5 BEST BARS TO STOP FOR A COCKTAIL IN AMELIA ISLAND

5 BEST BARS TO STOP FOR A COCKTAIL IN AMELIA ISLAND

 

 

When traveling to historic Fernandina Beach, what better way to enjoy your vacation than stopping for a cocktail on the way to dinner? Whether you are looking for a craft cocktail, a glass of champagne, or a cold beer, these are 5 of the best bars in Amelia Island to stop for a cocktail.

THE PALACE SALOON

I love the history behind the oldest bar in Florida. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Fernandina was a bustling port, and the ship captains frequented ‘The Palace‘ when in Amelia Island. You can’t miss the photo-ready pirate outside. When you step inside the dark room, you’ll need a minute for your eyes to adjust from the bright Florida sun. Sit at the old wooden bar that probably had stayed the same since 1903 when this Amelia Island bar opened. You can dance or listen to live music most nights. Check out the telephone booth in the corner and the vintage murals on the walls. I don’t understand them, but they are fascinating. Be sure and try one of their pirate punches. I hear they are dangerous, so sip carefully.

However, one of the coolest features of this Amelia Island institution is the THREE other bar rooms hidden behind the main room. Each with a distinctive personality. Next to the front bar hangs a tiny sign leading to room two, which contains a few tables and an old-timey cigarette machine that appears to be fully stocked and working. A doorway leads to another room with a ‘pool hall’ setting. Behind the pool room is an outdoor beer garden-type space with a raised wooden concert stage.

And I thought there was only live music and a pirate.

THE DECANTERY

This well-designed cocktail lounge is owned by the same people as the Palace Saloon but has an entirely different vibe. The sophisticated ‘lounge’ has an old Hollywood feel with elegant velvet couches, beautiful old wall mirrors, a wine store, and craft cocktails. The Decantery also has decadent desserts, and I love the elegant layered cakes displayed on cake stands by the entry.


Try the ‘lavender kiss’ served in a delicate coupe, which makes it fun to drink. Oh, and it is purple. But not too sweet. Or order a charcuterie board and an old fashioned smoked at the table. I hear the espresso martinis are fantastic too. But my favorite feature of this Amelia Island cocktail bar is ‘Champagne Wednesday’ when they offer Veuve Clicquot and three other choices by the glass.

Green Turtle Tavern

GREEN TURTLE TAVERN

In the heart of the historic district, the Green Turtle Tavern is a favorite among the locals, which I also just recently discovered. Apparently, I need to get out more. It's a cozy Key West-style beach bar with intentional graffiti, license plates, college football signs, and a Fernandina-style front porch. Oh, and an 'under the sea' themed mural. The best part is the outdoor space with twinkly lights, picnic tables, and a stage for live music.

This Amelia Island bar is a down-to-earth stop for a refreshing cold Corona light and a local band on a hot summer night.

Ritz Carlton Amelia Island

THE LOBBY BAR AT THE RITZ

The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island is always your best bet if you are looking for a sophisticated yet vibrant vibe. Stop on the way to dinner at the Lobby Bar for a craft cocktail, charcuterie board, mixed nuts, and sweeping ocean views. This part of the beach reminds me of the Pacific and resembles Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach. I think it's the outdoor terrace, the green lawn, and the spectacular views. We've even spotted turtles on the expansive lawn.

Their signature smoked old fashioned packs a punch, and they have an excellent selection of craft cocktails, but a glass of bubbly is my go-to.

Lobby Bar Omni Amelia Island Resort

SEAGLASS AT THE OMNI AMELIA ISLAND RESORT

Come to Seaglass for the chic setting, stay for the live music and impromptu dancing, depending on the crowd. They change their signature cocktails seasonally and source the small bites locally. Take advantage of the lovely outdoor patio with fire pits, rocking chairs, and ocean views.

Each of these bars has a unique and completely different 'personality,' which makes them uniquely Amelia Island.

Want to read more about Amelia Island? Or see art inspired by the beach?

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