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Island Nights: Live Music and Cocktails on Anna Maria Island


Anna Maria Island might be known for its sugar-sand beaches and laid-back charm, but that doesn’t mean the nightlife scene is nonexistent! While it won’t rival the pulsating clubs of Miami, the island offers a unique brand of after-dark fun, with a focus on live music, delicious drinks, and a friendly atmosphere.

Here are a few of my favorite spots to unwind after a day of soaking up the sun:

The Doctor’s Office (Holmes Beach):

Don’t let the quirky name fool you – this intimate bar packs a punch. Stepping inside feels like entering a friend’s living room, with comfy couches and a vintage vibe. The bartenders are cocktail magicians, whipping up creative concoctions that go way beyond your average rum and coke. One night, I tried their signature “Penicillin” – a smoky, yet surprisingly refreshing mix of scotch, ginger, and lemon – and it was a revelation. Be warned, this place gets popular later in the evening, so head there early to snag a spot. Check out their drink menu

D Coy Ducks Bar & Grille (Holmes Beach):

Looking for a lively atmosphere with a touch of island flair? D Coy Ducks is your spot. This sprawling bar and grill has a large outdoor patio that’s perfect for enjoying the balmy Florida evenings. They have live music on weekends, ranging from classic rock to local island bands. The crowd is a fun mix of tourists and locals, and the energy is always upbeat. I grabbed some delicious fish tacos (huge portions!) and sipped on a frosty margarita while a reggae band played some Bob Marley covers. It was the perfect way to end a long day of exploring the island.

The Drift In (Bradenton Beach):

Technically not on Anna Maria Island itself, but just a short bridge ride away, The Drift In is a local favorite. This casual beach bar has a laid-back vibe and stunning sunset views. They have a wide selection of beers on tap, along with all your favorite cocktails. There’s usually some kind of entertainment going on, from acoustic guitarists to trivia nights. I went there for a late-night drink after dinner and ended up staying for hours, chatting with the friendly bartenders and enjoying the laid-back atmosphere.

While these are just a few of the great spots to enjoy live music and drinks on Anna Maria Island, the beauty of the island’s nightlife is its variety. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a romantic cocktail bar or a place to dance the night away. So ditch your flip flops, at our rental, throw on a sundress, and get ready to experience the other side of Anna Maria Island!

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