Clearwater Beach is set along the tropical coast of Florida. This Sunshine State gem is full of soft sandy shores on both sides and is widely considered to be some of the best beaches in the country. Vacationers flock from all over to enjoy the warm Gulf water and watch epic seafront sunsets. And what better place to watch the sunset than one of the best Clearwater beach bars.
All up and down the beautiful waterfronts, you’ll find a variety of cool drinking spots to down a cold beer or island-inspired cocktail. From lively dance clubs to trendy taverns and from tiki venues to tap houses, these are all the best beach bars in Clearwater. One of our favorite things to do in Clearwater is head to the beach and hang out for the day, and of course, hitting up a few beach bars is a must!
Does Clearwater Beach have a nightlife?
The waterfront of Clearwater Beach is a happening scene after the sun goes down, to say the least. There are plenty of outposts where you can really let loose and party all night long. You’ll also be able to hit up more laid-back hotspots to slowly sip craft beverages as well. The hardest part is picking which Clearwater beach bar to go to!
Is Clearwater a party beach?
Clearwater Beach is certainly known as a party spot. Bars range from more touristy to local watering holes. You’re in for a wild ride and are likely to be surrounded by live music, sports games, dance parties, and delicious tropical drinks depending on which party it is that you prefer to join.
Where is the main strip in Clearwater Beach?
The main strip in Clearwater is along the breathtaking Beach Walk. Clearwater Beach is a long and skinny stretch of land so there is a North End and a South End to explore. If you’re on the waterfront, you’re sure to find some of the coolest bars this idyllic coastal town has to offer.
1. Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar and Grill
Shepard’s Tiki Bar and Grill is a lively resort perfect for letting your hair down. It’s a spacious and versatile spot often hosting local live music, international entertainment, and in demand DJs on their waterfront stages. It’s always a night of nonstop action here. You can hit the dance floor or sit back and savor the sunset with a cool cocktail in hand.
There’s both an outdoor tiki bar and a nightclub in this 11,000-square-foot space. Be advised, that it does tend to be a younger crowd at this one. Check the schedule to see if there are any special events that spark your interest in advance. They have a long list of frozen tropical concoctions, about a dozen beers on tap, and classic cocktails like margaritas and Moscow mules. It’s easily one of the most iconic spots in Clearwater Beach. They open at 11:00 am and stay grooving until midnight.
2. Brown Boxer
If you ask some locals what their favorite Clearwater Beach bar is they often say the Brown Boxer. Brown Boxer has two convenient locations in Clearwater, on both the North and the South beach. The games here are such a fun draw. There’s nothing like a round of seaside darts or pool to set the mood for a fun evening out. Brown Boxer has a wide range of beverages to try, but the Sangria seems to be their most popular. It’s refreshing and fruity without being too sweet.
There tends to be some great deals offered daily here, like buckets of beers or seltzers at a discount. This is one of the best Clearwater Beach bars for a large group to go together. It has a sports bar feel, though they also host live music most days or events like karaoke or trivia. The open air waterfront setting is stunning if nothing else. Plus it is dog friendly! There’s a full menu as well with fresh seafood bites and pub style plates.
3. Surfside Tap House
Surfside Tap House is the place to be for any beer lovers in Clearwater Beach. There are over 50 taps pouring ice-cold, rotating, craft beers of almost any kind imaginable. There are daily draft specials too. Local Tampa Bay breweries often make the cut in any draft changes, along with unique craft ales from all over the country.
There are both indoor and outdoor bar areas, with stages for live music and big screens for the sports games. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, though they do take reservations in advance here. The kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night eats. The dishes served are all healthy, fresh, and full of flavor. Be sure to head over for happy hour, it’s located right next to the famous Pier 60.
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4. Jimmy’s Crow Nest
Jimmy’s Crow Nest boasts the best rooftop views of all of Clearwater Beach bars. The unobstructed panoramas overlooking the Gulf make for the most jaw-dropping background for indulging in drinks or a meal out. It’s a rooftop spot on the tenth floor of Pier 60 and the ideal vantage point for seeing 270 degrees of Clearwater Beach.
Jimmy has a whole host of spots in the area, but Crow’s Nest is definitely a favorite. Don’t miss the sunset here, it’s one of the best places to watch the sunset in Clearwater Beach. They even pass out free sunset shots as it slowly sinks to celebrate another day in paradise. The Pina Coladas are especially popular at this bar. All the best bar foods can be found on their menu as well. From noon onward, this is a great place to camp out and have some fun.
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Shipwreck is the oldest bar in Clearwater Beach. It’s the hole in the wall that all the locals love, and it’s easy to see why. It first opened in 1976 and today all the regulars are super friendly. Plus they really know how to have a good time. Between the blue felt pool table and the vintage jukebox in the corner, this little haunt has the perfect dive bar decor, plus a few nautically themed furnishings.
