Discover 10 destinations to wet your whistle under the tropical sun. With 700 islands and 100,000 miles of shoreline, finding the right seaside watering hole in the Bahamas isn't always easy. This Caribbean archipelago serves cold brews and rum-infused cocktails at hundreds of places ranging from casual calypso clubs to chic tiki lounges.
To help you spend more time sipping than searching for fruity drinks, Marinalife surveyed its seasoned travelers and asked them to share their favorite oceanfront getaways. With the following list of Bahaman beach bars, you can craft an island pub crawl to the best locations with soft white sand and flip-flop fun.
When you see deck furniture, umbrellas and the building painted in vibrant colors of a Caribbean rainbow, you know you've landed on an island hopper's paradise. Two swimming pools, live bands and a rocking tiki bar add to Nipper's spirited atmosphere. A flamingo pink chair on the beach is an ideal place for potent fruit juice drinks. The menu features local seafood, steaks and pasta. Sunday pig roasts are fabulous feasts.
Come for the day or stay for a week at this enchanting seaside resort that caters to every traveler's whim. Kids build castles in the sand while parents snooze on hammocks stretched between palm trees. You can fish or snorkel in a nearby coral reef and toast glorious sunsets while a band plays at the tiki bar. The kitchen prepares dishes from easy sandwiches to gourmet treats.
It's OK to kick back and relax at Cracker P's beach. But you might be tempted to hike the 7.5-acre estate's nature trails through plush tropical foliage or join the fun with activities such as volleyball, bocce, croquet and horseshoes. Just-caught seafood is the menu centerpiece, flanked by steaks and the largest rum selection in the Bahamas. Monthly full-moon parties are magical.
If the Bahamas' beauty sparks your artistic nature, then head to Pete's and experience a working bronze foundry and gallery with ocean-in- spired sculpture, jewelry and artwork. Since the 1950s, this cultural haven has fostered local crafts in a seaside setting of palm trees and soft sand. The pub serves local fish dishes from cracked conch to grilled grouper, washed down with cool rum cocktails.
Decked out in the bright yellow and blue hues of the Bahaman flag, this boutique resort has lured watersport lovers to its doors since the 1930s. In its aquamarine waters you can dive, kayak, swim or catch marlins Hemmingway style. The bar overlooks a 75-slip marina and pool patio with a big stone fire-pit. Cooks heat up dishes from the land and sea.
The beckoning ring of a bell announces that Bahaman-style dinner is served at this casual waterfront eatery. Located on a secluded beach, you can savor island cocktails on the deck while watching rosy sunsets over turquoise waters. Colorful nautical flags hang from the ceiling, and maritime memorabilia is tacked on the walls. Friends and locals enjoying live music and playing billiards creates a cozy vibe.
Rum punch at lunch is the island way of welcoming you to the worry-free Bahaman lifestyle. is hidden gem overlooks a pink sand beach and water so blue that it looks like it was photoshopped. Chartreuse walls are a lively backdrop for locally grown ingredients infused in fresh dishes such as conch chili, seared tuna and grilled shrimp with mango. Banana-chocolate bread pudding is guaranteed to sweeten your day. In addition to the iconic Harbour Island restaurant, Sip Sip has opened its first outpost location at The Cove Atlantis.
When mermaids long for an elegant evening, they dream of this posh resort. Nestled in a glamorous estate built by a Swedish industrialist in the 1940s, it's graced with terraced gardens, manicured grounds, marble statues, bubbling fountains and infinity pools. The ocean view is exceptional, the gourmet food is peppered with island spices, and guests are treated like royalty.
Fishermen love the “You hook em; we cook ‘em” promise at this seaside jewel, because they can kick back with a rum drink and taste their catch prepared with authentic Bahaman flavors. In fact, the entire menu menu – from conch fritters to grilled sh and lobster tail – pays tribute to island traditions. The wooden deck, decorated with simple strands of white lights, offers a perfect setting to watch the sun set over the waves.
At this oceanfront resort, the dining room's décor is so lovely it could be featured in a design magazine. Understated elegance and laid-back ambience are enhanced by organic and sustainable Caribbean cuisine. The sushi is fresh, cocktails are handcrafted, and the view is unforgettable.
