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.
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.
- 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.
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).
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 DECANTERY — 117 Centre Street. Downtown Fernandina’s newest wine, craft beer and cocktail lounge (plus retail store, purchase bottles to go). Also, homemade desserts and more.
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 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, 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 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.
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 last year after major renovations.
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.
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 was transformed last year, 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 (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). Popular island venue, valet parking during 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. Just in time for summer season 2018, the Surf’s new, expansive deck (8,000 square feet), reopened in June featuring seafood and more. Wednesdays “Wings & Karaoke,” — wings at 5 pm, sing at 7 pm. The “new” Surf Café serves breakfast (plus poke bowls, sandwiches, organic smoothies, coffee, ice cream).
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.)