If you like sipping margaritas with your toes in the sand, check out these beach bars in Florida

I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan of casual, take your shoes off, beach bars. Don’t get me wrong, I love my 4″ Louboutins, but there’s something special about sipping a tropical beverage with the sand between your toes. And that’s exactly what you can do at these beach bars on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to America’s best beaches so it makes perfect sense that this is also where you’ll find some of the best beach bars. St. Pete Beach was recently named one of the Best Places to Travel in 2022 by Travel + Leisure magazine. If that’s not reason enough to visit, perhaps these beach bars can help convince you.

Beach Bars in Florida's Gulf Coast
Top beach bars in Florida

5 Must-Visit Beach Bars in Florida

Without further ado, here are five beach bars that I loved in Florida, check them out!

1. TT’s Tiki Bar

TT's Tiki Bar in Florida
Photo credit: luxurysolotravel

Florida is known as the sunshine state with some of the best beaches in the world and the beaches in Punta Gorda are no exception. Enjoy the fresh ocean air, with your toes in the sand along the beautiful Charlotte Harbor at TT’s Tiki Bar. This open-air bar is found at the Four Points by Sheraton Harborside.

At TT’s, you’ll experience stunning sunsets, mouth-watering cocktails and top-notch cuisine. Feeling athletic? Jump in on a game of volleyball then kick back in one of their colourful Adirondack chairs. TT’s Tiki Bar also boasts Punta Gorda’s best lineup of live entertainment on the weekends. What’s not to love about sipping margaritas at sunset while listening to live music?

TT’s was the very first place I went after my flight landed in Florida. I threw my bags in my hotel room and headed straight to this beach bar for a Margarita. I was visiting with a group of friends and we shared several appetizers. The loaded nachos were my favourite dish but everyone else loved the Pretzel Bites.

If you are travelling by boat, TT’s Tiki Bar has several spots on its dock for you to tie up. See for yourself why Sail Magazine named Charlotte Harbor one of the “Top Ten Greatest Places to Sail” in the United States. With one of the longest happy hours in town, 12 pm – 6 pm Monday to Friday, this is definitely one of the best bars on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

2. Cruisin’ Tikis

Cruisin' Tiki Bar in St. Petersburgh, Florida
Photo credit: Lisa Zral

These floating tiki bars are unique and so much fun that we had to include them as one of the best beach bars in Florida. While they aren’t located on the beach, they certainly offer the best views in town as they cruise through the water.

Hop on your cruise with the St. Pete Pier Tiki Boat Cruise and enjoy up to five hours of fun. Each floating Cruisin’ Tiki holds six passengers and comes with a captain to drive you and your friends around.

They have a freshwater sink and a cooler full of ice onboard. They don’t serve drinks, you get to bring your own alcohol. I love this feature because not only do you get to drink exactly what you like, but it’s a whole lot more cost-effective.

Their onboard Bluetooth speakers ensure that every cruise is a party so have your favourite playlists ready to go. Not just one of the best beach bars on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Cruisin’ Tiki has 26 locations with over 50 floating Tiki bars all across the United States, including Madeira Beach.

3. Salty’s Tiki Bar & Beach Lounge

Saltys Beach Lounge
Photo credit: TradeWinds Island Resorts

Located on the backside of the Island Grand Beach Resort, you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy this gorgeous space. Salty’s Tiki Bar & Beach Lounge is open to the public and welcomes all.

Salty’s is said to be one of St. Pete Beach’s best-kept secrets. It’s so popular that they’ve recently expanded, extending the tiki bar from the adult pool deck all the way onto the beach. Meaning that you are able to sit back, relax and dig your toes in the sand.

St. Pete Beach currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest number of consecutive sunny days in the world. It’s an astonishing 785 days! With all that sunshine, it’s always the right time to visit St. Pete Beach and Salty’s Tiki Bar.

Salty’s offers light bites and tropical beverages all day long. They have the self-proclaimed Best Wings on the Beach. I didn’t try them, so if you do please let me know how they are. I am a huge fan of Coconut Shrimp and theirs comes with sweet Thai chilli and pineapple dipping sauce – yes, please!

4. The Sandbox Beach Lounge

SandBox Beach Bar
Photo credit: TradeWinds Island Resorts

Right next door to Salty’s is the neighbouring RumFish Beach Resort and it also has a gorgeous and inviting beach bar called The SandBox Beach Lounge. I was staying at the resort with a group and we headed straight to the bar after checking in. I do that a lot 😉

When we arrived, there were several people sitting at the bar. We joined in and visited over our welcome cocktails. I suggest their signature cocktail, the Island Escape, consisting of banana liqueur, piña colada, melon liqueur, light rum and Chambord.

Pina Coladas are great to drink at beach bars in Florida

It’s a delicious tropical drink that’s just the right amount of sweetness. Wanting to stay longer, but needing to head out for our dinner reservations, we said that we’d be back later that evening.

As promised, after dinner we headed back to The Sandbox. This time, instead of sitting at the bar we were eyeing up the firepit tables. It was shortly after sunset and drinks around a fire sounded lovely.

After ordering our drinks, that’s exactly where we went. None of the fires were lit, but after asking if we could have a fire, the bartender promptly lit one for us. We thoroughly enjoyed our sunset drinks with our toes in the sand watching the flames flicker.

Both The Sandbox Beach Lounge and Salty’s Tiki Bar & Beach Lounge are part of the TradeWinds Island Resorts group in St. Pete Beach. Conveniently located side-by-side, you can hit up both of these beach bars during the same visit to Florida. Which, obviously, I highly recommend as they are both amazing resorts.

5. HiFi Rooftop Bar

Sunset from Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar at Fenway Hotel
Photo credit: Visit St. Pete Clearwater Tourism Board

Okay, this last beach bar on Florida’s Gulf Coast is for those of you who appreciate a great cocktail with sunset views over the ocean where you can keep your shoes on. This isn’t a beach bar, but rather a bar with incredible views of the beach. Bonus, it’s located inside the stylist Fenway Hotel so you won’t have to go far to turn in for the night.

Built in 1924, the Fenway Hotel is an icon of the jazz age. Its location couldn’t be more idyllic as it faces Caladesi and Honeymoon Islands, which were both named top beaches in the world. As you can see in the image above, the sunset views are nothing short of amazing.

I was fortunate enough to arrive for a sunset cocktail and witness the colours change from yellow to orange as the sun went down. Fittingly, I ordered a Fenway Sunset, made with gin, elderflower, lemon and simple syrup. It was as pretty as it was delicious.

I hope I’ve convinced you to book a trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast to check out some of its incredible beaches and beach bars. You won’t be disappointed, trust me. My trip was unfortunately cut short by Hurricane Ian so I can’t wait to go back and explore more.

beach bar with wooden stools

Looking for more fun activities in Florida? Check out why Disney is an awesome place to visit without kids. It’s way more fun as an adult. Think more roller coasters and winery lunches than toon town rides. If casual vacations are your vibe, I also think you’ll love Tulum. Happy travels!