As you gaze across the blue Bahaman waters embracing a cocktail made of fine local rum, take pride in knowing that you're upholding a nautical ritual that dates back over 400 years.
In the early 1600s, sugarcane plantation slaves discovered that molasses, a by-product of processing sugar, could be fermented and turned into alcohol. Their potent drink was called Kill Devil thanks to its harsh, strong taste. After fine-tuning distillation methods, palatable rum emerged. It became the rage of the Caribbean and the desired drink of seafarers throughout the New World.
Pirates showed a special affinity for rum. After raids on Spanish ships and villages, the infamous buccaneer Blackbeard liked to dock at island ports and join his crew in legendary drinking binges. One of his favorite concoctions was rum laced with gunpowder, which he would light and chug while it flamed and popped. Sir Henry Morgan, a British Navy officer turned privateer, was also notorious for plying his men with rum before battle. Today, his likeness is printed on bottles of Captain Morgan spiced rum.
Good rum wasn't just the exclusive drink of bad boys. The British Royal Navy grew fond of it, too. In 1655, when England captured Jamaica, naval officers discovered a plentiful supply of rum and began doling it out twice daily in rations named tots to their shipmen. Mixed with lime juice, rum was a safer and more inspiring drink than barrels of water contaminated with algae and bacteria in a pre-refrigeration age.
British sailors developed such a taste for rum that they'd partake of it whenever an opportunity would arise. Take the case of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar. His corpse was placed in a cask of rum to preserve it during the journey back to England. Upon arrival, officials were astonished to find the cask was emptied of liquid and only held Nelson's body. According to legend, thirsty seamen drilled a hole in the cask and drank all the rum en route.
That's quite a commitment to drink and worthy of a toast to yo-ho-ho rum.
This classic cocktail captures the essence of the easy Bahamisan lifestyle. It blends fruity flavors of pineapple and orange juices with two kinds of rum and a coffee liqueur that adds a rich, almost chocolate undertone. Make one for yourself to restore that island groove or stir up a pitcher for your next party.
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Transfer into a chilled collins glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry, an orange slice and a pineapple wedge. Sip slowly and feel the tropical breeze.
From the Gulf to the Atlantic and every bay in between, boaters and their families have plenty to look forward to on the Florida coasts this fall. Start the season with a couple of pints at Oktoberfest and spooks at a haunted ghost tour, throw in a boating event or two, and round it out with a lighted boat parade.
Learn about the haunted history in the oldest city in the United States through the lens of the undead. Get tickets for haunted pub crawls, trolly tours and walking tours. You’ll get in the Halloween spirit and learn the stories behind St. Augustine’s most spirited locations from professional storytellers with just the right amount of spook. Kids are welcome on trolly and walking tours, and pets are allowed on walking tours! Check out Ghost Tours of St. Augustine or Ghosts & Gravestones.
Where to Dock: Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor
Jacksonville Beach, Tampa
Kick off the fall season with Oktoberfest on the Atlantic or Gulf Coast with Beaches Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest Tampa. With Tampa’s event ranking in the top five in the country and Jacksonville Beach’s being the largest in the state, you’re sure to find the brew for you! beachesoktoberfest.com
Where to Dock: Fort George Island Marina (Jacksonville), Westshore Yacht Club (Tampa)
Just across the Bay from Tampa and St. Pete, Apollo Beach is teeming with wildlife on land and on the water. At this four-day festival, you’ll find a free expo with nature organizations and artwork, daily field and boat trips to sites not accessible to the public, and expert wildlife and conservation seminars. Nature aficionados won’t want to miss this opportunity at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Suncoast Youth Conservation Center.
Where to Dock: Apollo Beach Marina
West Palm Beach
Has your dog always wanted to be an (un)professional racer? Now is Fido’s time to shine! Register your pup for a day full of zoomies, Doggie Costume Contest, and plenty of BBQ and entertainment for the whole family. Proceeds benefit Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch.
Where to Dock: Palm Harbor Marina
No matter your music taste, you’re sure to find something to jam out to at this three-day festival, from smooth jazz and blues to funk and zydeco. You’ll find plenty of vendors at the festival, and Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood offers old-school charm and Latin American eateries. St. Petersburg offers hip breweries, coffee shops and more.
