Bar crawls are fun. Bus loops are even better. But come on. This is South Florida. We can do better than that.
At least, that's the thinking behind Angel Sanchez's Vitamin C Nightlife and its Miami-based boat bar crawl, a four-hour tour that takes patrons bar-hopping by boat from Miami's Bayside Marketplace to Key Biscayne.
Originally organized as a nightlife promotions company, Vitamin C Nightlife expanded its focus in 2013 to include a variety of daytime excursions including food- and drink-based bar crawls. Grub and Pub Tours (grubandpubtour.com) now offers several walking tours that take participants to six establishments where they receive complimentary food and drink samples in places like Brickell, South Beach, Wynwood, and Coral Gables. Another brand, Keep Crawling Pub Crawls (keepcrawling.com), organizes bar crawls that include places like Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables, Wynwood, Tampa, and Orlando.
Taking the idea one step further, last year the company partnered with the Miami water taxi to establish its first Boat Bar Crawl, a water-based bar crawl that takes place on Saturdays. According to Boat Bar Crawl event coordinator Andras Bendeguz, the Miami-based boat bar crawl was such a hit, the company decided to expand farther north this summer.
"It was so very successful, we thought, 'Why not bring this to Fort Lauderdale next?'" says Bendeguz.
Every Saturday, starting May 30, a 35-seat water taxi will take willing patrons through a carefully planned tour of Fort Lauderdale's waterways, making four stops from 5 to 10 p.m. The boat bar crawl meets outside Briny Irish Pub on the New River and kicks off with a check-in beverage before the three- to four-hour voyage gets underway. Along the way, participants receive a free shot or drink at each location, as well as complimentary beer aboard the boat.
To date, the Miami events have been popular with bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, and groups of tourists looking to explore the area by water, says Bendeguz. It's also a great way for people to make new friends or discover new places.
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"It's very rewarding to see the connections people make and how they stay and hang out after the event," says Bendeguz. "The crowd is always fun."
Just don't be late. According to the Boat Bar Crawl website, the water taxi operates by the pirate's code: Anybody who falls behind is left behind.
The Fort Lauderdale Boat Bar Crawl launches Saturday, May 30. Use the promo code "crawl" for discounted tickets at checkout via boatbarcrawl.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.