaveral.html
Sebastian Inn Web Site, History page, http://www.sbiseaside.com
 
 
 
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