Where to Dock: Clearwater Beach Municipal Marina
Join in a celebration of life at the Water Lantern Festival this fall. Start the day with food trucks, music and family- friendly fun, and end by releasing your personalized lantern on the water at sunset.
Where to Dock: Marina Jack
The largest in-water boat show in the world offers viewings and demos of everything from superyachts to kayaks and fishing gear. Stop by the Superyacht Village to sip a cocktail on one of the most luxurious boats in the world, the Convention Center for watersport and innovative boating gear demos, and take the family to a kid-friendly fishing seminar.
Where to Dock: 17th Street Yacht Basin, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Pier 66 Hotel & Marina
Join the Old Naples Waterfront Association in the historic center to kick off stone crab season! Eat stone crab to your heart’s content in a prime harvesting location of the tasty crustacean and enjoy plenty of entertainment, from live music to local galleries and craft vendors. floridarambler.com/florida-festivals/ florida-seafood-festivals-calendar
Where to Dock: Naples Bay Resort & Marina
Cruise to the charming Apalachicola, tucked away among expansive wildlife reserves and just a bay away from the Gulf. Along with some of the best oysters and seafood you can eat, the whole family will enjoy a parade, carnival, Blessing of the Fleet, hours of live music every day, and competitions such as the oyster shucking contest and blue crab races.
Where to Dock: Apalachicola Marina
Celebrate the annual return of the North Atlantic right whale to the coasts of Florida and Georgia to give birth and nurse their young in historic Fernandina Beach. Learn about threats and conservation efforts for these gentle giants, participate in a beach clean-up, and enjoy family fun at educational exhibits, athletic events, and food and craft vendors.
Where to Dock: Oasis Marinas at Fernandina Beach
Cruise to Key West for three days of epic racing and a full week of family-friendly fun. Don’t miss the World’s Fastest Boat Parade on the first Sunday, or any three of the races throughout the week: the Truman Waterfront Cup, Southernmost Continental Champion, and Championship. Use downtime to explore the Race Village at Truman Waterfront and try out local pubs, shops and restaurants.
Where to Dock: Conch Harbor Marina
Visit Siesta Key Beach to watch sculptors from around the world turn piles of white sand into sculpted masterpieces. Professional competitors have 24 hours to build their pieces, and visitors have the chance to participate in amateur sand-sculpting competitions and see the masters at work.
Where to Dock: Safe Harbor Siesta Key
Art connoisseurs and amateurs alike will love this boutique art competition and festival in the scenic cultural center of Sarasota. Masters of different media—ceramics, jewelry, graphic art, painting, and more—will put the best of their work on display for patrons to browse and buy to their hearts’ content.
Where to Dock: Marina Jack
November 19-January 31
Ready to get in the holiday spirit? Cruise back to St. Augustine as early as before Thanksgiving for a dazzling display of more than 3 million lights in the historic district. Gaze in awe at the twinkly lights and find photo ops at the Bridge of Lions and the Christmas tree at the center of Plaza de la Constitución. Enjoy the sounds of the All Star Orchestra on the first night and stroll to businesses open later than usual.
Where to Dock: St. Augustine Municipal Marina
Since the 1970s, this annual art extravaganza brings works of contemporary and modern pieces by renowed and emerging artists from around the world to showcase in Miami. Held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, for three days the public can gaze upon unique masterpieces presented by leading galleries from five continents.
Where to Dock: Sunset Harbour Yacht Club
Key Largo, FL
This annual four-day event showcases classic antique yachts, automobiles and aircraft to celebrate those who restore vintage collections. Experience a full schedule of events kicking off with a welcome party and dinner buffet on Thursday, then a weekend packed with drive-bys, shows, dinners, cocktail receptions, a costume party and more.
Where to Dock: Ocean Reef Club
With so many spectacular lighted boat parades on the coasts of Florida, we couldn’t choose just one! Dock at any of these coastal towns on the first three Saturdays of December to ring in the season on the festive Florida waterfronts.
Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Palm Coast Yacht Club Holiday Boat Parade
The Seminole Hard Rock Winter Boat Parade
St. Augustine Regatta of Lights
Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade
Northwest Cape Coral 2nd Annual Boat Parade
The Caribbean is well known for its clear blue tropical waters. But as rich as it is in beauty, the islands have an even greater wealth of his- tory. Luckily, museums are located across the region to share the stories and significant events that can provide glimpses of what maritime life was like throughout the years. Their exhibits, relics and archives will have you looking at the region in a whole new light.
You can find this treasure trove of artifacts in the Atlantic Ocean 650 miles east of North Carolina, the nearest land mass to this collection of islands. The museum shows how maritime events shaped the history, people and culture of Bermuda. It is located at the historic Royal Naval Dockyard within Bermuda’s largest fort. Exhibits cover 500 years of the country’s history from how the German U-505 submarine was captured by the U.S. Navy and concealed in Bermuda to how sailing races from North America to Bermuda have influenced the development of ocean-worthy boats and blue water sailing. Be sure to experience the museum’s unique spaces by strolling through the two-story boat loft to catching a dolphin show at the Keep Pond Terrace to taking in the expansive ocean views at the flagpole.
Where to Dock: Kings Wharf or Heritage Wharf
Turks and Caicos National Museum opened in 1991 to store artifacts found in the excavation of the Molasses Reef shipwreck, an unknown Spanish ship that sunk in 1515 on the Caicos Bank. The museum spans two locations: the Guinep House on Grand Turk Island, believed to be more than 180 years old and named after the large guinep tree on its property, and the Village at Grace Bay on Providenciales, where visitors can tour the Heritage House, an historically correct rendition of a typical 1800s Caicos dwelling. In addition to showcasing shipwreck artifacts, visitors also learn about the evolution of The Grand Turk Lighthouse as well as the rise and fall of the island’s salt industry. On Museum Day, the first Saturday in November, visitors can tour the exhibits for free, and in May, the Village at Grace Bay holds a “Back in the Day” event with activities reflecting historical life on the island.
Where to Dock: Blue Haven Resort & Marina
If you like to take in history outdoors, these exhibitions are for you. The trail consists of 36 stops across all three islands (Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands) and is best traveled via car. Each stop is marked by a road sign that shares a notable historic event or contribution related to the maritime industry. Learn how turtling shaped the islands’ early economy, how ships were cleaned and repaired before boat lifts by a process called “careening”, and hear stories of notable shipwrecks. If you prefer to learn Cayman Island history in one place, you can check out the Cayman Islands National Museum, housed in Cayman’s oldest surviving public building, which has a series of permanent and rotating exhibits.
Where to Dock: The Barcadere Marina
Completed 500 years after Christopher Columbus arrived on the island of La Hispaniola, the Faro a Colon (aka The Columbus Lighthouse) is one of the Dominican Republic’s most popular attractions. Constructed in the shape of a Latin cross spanning the width of two soccer fields, the lighthouse was created to recognize the first “encounter between two worlds.” It includes a mausoleum that houses Christopher Columbus’ remains as well as a museum displaying original and replica artifacts from the time of Columbus’ voyage. The lighthouse also has a library containing documents and maps displaying some of the earliest drawings of the Americas.
Where to Dock: Marina Zarpar
The Antigua Naval Dockyard, now named Nelson’s Dockyard, was built in the mid-1700s to serve as a strategic post and support the Royal Navy battle against the French and protect trade routes in the region. The dockyard officially closed in 1889 and reopened in 1961 as an historic site. In addition to exploring the dockyard, take advantage of the park’s 12 miles of hiking trails, two forts, and tours such as the “Rum in the Ruins” where you can listen to stories of the dockyard while sipping on a cocktail. If traveling by boat, get the best view of the gorgeous English Harbour and snag a slip at nearby Nelson’s Dockyard Marina, the only continuously working Georgian Era dockyard in the world.
Where to Dock: Nelson’s Dockyard Marina
Opened in 2020, the Bequia Heritage Museum includes the Boat Museum and Annexe that display and educate visitors about the boatbuilding and whaling industries as well as artifacts dating back to the period of the island’s European settlement. Vessels on display at the museum include a traditional Amerindian dug-out canoe and the decommissioned boat, Rescue, that was originally used for whaling.
