Best Tiki Bars in Florida
The Best Tiki Bars in Florida post took many grueling hours of research. After years of travel to god-forsaken beaches, Florida islands, resorts, and painstaking sampling, we feel we have a basis for reporting the best tiki bars in Florida, even though our research must continue for quality control.
First, we must define what a tiki bar in Florida is and is not. Here is our list –
- A Florida tiki bar does not rest in the middle of a theme park!
- A tiki bar near the water is a must.
- A Florida tiki bar doesn’t have to have a thatched grass roof, but it helps its ranking as a great tiki bar.
- A Florida tiki bar may also be a dive bar.
- Size matters, but only superficially.
- The best Florida tiki bars don’t necessarily have to have food.
Now that we have some definitions, our list is always growing, but here is a start of the best tiki bars in Florida in random order.
The Sandbar – Clearwater Beach, Florida
We live on Clearwater Beach and we must have a base to start the list! We choose The Sandbar at the Opal Sands Hotel as one of the best tiki bars in Florida and certainly the best tiki bar on Clearwater Beach.
The sandbar sits on Clearwater Pass, so you have a view of the Gulf of Mexico along with the boat traffic coming in and out of the pass as an added bonus. Between the dolphin, sea birds, and sunsets you have a complete picture of Florida.
Yes, there are other tiki bars on Clearwater Beach including the Palm Pavillion on north beach, and the hidden Clearwater Beach Yacht Club tiki bar on the bay. We will take the Sandbar as our first choice, but the others get a few of our visits also.
The Snook Inn – Marco Island, Florida
Rikki Tiki Tavern – Cocoa Beach, Florida
This Florida tiki bar sits out on the end of an 800-foot pier on one of the most popular beaches in the state, Cocoa Beach.
Imagine if you could feel the cool breezes off the Atlantic Ocean while straddling a stool underneath a tiki roof on a 90-degree day in July. Florida’s hot summer days are made for this type of tiki bar. The Rikki Tiki Tavern fits the scene perfectly. If not one of the best tiki bars in Florida, it is the most unique!
If you have the picture, we need not write anymore!
The Square Grouper Tiki Bar – Jupiter, Florida
Jupiter, Florida seems to be the who’s who of the east coast. Many celebrities call this home. One of the reasons may be the plethora of eating and drinking establishments along the Jupiter inlet.
The Square Grouper Tiki Bar stands out among all the rest for its waterfront location, entertainment and food. You can dangle your toes in the sand while listening to some cool music daily under the tiki bar roof. The Jupiter inlet has a steady stream of boats heading to and from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Square Grouper seems to be a popular place for locals to gather since they seem to draw a younger crowd. Flip flops and fruity drinks dot the tables around the bar area. This is a traditional Florida tiki bar.
Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill – Key Largo, Florida
As you enter the Florida Keys, there is nothing that you want more than a cool refreshment at one of the best tiki bars in Florida.
Jimmy Johnson, hall of fame NFL football coach, attached his name to a hotel with an adjacent tiki bar at mile marker 104, Key Largo. The Big Chill is a perfect name for a place built along Florida Bay where you can relax in one of the biggest tikis you will find.
Th Florida tiki bar gives you a waterside view of a serene tropical setting for sunsets and just to “chill”. The attached restaurant is known for some great mahi sandwiches and pizza. Both are excellent!
If you enter Key Largo on a trip to the Keys, The Big Chill is a must-stop.
Crump’s Landing – Homosassa, Florida
TT’s Tiki Bar – Punta Gorda, Florida
Here is another hidden gem when looking for the best tiki bar in Florida.
TT’s Tiki Bar sprawls across the waterfront on Charlotte Harbor. The town of Punta Gorda has renovated itself into a fun Florida road trip. TT’s is a top attraction, not only for its huge size, but plenty of fun, entertainment, and a social conscience supporting many local events.
Punta Gorda has a harborwalk fronting TT’s that draws walkers, runners and bikers from all over the area. TT’s is a spot where good food and great fun can be had in their double tiki bar huts that combined are about the size of a football field. There is no end to the margaritas and locally brewed IPAs at the huge bars.
Charlotte Harbor is several miles long and several miles wide supporting places like Port Charlotte, Boca Grande, and Pine Island just south of Punta Gorda. The area has all types of watersports and is a mecca for tarpon fishing each spring.
Flora-Bama – Perdido Key, Florida
Remember our definition of a Florida tiki bar. Flora-Bama may not meet the purist’s definition. There are no thatched roofs, although a couple look like they may fall down.
There are no gentle breezes flowing through the palm trees. But there is plenty of sand – acres of it! There are a dozen or so bars. Plenty of fruity drinks flowing and entertainment on a couple different stages.
