What comes to mind when you think of a beach bar? Quite likely, it’s a ramshackle joint, haphazardly built of sun-weathered wood. The beach bars on Florida’s Paradise Coast, on the other hand, are not that. They live up to our destination’s reputation for luxury. Many are in high-end resorts and would better be described as restaurant/bars. The food is incredible; the drinks are exquisite; the views are breathtaking; the sunsets, epic. And the sand is never more than a short walk away.
Here’s an overview of Paradise Coast beach bars (we’ll go ahead and call them that) – all of which are sure to add relaxation, good times, and memorable views to your stay.
Sunset Bliss at The Turtle Club
9925 Gulfshore Drive N., Naples, (239) 592-6557
How does dining and drinking with your toes in the sand sound? Head to The Turtle Club at the Vanderbilt Beach Resort to find out. It has a whole section of tables under umbrellas planted in the sand, just steps from the Gulf of Mexico. There’s an adjoining deck and a lovely indoor dining room, also with beachfront views. Fresh, imaginative salads and seafood dominate the lunch menu, but there are plenty of sandwiches and other selections, as well. Dinner fare features a sumptuous array of upscale dishes from land and sea. The Miso Marinated Sea Bass gets rave reviews, but, then again, so does pretty much everything else. When the sun sets, it draws a relaxed round of applause from patrons—with some well-deserved oohs and ahhs mixed in.
Catch the Game at Sunset Grille
900 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, (239) 389-0508
This casual hangout, located on the southern end of the Marco Island strip, is best described as a beach sports bar, due to the dozens of TVs tuned to an array of games. The menu offerings –hearty fare with an emphasis on seafood – are affordable and delicious. Out on the covered deck there are plenty of tables, as well as a row of Gulf-facing chairs along a wooden railing, ideal for setting a drink and a tasty basket of shrimp. Sunset Grille has an outdoor bamboo bar and an indoor bar that looks out over the beach.
Paddle Into Capri Fish House
203 Capri Blvd., Naples, (239) 389-5555
What’s more “Florida” than a spacious, thatched-roof tiki bar just a few feet from the water? Capri Fish House is located just north of Marco Island on Johnson Bay, a couple hundred yards east of the Gulf. We’re pretty sure you can guess what kind of food Capri Fish House specializes in. If you're from out of town, you can’t go wrong with the grouper sandwich. For a taste of something different, Uncle Micky’s Pizza is located within the restaurant. Capri also rents kayaks and paddleboards in case you get the urge to explore the calm waters that wind through the mangroves and up into Rookery Bay. A dock and boat slips make it easy for boaters to drop in. Happy hour is on every day from 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Wide-Open Space at Gumbo Limbo
280 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, (239) 598-3300
Set at the back of The Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort, Gumbo Limbo features a vast wooden deck with ample tables beneath a covered area, as well as additional tables out-in-the-open. Even though it’s the Ritz, Gumbo Limbo manages an authentic rustic flavor with island accents. The compact menu features recognizable beach-bar favorites, all prepared with gourmet flair. Best of all, a boardwalk starts at Gumbo Limbo and takes you through seagrass right out to the beach. It’s the perfect spot to mingle on the boardwalk for sunset watching.
Island Vibes at Kane Tiki Bar & Grille and Quinn’s on the Beach
400 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, (239) 394-2511
Why should a resort have one beach bar when it can have two? Kane and Quinn’s on the Beach are the two beach bars at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. In 2015, the hotel capped a massive expansion, which included the addition of the Balinese-inspired Kane Tiki Bar & Grill. A large thatched roof covers a giant rum bar – right on the beach. Kane is fully open-air, lending it an authentic beach-bar ambience. Guests can sit around the bar or on tables out in the sand. Kane’s menu is highlighted by Indonesian street foods and also offers traditional fare. Quinn’s, a couple of hundred yards south, has indoor seating, along with outdoor seating that’s both covered and uncovered. The restaurant focuses on Caribbean cuisine (e.g. Key West Snapper Ceviche) and is prized for specialty drinks like the grapefruit-elderflower margarita. Quinn’s offers an enhanced sunset experience with live fire dancer shows every night.
Rhode’s End: A Tropical Hideaway
475 Seagate Drive, Naples (239) 597-3232
A long boardwalk starts at Clam Pass Park and winds its way through mangroves to the beach. The half-mile walk (or bike ride) out gives you the impression you’re in for something special, and you are: Rhode’s End. Part of the Naples Grande complex, this unfussy, classic beach bar features a huge elevated deck outfitted with tables and chairs that offer terrific views of blue Gulf water. Rhode’s End, which specializes in Greek cuisine and tropical cocktails, is a mere hop and a skip from the beach.
The Deck at 560: Surrounded by Natural Beauty
560 Collier Blvd., Marco Island, (239) 394-5000
This open-air dining concept located at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa features 200 seats, all with panoramic views of the Gulf. Your eyes will be met first by a lush mangrove forest, then white-sand beach, then blue water. The Deck at 560 focuses on locally sourced ingredients, and has an in-house garden that grows organic herbs and produce. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and, unlike a lot of beachfront restaurant/bars, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.