Where to Dock: Bequia Marina
Located in a mansion built in 1729 on the Waaigat inlet, the Curaçao Maritime Museum shares with visitors the story and events that influenced Curaçao’s involvement in the maritime industry. Learn how trade ebbed and flowed in and out of Curaçao’s ports, reflective of the events happening around the world to the arrival of the first cruise ship in 1901 from New York, sparking the cruise tourism industry until the 1970s when air travel took over as the primary way for tourists to visit the island. Visitors can explore the museum at their own pace or take a guided tour.
Where to Dock: Seru Boca Marina
With a decent internet connection, you can visit the Grand Bahama Museum from the comforts of your remote anchorage or mooring. Bahamian history and culture are explored through digital exhibits ranging from the islands’ natural landscapes and the history of the port authority to the role the Bahamas played during the Golden Age of Piracy. Learn about the first recorded piece of mail sent from the Bahamas in 1761 and the evolution of mailboats. Or savor a dark and stormy while reading about the Bahamas’ role in the rum-running industry during U.S. Prohibition. The Grand Bahama Museum was originally housed at The Garden of the Groves but was unfortunately destroyed by weather and time. To reach a wider audience and share Bahamian history and culture, the museum decided to move to a digital platform.
Where to Dock: Grand Bahama Yacht Club or Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina
WHICH OF THESE RENOWNED SEAFOOD TOWNS WILL HOOK YOU?
Beaufort lies on an inlet leading south to the Atlantic and is considered part of North Carolina’s “Inner Banks” and the Crystal Coast. The Crystal Coast spans 85 miles of stunning coastline in southern North Carolina, including 56 miles of protected beach of the Cape Lookout National Seashore.
Located on historic Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is the northernmost city on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Visitors will find easy access to Jacksonville, the mouth of the St. Mary’s River, and coastal destinations in southern Georgia such as Cumberland Island.
Established in 1709, Beaufort was originally known as Fishtown, having been a fishing village and port of safety since the late 1600s. In addition to fishing, Beaufort was a hub for whaling, lumber, shipbuilding and farming. The earliest settlers made their mark by building Bahamian and West Indian-style homes, and the Plan of Beaufort Towne can still be seen in a 12-block historic district.
First settled in 1562, this town on historic Amelia Island went through many transformations under eight flags before it became what it is today. After the Civil War, Fernandina Beach became a bustling seaport and popular destination, called “The Queen of Summer Resorts” by many Northerners. Today’s visitors find themselves surrounded by the town’s lovely relics of the past — an historic district, Civil War port and the first cross-state railroad remain.
Beaufort has a thriving scene for anglers. Cast your line off a dock downtown, book a charter or head north to Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge to catch flounder, trout and redfish. Boat tours and private charters are a popular way to experience the stunning views and wildlife of the Crystal Coast. See porpoises, dolphins and wild horses on the beach. Better yet, book with Cruisin’ Tikis Beaufort to imbibe while you observe. Dock at Beaufort Docks.
Pier fishing is huge on Amelia Island, and anglers should head to the George Crady Bridge, which spans one mile of Nassau Sound. Snag a variety of fish in the area, including redfish, whiting, seatrout, tarpon and flounder. Boaters can start aquatic excursions in either the Atlantic Ocean to the east or Amelia River to the west. Go on a solo adventure, or join a tour or charter by boat, kayak or watersport with the likes of Amelia River Tours, Amelia Adventures & Kayak or Riptide Watersports. Dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina.
History buffs will feel right at home in Beaufort. Visit the Beaufort Historic Site to learn the town’s story through nine preserved historic homes in the middle of town. Three different maritime museums, including the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and the Bonehenge Whale Center offer marine merriment for the whole family. And for a taste of Crystal Coast wildlife, head over to the Rachel Carson Reserve where wild horses and countless birds, reptiles and aquatic mammals roam free.
Fernandina Beach is known for its easy living. Amelia Island Welcome Center is a great place to revisit Fernandina’s history and plan your day. Make your way to Centre Street on the water to browse eclectic shops and bustling art galleries, taste wild-caught shrimp at a bistro, or grab a pint at the Palace Saloon, Florida’s oldest tavern. If you’re in town on a Friday, you might stumble upon Sounds on Centre, a local concert series.
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