Pubs, Tasting Tours, Beach Bars
From Fernandina’s downtown historic district to the Atlantic Ocean beaches, browse this listing of Amelia Island bars from one tip of the island to the other.
Below are popular venues to enjoy cocktails plus special tours including a BYOB adult river cruise, a mixology tasting tour, the downtown Fernandina distillery tours and a “Happy Hour History” pub crawl.
THE PALACE SALOON— Serving a signature cocktail called “Pirate’s Punch,” the Palace at 113 Centre St., (904)-491-3332, is the oldest continuously-operated drinking establishment in the state of Florida. While the building itself dates back to 1878, The Palace Saloon doors opened in 1903 and was known as the “ship captain’s bar.” The Palace Saloon’s 40-foot bar is a wonderful relic from the turn-of-the-century, surrounded by mosaic tile floors, embossed tin ceilings and murals painted on the walls.
THE AMELIA TAVERN — Fernandina’s newest brewpub located at 318 Centre Street, 904-310-6088.
The Amelia Tavern offers some in-house brews such as a Tavern Brown Ale and American IPA. When sampling beer, some may like to try the Tavern’s soft pretzel with its cheese dipping sauce. Also serving craft beers (and full restaurant menu).
SALTY PELICAN BAR & GRILL, 12N Front Street (904-277-3811), near railroad tracks across from the Amelia River. A very popular restaurant downtown, the Salty Pelican offers cocktails with a view, especially from the upstairs, and a large variety of craft beers. With its riverfront location, watch the sun go down from the Salty Pelican.
BRETT’S WATERWAY CAFE (904-261-2660) located at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina –Sip a Martini or beverage of choice while relaxing in rocking chairs and witness a gorgeous sunset over the Fernandina Harbor, a view available from the rear porch of Brett’s Waterway Cafe.
- TWILIGHT BYOB CRUISE aboard Amelia River Cruises, departing from the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina (904-261-9972). See a beautiful sunset and bring your own bottle to enjoy beer, wine or beverage of choice. Weather permitting, live music on board.
- MARLIN & BARREL DISTILLERY TOUR — Taste spirits at Fernandina’s distillery downtown at 115 South Second Street (321-230-4755). Available for purchase, the spirits include “Venture Vodka” and “Bearing Light Rum.” Marlin & Barrel Facebook page.
- DOWNTOWN MIXOLOGY TOUR — Described as an “on-the-go cocktail party,” this 2-hour tour includes four stops (about a half mile walk in between), tasting cocktails crafted by Amelia Island’s top bartenders. Advance ticket required, reservations at Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours website or call 904-330-5746.
- FERNANDINA PUB CRAWL TOUR — The Amelia Island Museum hosts “Happy Hour” history tours. Quench your thirst and hear tales of this Victorian-era seaport. One ticket to experience four pubs, a wealth of historical info about downtown Fernandina Beach. Amelia Island Museum website. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED, 904-261-7378.
GREEN TURTLE TAVERN located in downtown Fernandina at 14 South 3rd Street, 904-321-2324. The Green Turtle has nice atmosphere for cocktails and conversation including outdoor side porch seating (located next door to the Florida House Inn, see below).
THE MERMAID BAR at Florida House Inn — located downtown at 22 S. 3rd Street, 904-491-3322. The Florida House Inn circa 1857 is said to be the oldest continually-operated hotel in the state of Florida. Stop by the Inn’s pub Monday through Saturday from 5-10 pm for a beverage at The Mermaid Bar. Serving “classic prohibition cocktails” and their signature rum drink dubbed the “Mermaid Slap,” plus crafts beers, house sangris and a variety of bourbons.
PJD’s BEER & WINE GARDEN — (12 S. 2nd Street), 904-310-9314, is a new place that opened downtown in time for the summer season 2017. Tucked into a cozy spot, this snug outdoor courtyard setting features a variety of craft beers and wine.
KARIBREW — A brewpub located at 27 North 3rd Street adjacent to restaurant, Cafe Karibo, 904-277-5269. KARIBREW offers some in-house brews plus nice bar menu (Cafe Karibo itself is a favorite downtown restaurant of locals and visitors alike). Featuring “Happy Hour” half-priced drinks during weekdays, Mon. to Fri, from 3 to 6 pm.
