Best Beach Bars Pensacola
You don’t have to leave the beach to get a buzz going. In fact, we recommend staying. Stumbling back to the Surf & Sand Hotel on foot is the preferred mode of transportation. Make sure to hit these bars on your journey.
Don’t even bother brushing the sand off your feet at this grungy dive sitting on the edge of the beach. The Dock is where thirsty and overheated beachgoers go to cool off with something frozen and alcoholic. The outdoor bar area has a row of frozen drink machines, all ready to fill your cup with frigid fun. On Wednesday night, Drinkin’ with Lincoln at The Dock features a live DJ set, crazy cash paying dance contests and lets you drink from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for just a $5 cover charge. (Get it … Lincoln is on the $5 bill.)
Simply known as “The Shaker” by locals. This legendary beach dive has been around for decades, renowned for its delicious frozen cocktail, the Bushwacker. Back in the 1970s, the previous owner of the smoky lounge brought back a drink recipe from St. Thomas. After some experimentation and several broken blenders later, the drink became a hit with the Pensacola locals, and the rest was history. The Shaker has live music, tons of locals and a sweet rooftop deck to catch a great view and feel the breeze. The best part? It’s right next to Surf & Sand.
‘The Best Backyard on the Beach.’ Red Fish Blue Fish is on the calmer, more laidback soundside on the island. The entire restaurant is made out of shipping containers, making it one of the most unique looking spots on the island. The staff is super friendly, and the breeze is always blowing through the open air bar. There are tons of games on the lawn and specialty drinks, such as the Blue Fish Bucket, featuring five different flavors of rum and a rainbow of fruit juices in a 32-ounce bucket. (Hang onto the bucket for some adorable sandcastles later.) Oh, and it just happens to be one of the best spots to catch a sunset. (Note: although partying here is always a good night, this is a family-friendly place.)
We’re gonna need a bigger bar. In all seriousness, The Islander has been around since the 1950s, and it’s where locals go let loose. (Yes, those are stripper poles.) You won’t get any views of the beach or romantic scenery here, but that’s just fine by us. This dark cavern of a dive in a tiny beach strip mall has a DJ spinning every night. And forget about happy hour, because the happy hour at The Islander is a whopping 8 hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyways, go to The Islander when you’re looking for a crazy night.
Located right by the Pensacola Beach Pier, Casino Beach Bar & Grille has some of the most breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you grab a seat at the bar to watch the game, a high top beachside or even a beach lounger right on the sugary sand, CBB is one of the most polished bars on the island. Grab a specialty drink like the Painkiller or the Emerald Coast and settle in for one of the best sunset spots on Gulfside. (Casino also happens to have one of the most decadent Bushwackers on the island, and it’s made with ice cream!) Oh, and the Blue Angels do their Sunday flyover right by the pier, so keep your eyes peeled!
Going to Peg Leg Pete’s is just part of the Pensacola experience. Well-known for its oyster bar and seafood, Peg Leg Pete’s has an Under Where Bar just downstairs. Try the Shipwreck — a punch with three different rums and a sweet souvenir cup. (Hang onto the cup because the next one is $1 off.) This concoction is super sweet and does a pretty good job of hiding the alcohol, so you might find yourself going from 0 to 60 in a hurry.
You may have already heard whispers of the infamous ‘Diesel Fuel’ on Pensacola Beach. Well, all of the stories you’ve heard are true. The Diesel Fuel features double shots of rum, gin, vodka and triple sec with sour mix and good old-fashioned classic Coke. Where do you take on this beast? Flounder’s Chowder House. This outdoor bar and restaurant has a killer backyard, complete with beach volleyball courts, live music, lounge chairs and a dock stretching way out into the sound. Don’t even dream of getting more than two of Diesel Fuels, because there’s a limit. Yeah, it’s party time.
Right behind the Paradise Inn is a sleepy little bar called Paradise. Located right on the sound, in the middle of a 1950s era beach hotel, the Paradise is a slice of old Florida that hasn’t changed since it started. This all-ages hangout features live performances by award-winning musicians on their open-air stage. (Even the likes of Jimmy Buffett have performed on this stage.) It’s not uncommon to see thirsty locals swim up to Paradise for a drink or just to catch one of the best sunsets on the island. If you’re on the prowl for another Bushwacker, Paradise has one of the best on the beach. This smaller, less creamy offshoot is widely accepted as favorite among locals. (They even have a variety of awesome flavors!) Since you’re cool, we don’t mind telling you this is one of the best-kept secrets on the island. (Shhh, let’s keep it that way.)