It’s pretty much a right of passage to try at least one shot of the month while here. Otherwise, the cocktails are always super fun! Get the Duck Drink, it comes with a tiny rubber duck and a full popsicle in it. It’s become the classic stop for everyone’s end of the night drink. So if you’re looking to find the party after the other bars begin to close, odds are it’s at the Shipwreck for that final hurrah until 3:00 am.
6. Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill is a casual beachfront cafe. The outdoor deck setting is what makes it one of our favorite Clearwater Beach bars. There are plenty of craft beers on tap, along with some other types of pick-me-ups like their famous Pina Colada There are always daily specials to try too. It’s always a good idea to go for the happy hour or stop by for a live music performance at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill.
The menu is extensive here, so everyone can find something tasty to chow down on, seafood lovers in particular. The Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries are a must! The beer is ice cold, always a refreshing reprieve from the hot Florida sun. It’s open from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm most nights, and even later on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s also a front row seat to the legendary Clearwater Beach sunsets. They even have a beach cam where they are streaming live how gorgeous is on the beach.
If you are traveling with kids it is a great place to come mid-day/before/after hitting the beach. There are tons of great food options to please the kids and let us parents eat some local seafood and drinks too! Make sure to check out our Clearwater & St Petersburg family vacation guide.
The motto at Cooter’s is steaks, seafood, and fun. Not only are they one of the best Clearwater Beach bars, but also on our best restaurants in Clearwater list because LOVE their fresh seafood. They definitely live up to their own hype and have been a local favorite for over 25 years.
If you’ve never heard of an oyster shooter, you’re in for a delicious surprise with the specialty drink at Cooter’s. It’s a fresh oyster in a shot glass mixed with beer, cocktail sauce, hot sauce, and an Old Bay rim. If you aren’t that adventurous, don’t worry there are tons of options on the menu.
A beach town delicacy that’s not always easy to find. Cooter’s offers an old school Florida style atmosphere, with an open air bar and covered patio. There’s a sports bar connected on the side and the decor is all decidedly kitschy. There’s an amazing happy hour, and the Orange Crush is the must try drink on the menu. For snacking, you’ll find a variety of burgers, wings, and seafood. If you’re particularly hungry, go for the all-you-can-eat crab deal.
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8. Sand Bar
The Sand Bar is a beachfront tiki bar. It’s a festive and relaxed space for a casual lunch or dinner, and of course, for enjoying a few tropical cocktails. It can be pricier but often the weekday specials are a good deal. There are often live island tunes being played, and great seats for the best show of all, the Clearwater sunset. It’s set at the south end, and at first, glance gives off a classic Florida roadside vibe.
They serve fresh regional eats, like grilled seafood, barbecue, and burgers. If you manage to save any room, it’s also a great place to get dessert. You’re sure to want to snap some pictures of the colorful drinks and pretty plates for posting here. It’s open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm and is guaranteed to put you in a sunshine state of mind.
These next 2 beach bars are technically St. Pete Beach bars but are worth the trip if you have a car
9. 360 Rooftop Lounge at Zamora
The 360 Rooftop Lounge at Zamora is a fancy club with some seriously spectacular vistas. It’s set on St. Peach Beach and is one of the trendier places for artisanal drinks along Gulf Blvd. As you may expect, you get sweeping uninterrupted scenes of the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway from every direction. Over the weekend, the vibe gets even swankier when the pool bar opens. Otherwise, it opens in the late afternoon for happy hour, weather permitting of course. They have one of the best happy hours in St. Pete Beach!
It’s decked out in a sleek and modern style, right down to the string lights overhead and the soft astroturf covering the floors. They serve a delicious sushi menu most days as well. The main offering is handcrafted classic cocktails, though there are also a few beers, wine by the glass, and frozen drinks to try.
10. PCI Beach Bar
The Postcard Inn’s Beach Bar and Snack Shack is packed with plenty of local charm and character. The ceiling is lined with old license plates and the bar is covered with the scrawled writings of past (probably inebriated) patrons. You can also join in on the fun tradition and add your own two cents of wisdom for future drinkers to read. There’s live music daily so it’s always an upbeat atmosphere.
They offer lots of tasty poolside bites, like burgers and hot dogs, for an affordable price. There’s also a morning menu that locals and tourists alike tend to love. It’s located at St. Pete Beach and you can enjoy all of their drinks with the sand between your toes. It’s open until 10:00 pm on the weekdays and midnight on the weekends.
Our favorite and one of the best restaurants in St. Petersburg, 1200 Chophouse, is less than a mile away. If you are looking for an amazing steak or need the perfect restaurant for a special occasion, this is the place. Still to this day we compare steaks to 1200 Chophouse.