Flora-Bama is as far west as you can go in Florida. In fact, you can step over the state line into Alabama at Flora-Bama(thus, its name!).
On the Gulf of Mexico, Flora-Bama has famous name entertainment on the beach that reportedly holds 5000 people! Too much for a Florida tiki bar you may say, but this place is too big to pass up. You feel like you can visit a half dozen different bars under one roof at the same time.
While this may not be the small little Florida tiki bar you dream about, a walk on the beach will cure those longings with a margarita in your hand!
Skippers Dockside – Key Largo
All the way to the other end of the state from Flora-Bama is Skippers Dockside in Key Largo. Skippers has a large tiki bar hovering alongside a canal that leads to the Florida Straits and the Atlantic.
The large bar accommodates the daily crowd that comes there for the food. Somewhat unusual for a Florida tiki bar, Skippers tiki bar has excellent food to go along with the water view. Every menu item we have had has been exceptionally good. The shrimp ceviche is perfect for a Florida appetizer.
Skippers is a great place for lunch and dinner under the thatched roof of a tiki bar in Florida.
Sharky’s on the Pier – Venice, Florida
Lagerheads – Key West, Florida
Ok, we get it, they call themselves a beach bar. Other than no grass thatched roof, Lagerheads is the quintessential tiki bar. Plenty of sand, boats flying by, tons of sunshine, and Lagerheads is on one of the smallest beaches in Key West.
Lagerheads is at the north end of Simonton Street just a couple blocks from all the action on Key West’s Duval Street strip. They serve some of the best tacos you will find on the island. You will find many locals here since Lagerheads is off the tourist’s beaten path.
There are numerous watersport rentals right on the beach. There is plenty of irreverent fun here, just like the rest of Key West. This hidden little beach may make Lagerheads one of the best tiki bars in Florida and certainly the best tiki bar in Key West.
Kane’s Tiki Bar and Grill – Marco Island, Florida
If we were forced to choose our favorite of the best tiki bars in Florida, Kane’s would be very close to the top of the list. Located behind the JW Marriot Resort, this true tiki bar is on a wide beach, on an island, with plenty of cool breezes and with mesmerizing views of the Gulf of Mexico.
The only problem we can find with Kanes is what comes out of your wallet. The Marriott is an upscale resort with room rates to match its reputation for quality, luxury and service.
Kane’s has entertainment that is tropical, but not overwhelming. Their food is superb – typical of a JW Marriot. If you want a classic Florida tiki bar and your wallet can stand it, definitely visit Kanes on Marco Island. It is certainly one of the best tiki bars in Florida.
Sliders Seaside – Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida
Ok, this Florida tiki bar has a metal roof! However, Sliders makes up for the lack of a grass-thatched roof with other amenities. This Florida tiki bar faces the Atlantic Ocean and the views are amazing. Amelia Island is all the way up in the northeastern corner of Florida.
Sliders is along route A1A which runs parallel to the waterfront. They have excellent views, large food portions, plenty of tropical refreshments, and some of the best entertainment on the island. It would be hard to find a better location.
Sliders and Amelia Island need to be on your best tiki bar in Florida bucket list.
Tommy’s Tiki Clearwater Beach – Almost the Perfect Tiki Bar in Florida
What if someone said, let’s design the perfect tiki bar in Florida. What would your design look like?
- In the middle of one of the best beaches in Florida – check!
- Sand all around it – no shoes necessary – check!
- Views that include the Gulf of Mexico and sun-drenched bodies walking by – check!
- Access to some of the best beach bar food on the island – check!
- A big marina, major hotels and one of the most famous Florida piers called Pier 60 are within sight.
- A drink menu that includes fruit and umbrellas – check!
All of these notable highlights make Tommy’s Tiki in Clearwater Beach one of the best tiki bars in Florida.
Bonus Tiki Bars WE Love
Sunset Grill – Marathon Florida
Here’s the deal. How can you NOT include a Tiki Bar at the base of one of the most famous bridges in the world AND it faces southwest for some of the best sunset views ever!
The Sunset Grill and Raw Bar sits perfectly at the east end of the 7-mile Bridge in Marathon, Florida. It is located at mile marker 47.1 in the Florida Keys. If you don’t know about mile markers, check them out here.
This tiki bar is huge, but it hits all the notes – great views, a thatched roof, cold beer on ice and you are looking at the amazingly beautiful waters on both sides of the 7-mile bridge. Visit this one when in the Keys.
Our grueling research will continue to look for the best tiki bars in Florida. If we didn’t list your favorite tiki bar in Florida, please let us know where it is.
For other must-see Florida destinations, check out some of these –