Sometimes life calls for a place where you can be unabashedly beachy. Where you can sing along to Jimmy Buffet tunes at the top of your lungs while sipping a brightly colored drink out of a coconut shell. (And don't forget the all-important paper umbrella!)
Here are a few of our favorite beach bars in South Florida, and remember: It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere … but it sure is best savored at one of these watering holes.
Courtesy of Guanabanas Restaurant
The immersive tropical atmosphere at Guanabanas is so well done it could be built by Disney Imagineers, with winding stone walkways, tiki torches and thatched roof cabanas all casting the spell of a Polynesian paradise. Come earlier in the day and rent a kayak or paddleboard at the adjoining Jupiter Outdoor Center, then end the day with dinner and drinks, watching the sun set. It's an ideal place to escape and catch a glimpse of the tropics.
What to Drink: Juice of the Gods (spiced rum, vodka, tequila, triple sec and amaretto shaken with pineapple, orange and cranberry juice)
Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, the Old Key Lime House is a neighborhood bar that just so happens to have a beach theme. It’s the spot to watch the Gators game, listen to live music, grab a drink in one of 4 bars or eat dinner on the dock, watching the boats leisurely drive by. Be sure to try a piece of their legendary key lime pie, which is so good that it’s been featured in Bon Appetit magazine.
What to Drink: Rum Runner (rum, blackberry brandy, banana liquor, lime juice and grenadine blended with ice -- add a floater of dark rum for an extra kick!)
This waterfront bar is so iconically beachy that country music star Alan Jackson filmed the "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" music video here. Get close to the water on the bar’s man-made beach, and check out the stunning views of the Jupiter inlet and lighthouse. This popular watering hole features live music 6 days a week, 2 bars and a 19-slip marina.
What to Drink: Hurricane (a mixture of light, dark and coconut rums mixed with Indian River fruit punch)
Steps off the public beach, the Aruba Beach Cafe is a boozy oasis for sunned beachgoers and visitors from all over. Three bars, a large dining area with fantastic ocean views, tropical decor and live island music all instantly set the lively Caribbean mood. Don’t miss the pig roast and 2-for-1 drink specials from 4-7 p.m. every Friday.
What to Drink: Guy’s Margaretta (Sauza Gold tequila, Grand Marnier and lime juice shaken with a splash of OJ)
Courtesy of Southermost Hotel Collection
Right on Key West’s sandy shores, this upscale hotel bar has all the makings for a beachy afternoon. Come early and rent a lounge chair right on the ocean (about $5 a day), and be first in line for the bar’s popular happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. Kick back and admire the picture-perfect views over strong cocktails and an order of conch fritters, all just a stone’s throw from the famous buoy that marks the "Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A."
What to Drink: Southern Medicine (Sweet Carolina Sweet Tea Flavored Vodka, lemonade, a splash of water and a fresh squeeze of lemon)