DAVID’S — 802 Ash Street at corner of 8th Street. David’s offers a beautiful cocktail lounge with live entertainment some evenings and bar menu appetizers. For a fine dining experience in downtown Fernandina, call David’s at 904-310-6049 for dinner reservations.
Casual Beach Bars
THE SANDBAR & KITCHEN
The newest oceanfront bar/restaurant is The Sandbar & Kitchen at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park, 2910 Atlantic Avenue, (904)310-3648. Formerly the building that housed “Sandy Bottoms,” the space has been transformed with major renovations and a new interior design dubbed “the Main Beach pier.” This spot is one of only two beach bars on Amelia Island (located in non-resort property) that’s actually right on the beach with outdoor patio and bars overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. With new owners, new management, and a new menu, sample the culinary talents of Chef Susan Burdian (who relocated to Fernandina from the New York City restaurant scene).
SLIDERS SEASIDE GRILL
A landmark bar on Amelia Island at the beach, Sliders Seaside Grill is located at Fernandina’s Seaside Park, 1998 South Fletcher Avenue (904-277-6652), at the roundabout intersection of Sadler Road. Sliders has a true island vibe and features an outdoor tiki bar and patio facing the beach with live entertainment (both outside and inside). Valet parking is offered during busy summer season.
Sit on the open deck at “The Surf,” located across the street from the ocean at 3199 South Fletcher Avenue (904) 261-5711.
THE DOWN UNDER — 96106 Wade Place. Located under Amelia Island’s Shave Bridge on the river/intracoastal, this blast from the past is being revived with new owners/management (estimated opening is late August or early September 2017). This popular Fernandina seafood restaurant/bar located waterfront, with floating docks for mariners, had been closed for years. Some favorite fare (recipes of former chef, Brian McCarthy) will still be on the menu.
Southend Bars (Resort Area)
RITZ-CARLTON LOBBY BAR — 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, 904-277-1100. “Inspired by Bourbon Legends,” a daily Ritz ritual introduced in 2017 is “First Call,” presenting the day’s small batch, house-infused spirit, after it steeps for a dozen hours in a special slow drip infuser. Besides the featured bourbon experience, some may prefer a selection from the wine list or enjoy a specialty handcrafted cocktail (such as Ritz signature drinks, “Amelia’s Blossom” or “Sunset on Amelia.”) Dessert cocktails include “Salted Caramel Martini” and “Expresso Martini.” Or satisfy a sweet tooth by nibbling lobby bar desserts, including Salted Caramel Mousse, Pear Honey Verrine, The Ritz-Carlton Cake, or Key Lime Pie. Also available at the Lobby Bar, Ritz sushi chefs present the freshest seafood with house specialties including the “Amelia Roll.”
EIGHT SPORTS BAR — 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, 904-277-1100. Build your own burgers at the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton’s Eight Sports Bar or choose from the slider menu — crab, salmon, BBQ pork, Philly steak, veggie or Buffalo chicken. A casual sports bar with pool tables and big TVs that also offers nachos, pizza and wings.
THE FALCON’S NEST — Located within Omni Amelia Island Plantation resort. The Falcon’s Nest has two stories, 7,000 square feet, with indoor and outdoor seating, offering a dance floor and game room with pool tables, and pinball. The outdoor rear decking faces a natural setting of oak trees and a creek. Call 904-491-4242 for operating hours (summer vs. off season), entertainment schedule, special theme nights, and further information.
BARZIN BISTRO & WINE BAR — Popular on Amelia Island’s southend is Barzin, located in the Palmetto Walk shopping village at 4924 First Coast Highway, 904-310-6620. Happy Hour 4-6 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays.
BAXTER’S, located at 4919 First Coast Highway, 904-277-4503 (across the street from Palmetto Walk shopping village). With a long presence on Amelia Island’s southend, Baxter’s restaurant also offers a late night bar menu from 10 pm till midnight (soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and appetizers.)