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Florida's Best Waterfront Dining
The great thing about Florida is that you are never far from water – be it lakes, canals or wonderful beaches. Waterfront bars and restaurants spring up around favorite sunset spots and usually offer a pleasant ambience coupled with a great view and an affordable menu. Here are some of my favorite watering holes, and you can add your own suggestions on our Florida Forum if I don’t mention your personal gem.
Easy to reach by boat or by car by driving over Sanibel Island, the Green Flash has great views from the outdoor terrace or the huge indoor dining area. It has been serving food for decades, and has photographs on the wall to prove it, showing it as a beach shack about 40 years ago! A good choice of predictable sandwiches and salads is on offer but it is well presented and the serving staff is superbly helpful and professional.
Whenever I find myself with an evening within reach of Daytona Beach, I book a table at the Hyde Park Steakhouse in the Hilton. Located right on the oceanfront you can enjoy cocktails on the outdoor terrace overlooking the beach or dine indoors if it’s too hot or too breezy to eat al fresco. The bar does great small plate choices while the main menu features melt-in-the-mouth steaks and fish. Look for the early bird special which usually get you a starter or desserts plus side dishes for the price of just the steak if you dined later.
The Tradewinds Waterfront Bar is a huge waterfront bar-restaurant near Pier 5 in the Bayside Marketplace. Drinks, snacks, a raw bar and excellent fish menu make this a buzzing place that attracts a lively crowd all year round.
For a special celebration, the Blue Moon Fish Co in Fort Lauderdale overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway so the best waterfront views are from the tables on the terrace. After dark the waterway, high-rise architecture and passing boats are lit up making this a really lovely setting. Oh yes, and the food’s pretty good. The restaurant is known for its award-winning cuisine and has a reputation for being one of the finest restaurants on the East Coast – but it’s pricey!
For somewhere uniquely different, try the Green Cabin Room at the Disney Vero Beach Resort, which is right on the ocean between Vero Beach and Palm Bay. The décor is themed based on the wreckage of the 17th century Spanish galleon, the San Martin that was said to have sunk just offshore in 1618. Great for families with live music until late.
Truly one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Naples Beach is best enjoyed from the Sunset Beach Bar and Grill at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Course. The huge outdoor bar and open-air grill is a great place to watch the vivid sunsets that this area is famous for, while lounging on the chaise lounges around the open-air grill. It’s enough to make you feel you are on vacation, even if you live there! There is live music from Wednesday through Saturday and the Sunday Night Party runs from 6-9pm.
This informative book offers details of some of Florida’s best destinations to visit:
20 Best Florida Beaches and Coastal Cities: A look at the history, highlights and things to do in some of Florida's best beaches and coastal cities (Volume 1)
It is also available to download as an ebook
Content copyright © 2013 by Gillian Birch. All rights reserved.
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