When the sun goes down and the cafe lights begin to twinkle, the town of Santa Rosa Beach comes alive. Here’s where the locals hang after dark.
Beach Community: Alys Beach
11 North Castle Harbour Drive
Monday – Thursday, 11 AM – 10 PM | Friday and Saturday, 11 AM – 11 PM
The perfect spot for post-work drinks with colleagues is at NEAT in Alys Beach. Kick back and enjoy a cocktail with friends in a bar that was designed for intimate gatherings at a bar that can seat only 24 people. Think of NEAT as a dapper cocktail club, where your bartender feels more like a friend. (A friend with really great taste in cocktails.) Not only does NEAT make each drink with thoughtfully sourced ingredients, but the menu is seasonal too. Their “April Showers Bring May Flowers” cocktail was specifically crafted for the month of April using gin, egg white, lemon, and dehydrated edible flowers. And for May? A classic Pimm’s Cup with citrus blend, ginger syrup, muddled mint, and cucumber topped with soda water.
Adjacent to the bar is a bottle shop with a curated collection of artisanal spirits, wines, craft beers, bitters, and even cocktail supplies—ensuring that even though 30A After Dark began at NEAT, you can bring the party home with you.
The Gathering Spot
Beach Community: Watercolor
34 Goldenrod Cir, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Monday-Sunday, 11:30 AM – 10 PM
Attracting locals and visitors alike, The Gathering Spot is a comfortable restaurant on the first floor of Watercolor Inn, with tables scattered around near a well-stocked bar. With light bites and fish tacos to drinks like “Packing Heat” (Watermelon, Tequila, Lime, and Jalapeno), we can’t decide whether we like the food or drinks more. But perhaps our favorite feature of this beach hangout are the fire pits located on the patio for a night under the stars and an easy walk to the beach. With seasonal live entertainment, it’s a no-brainer place to wind down for the evening.
Bud & Alleys
Beach Community: Seaside
2236 E County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Monday – Sunday, 11 AM – 11 PM
Once named by Coastal Living as “The Rooftop Bar of the Summer,” after spending a day on the beach, you won’t have to venture far for cocktails and beach fare. Bud & Alley’s recently renovated restaurant has an unsurpassed view of the Gulf. With its sister restaurants, the Taco Bar and Pizza Bar close by, it’s obvious that Bud and Alley’s knows good food. Get here a little before dinner to catch a beautiful beach sunset. Order the tuna dip as a starter and their chicken parmesan for the main entree. If you’re ready to dive into drinks, you’d be crazy to pass up Bud & Alley’s signature Bloody Mary, garnished with spicy pickled gherkin, pickled okra, spicy boiled shrimp and cherrywood smoked bacon for brunch. Also a good choice: their Seaside Fizz cocktail tastes just like a jolly rancher!