We have our share of city life and plenty of swampland, but sandy beaches give Florida its good name. Combine beaches with alcohol, and you get Florida's most cherished natural resource: the beach bar.
Throughout Broward County, there are myriad examples of this specimen. Some are on the beach with a view of the surf and bodies barely covered by bathing suits. Others on the list are miles from the shore but bring you to that beach state of mind. Without further ado, here are the ten best beach bars in Broward County.
10. GG's Waterfront Bar & Grill
Located on the Intracoastal, this restaurant offers you a fancy version of a beach bar. The interior has 10,000 feet of space, and just about every seat has a spectacular view of the waterway. Depending on your feelings about air conditioning, the premium seating is outside on the deck where sunsets and full moons can be enjoyed.
9. Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar
This Fort Lauderdale Beach spot on Galt Ocean Mile advertises itself as Fort Lauderdale's only tiki bar on the beach. It offers a full menu, but the highlight comes every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. when the bar features a Floribbean pig roast buffet for $14.95.
8. Taco Beach Shack
Right off of Hollywood Beach are what this paper dubbed the county's best tacos a few years back. With a drink menu chockfull of frozen drinks, a wide beer selection, and red and white sangria, it is as good a spot as any to cool off and refresh before your next stint in the sun.
McSorley's Beach Pub is an Irish version of a beach bar. Within a stone's throw of Fort Lauderdale Beach, this establishment has drink specials every night, with two-for-one happy hours on weekdays and premium drink specials on weekends. The rooftop lounge gives you a view and tempts you to head out for a night swim — which may not be wise depending on how many drinks you've had.
Yes, this Fort Lauderdale landmark is miles from the beach, but take one step into the Polynesian-themed tiki bar, and you will be transported to a time and place that might or might not have ever existed. Founded in 1955, the historic restaurant draws visitors from around the world, especially every June when the Hukilau, a tiki convention, takes over, and Hawaiian ukuleles fill the air.
5. Jimbo's Sandbar
This Hollywood seaside locale has 220 feet of waterfront views along the Intracoastal. While there is no sand in the vicinity, as you drink under Jimbo's thatched roof there's always the possibility of hitching a ride on one of the boats sailing past you to a nearby tropical isle.
4. Elbo Room
One of Fort Lauderdale Beach's oldest bars harkens back to the days when Fort Lauderdale was a mecca for spring breakers. If you want cheap drinks, live music, beachy vibes, and the occasional wet T-shirt contest, you can either head to Elbo Room or check your closet for an old VHS tape of Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise.
3. Nick's Bar & Grill
At just about any time from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can stagger directly from the hot sand or the warm waters of Hollywood Beach to this stone landmark and get yourself a cold drink. There's great people watching as you sit outside and compare tan lines.
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2. Bahia Cabana
This hotel bar for the Days Inn Bahia Cabana Resort overlooking Bahia Mar Marina has a throwback feel. Every visit forces you to consider stepping into its pool or hot tub with your fruity drink in hand. Boating Magazine dubbed the Fort Lauderdale Beach staple the “world's best dockside patio bar & restaurant." While we're normally not ones for hyperbole, it's hard to come up with a better choice for that honor.
1. Quarterdeck Dania Beach
Not just on the beach, this Dania Beach spot hovers over the water. Located on a pier, it is a place where you can sip a beer as you watch the waves crash onto the shore. It's been in operation for 30 years since Paul Flanigan converted it from his uncle's Big Daddy Liquor Store and Lounge. If it starts storming, you can head inside, but the huge outside covered bar keeps you sheltered from the sun and all but the most vicious storms.