Amelia Island Bars & Cocktail Tours
Pubs, Tasting Tours, Beach Bars
From Fernandina’s downtown historic district to the Atlantic Ocean beaches, browse this list of Amelia Island bars from one tip of the island to the other. Below are popular, established venues plus some new places that have opened this past year. Plus special tasting tours including a BYOB adult river cruise, a mixology 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. NEW IN 2018, NO SMOKING POLICY.
THE DECANTERY, 117 Centre Street. New Downtown! (Opened in January 2018.) Fernandina’s wine, craft beer and cocktail bar plus retail store (purchase bottles to go). Also, homemade desserts and more.
THE AMELIA TAVERN — Fernandina brewpub, 318 Centre Street, 904-310-6088.
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).
GREEN TURTLE TAVERN located in downtown Fernandina at 14 South 3rd Street, (904-321-2324). The Green Turtle has relaxed island vibe for cocktails and conversation including outdoor side porch seating (located next door to the Florida House Inn).
Cocktail Tours & More
- TWILIGHT BYOB CRUISE, 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, online reservations at Amelia River Cruises. (Ticket booth located at marina.)
- FERNANDINA PUB CRAWL TOUR — The Amelia Island Museum hosts “Happy Hour” history tours (typically held Thursday evenings beginning at 5:30 pm, must be 21). Quench your thirst and hear tales of this Victorian-era seaport. One ticket to experience a few pubs, sip a few cocktails and learn interesting historical info. Amelia Island Museum website. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED, 904-261-7378.
- MARLIN & BARREL DISTILLERY TOUR — Taste spirits at Fernandina’s distillery downtown at 115 South Second Street (321-230-4755). Bottled spirits available to buy include vodka, rum, gin and new in 2018, whiskey. Tours held Wednesday through Sunday, Marlin & Barrel website.
- 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 reservations required, see Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours, or call 904-330-5746.
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, a large variety of craft beers and lots of big screen TVs for sports. With its riverfront location, watch the sun go down from the Salty Pelican.
BRETT’S WATERWAY CAFE (904-261-2660) at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina — Sip a Martini or beverage of choice while relaxing in rocking chairs and watch the sun sink into the river from the rear porch of Brett’s Waterway Cafe.
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 sangria and a variety of bourbons.
PJD’s BEER & WINE GARDEN — (12 S. 2nd Street), 904-310-9314. Tucked into a cozy spot, this snug outdoor courtyard setting features a big variety of craft — over a hundred beer brands — plus selection of wine. (Note: This outside venue closes during stormy weather.)
KARIBREW — Formerly a brewpub (no longer brewing as of spring 2018), located at 27 North 3rd Street adjacent to popular restaurant, Cafe Karibo, 904-277-5269. The bar features “Happy Hour” half-priced drinks weekdays, Tues. to Fri, from 3 to 6 pm, and a great food menu.
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.
THE DOWN UNDER — 96106 Wade Place. 904-310-6211. Located under Amelia Island’s Shave Bridge on the river/intracoastal, this “blast from the past” has been revived by new owners/management. This popular Fernandina seafood restaurant/bar with floating docks for mariners reopened in autumn 2017 after major renovations.
LOCALS COCKTAIL LOUNGE – 869 Sadler Rd., Fernandina Beach (904)775-5943. Popular island bar with casual atmosphere, a nice place to play pool with five billiard tables, non-smoking indoors. Outdoor patio with two fireplaces (smoking allowed outside). Locals’ bartender PJ won the 2017 Amelia Island craft cocktail competition for her creation called the “Apricotta.” Weekly schedule of live musical entertainment, bands. Dog lovers monthly “Yappy Hour,” event (owners can bring dogs to socialize, first weekend Saturdays).
Casual Beach Bars
THE SANDBAR & KITCHEN
Located at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park, 2910 Atlantic Avenue, (904)310-3648. Enjoy coastal cocktails at seaside setting right on the beach. Located in the building that formerly housed “Sandy Bottoms,” the space has been transformed with major renovations and a new interior design dubbed “the Main Beach pier.” Outside bar on oceanfront patio, two bars inside (also serving lunch & dinner).
SLIDERS SEASIDE GRILL
A landmark beach bar/restaurant on Amelia Island for over 50 years, Sliders Seaside Grill is located oceanfront at Fernandina’s Seaside Park, 1998 South Fletcher Avenue (904-277-6652). Sliders offers two levels of dining and bars plus an outdoor tiki bar and patio near the sand dunes facing Atlantic Ocean with live entertainment (both outside and inside). A very popular island venue, valet parking during busy summer season.
Known for its deck, “The Surf” has been around for generations, located across the street from ocean at 3199 South Fletcher Avenue, (904) 261-5711. THE DECK IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED, being completely rebuilt with big upgrades (estimated reopening June 2018). The “new” Surf Café has now opened, featuring healthy, refreshing options from poke bowls, sandwiches, organic smoothies & coffee, and Leopold’s ice-cream. (Breakfast served 7-11 am & the café is open 7am- 10pm.) Just in time for summer season 2018, the Surf’s new, expansive deck (8,000 square feet), will offer seafood, beverages, and live music.
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.”
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.)