CORONAVIRUS NEWS UPDATE (March 19, 2020) — Statewide in Florida and locally around Amelia Island (in Nassau County), changes are fluid. Read “Restrictions at Florida Beaches, Bars, and Restaurants.”
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 opened this past year. Also, special tours including a BYOB adult river cruise, a mixology tour, distillery tours and a “Happy Hour History” pub crawl.
Casual Beach Bars
SALT LIFE FOOD SHACK
Located at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park, 17 North Fletcher Ave., phone 904-432-7385. From Salt Life’s second floor open air rooftop bar, the elevated ocean view is terrific. Its building design is impressive and the space is huge (5,500 SF inside plus 4,000 SF outside), including two bars. The blue hues of evening lighting along with glowing flames of tiki torches adds to the nighttime ambiance.
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. 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, 904-277-6652. Sliders offers two levels of dining and bars plus an outdoor tiki bar and patio near dunes facing ocean with live entertainment (both outside and inside).
Known for its outdoor deck, “The Surf” has been around for generations, located across the street from ocean at 3199 South Fletcher Avenue, 904-261-5711. Having undergone major renovations during 2018, the Surf now has an expansive deck (8,000 square feet).
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.
SALTY PELICAN BAR & GRILL, 12N Front Street 904-277-3811, near railroad tracks across from the Amelia River. 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.
GREEN TURTLE TAVERN located in downtown Fernandina at 14 South 3rd Street, 904-321-2324. Relaxed island vibe for cocktails and conversation including outdoor side porch seating.
THE AMELIA TAVERN — Fernandina brewpub, 318 Centre Street, 904-310-6088. In-house brews such as a Tavern Brown Ale and American IPA. Also serving craft beers (and full restaurant menu).
THE DECANTERY — 117 Centre Street. Downtown Fernandina’s wine, craft beer and cocktail lounge (plus retail store, purchase bottles to go). Also, homemade desserts and more.
BRETT’S WATERWAY CAFE at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina, 904-261-2660– 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 at 22 S. 3rd Street, 904-491-3322. The Florida House Inn circa 1857 is said to be the oldest continually-operated hotel in Florida. The Mermaid Bar, Mon. through Sat. (5 pm to 10 pm), serves “classic prohibition cocktails,” signature rum drink, the “Mermaid Slap,” plus crafts beers, house sangria, and bourbons.
PJD’s BEER & WINE GARDEN — (12 S. 2nd Street), 904-310-9314. Tucked into a cozy spot, there’s a snug outdoor courtyard. In 2019 they expanded into a new indoor bar area. PJD’s features a big variety of craft — over a hundred beer brands — plus selection of wine.
KARIBREW — Formerly a brewpub (but no longer brewing as of 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 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 downtown, call David’s 904-310-6049 for dinner reservations.
- 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. Tour offered seasonally during warmer weather months (weather permitting), with live music on board. Book reservations online 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 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.
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,” had been closed for years, but was revived and completely renovated by new owners/management. They also have a riverfront outdoor deck with Tiki Bar. A popular Fernandina seafood restaurant/bar with floating docks for mariners.
RITZ-CARLTON LOBBY BAR — 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, 904-277-1100. “Inspired by Bourbon Legends,” a daily Ritz ritual is “First Call,” presenting the day’s small batch, house-infused spirit, after it steeps in a special slow drip infuser. Make a selection from the wine list or try a specialty handcrafted cocktail (“Amelia’s Blossom” or “Sunset on Amelia.”)
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 slider menu — crab, salmon, BBQ pork, Philly steak, veggie or Buffalo chicken. Pool tables and big TVs (also serving 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, indoor and outdoor seating. Call 904-491-4242 for operating hours (summer vs. off season), entertainment schedule.
BARZIN BISTRO & WINE BAR — 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 from Palmetto Walk). 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.)
Also On The Island
LOCALS COCKTAIL LOUNGE – 869 Sadler Rd., Fernandina Beach, 904-775-5943. A popular nightlife spot featuring live musical entertainment and special events. Five billiard tables, outdoor patio with two fireplaces.
SADLER RANCH — 869 Sadler Rd., Fernandina Beach. This new country bar opened its doors on Amelia Island in early 2019. Music, line dancing.