Fort Myers' Best Beach Bars Deliver Entertainment, Cold Drinks, Good Food

It doesn’t seem like a day at the beach is complete until you’ve stumbled upon a good bar with cold libations and some entertainment to boot. The beaches of Fort Myers have more than a few establishments that cater to the bikini and board short crowds, still salty from the surf, as well as those who want to stay in their street clothes, but still enjoy the balmy Gulf of Mexico air. While not all are directly on sand, these bars aren't more than a block inland. 

A longtime favorite with locals and tourists alike is The Cottage, at the Gulfshore on Fort Myers Beach. With a both a bar on the sand and one on a second story deck, the menu is full of variety and the establishment offers great entertainment, all day and night.

Centrally located on Fort Myers Beach, the Junkanoo is a bigger, all around type of bar experience with live music, volleyball nets and watercraft for rent.

On Captiva Island the Mucky Duck is tucked between sea grapes and palm trees, a great find and a good time, especially for sunset.

While most of these bars don’t require shoes, a couple of them have a modest beach dress code. Regardless of what you wear, you’re bound to have a good time at these 10Best beach bars.



One of the most popular events at this Fort Myers Beach bar, is Sunday Church. Every Sunday the bar is lined with cups of spicy Bloody Mary mix and sweet orange juice, just waiting for the ice and booze to be added. The production line is necessary since the drinks are only a dollar. Patrons standing at the bar, often find money being thrust at them from thirsty beach goers in the back who don't want to wait, and don't mind buying a round if you can speed things up for them. This friendly beach "dive" bar is popular with bikers and college kids alike, and it can get a little rowdy at night, in a fun way. Take note, smoking is allowed inside.

Junkanoo Beach Bar and Dance Club


You can't create any more of an island atmosphere than the one at Junkanoo! This beach bar during the day/dance club at night, enjoys more than its share of popularity with residents and visitors. The outdoor bar is a great place to get out of the sun and enjoy a cold beverage. You can also rent watercraft and participate in beach games here. The club frequently hosts afternoon sessions of live reggae, and the DJ-driven dance parties tend to last until the early morning. The place offers a menu that is a step above the usual "pub grub" found at its competitors, including some decent pizza pies.



The Mucky Duck is the only bar (or restaurant) directly on the beautiful white sand of Captiva Island. The former beach house has become a favorite spot for both locals and tourists who want to enjoy a cold cocktail while watching the sun slip into the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The picnic tables outside fill up fast at sunset, but there is plenty of room inside where you'll find a large, pub-style bar and a friendly game of darts. Enjoy a good selection of beer on tap and a menu with food superior to most beach bars.

Beached Whale


It's downright impossible to miss the turn for this time-tested establishment on Fort Myers Beach, with signage that boasts a pink-skinned beachcomber, frothy ale held aloof, sitting atop a purple whale. Such good-natured quirkiness is what has so endeared this bastion of barbecue and seafood to regulars over the years. The rooftop, Lookout Lounge provides great views of the beach and the sunset. There is also a deck bar and an indoor bar if you prefer a little cool AC. The entertainment here spans every night of the week but the place's shtick extends far beyond the tasty fare, live music and nostalgic décor. Rumor has it the Beached Whale is often visited by the spirits of Jim and Mary Galloway (and their dog), who perished in 1955 when a fire destroyed their club, formerly on the same site.



Pincher's Tiki Bar provides the best chance for finding excitement on the southern part of Fort Myers Beach. Located at the Wyndham Garden Beach Hotel, this tiki bar is operated by a popular, local seafood establishment. Not only will you be able to dine on a good selection of fried fish favorites and fresh crab, but you'll also enjoy fantastic drink specials; two for one all night. In addition, the tiki bar has shaded picnic tables on the beach if you want to keep your toes in the sand but still take a break from the sun. The beach here is wide so the hotel hosts a number of special events including the world-famous American Sand Sculpting Championship.



The Lani Kai is a legendary party spot on Fort Myers Beach. People come by car and boat to see what is going on, and there is always something. It's not fancy but it's fun, at times downright raucous, with live music, games, lots of skin and lots of drinking...lots. Especially during spring break season which begins as early as February and lasts through the beginning of April. At times, it's standing room only. It can get loud, silly and there is never a shortage of great people watching. The rooftop bar offers a great vantage point and a break from the frenzy below. You can pay to park here for the day but the lots often fill up fast.



PierSide Grill and Famous Blowfish Bar has been serving locals and tourists alike for more than twenty years. Offering some of the best views of the beach, you can't see PierSide from the road, or even the pedestrian friendly Times Square, but if you walk onto the Fort Myers Beach Pier, you can't help but notice the beachside deck packed with people enjoying food, drink and entertainment--and you'll want to join them. In the heart of the action, this friendly bar not only offers creative tropical drinks and cold beer, but also serves up some of the best burgers on the beach.

Smokin Oyster Brewery, SOB
Photo courtesy of Smokin Oyster Bar


Situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay on Fort Myers Beach, the Smokin' Oyster Brewery, or S.O.B., has been shucking oysters since 1997. The beach cottage has live entertainment on the open, front deck with a good sized bar to belly-up to. Besides fresh oysters, the S.O.B. is known for it's variety of seafood steamer pots and the messy yet so delicious garlic crab claws. Get a side of potatoes and let them soak in the juices that pool in the bottom. Paid parking options are plentiful on the street but there are a few free spots on the east side of the building. Be sure to ask for a signature S.O.B. drink coozie to keep your beer cold.

Bonita Springs


A Bonita Springs legend if ever there was one, Doc's has been an immensely popular place to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner for longer than most locals can recall. The location helps; right on the water and right beside the public beach. Doc's is not only a fantastic spot for folks who plan to spend their day having fun in the sun, but also visitors who want food with a view. The kitchen works from sunrise to well after sunset, serving diners under umbrellas on the sand, and in the upstairs restaurant that turns into a lively sports bar. You'll love every aspect of this landmark beach spot.



This beach bar has been a favorite spot for locals for years, and year round. Part of the Gulfshore Grill, the Cottage is a casual, outdoor beach bar with an unobstructed view of the water. One of the bars here is right on the sand, serving drinks but no food, where you can join in a competitive game of corn hole. Most of the upstairs deck has tables with umbrellas but that doesn't always guarantee shade. Here you'll get a good view of the sometimes-raucous parties at the neighboring Lani Kai Resort, a Spring Break magnet. People come by car, by boat and by foot to party here. You'll find live music just about every day. from solo to mellow to full rock-n-roll bands. This beach bar also has a pleasing menu with lots of variety.


Meet Gina Birch

Gina carries the rare title of "Native Floridian". Living in Southwest Florida for 22 years, she is a well known, award winning radio and TV personality. 

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