Here, while “nightlife” might include quite a few happy hours and late-night bites, it’s well rounded to include live music, ocean breezes, and even unique events – not quite what you’d expect from a quiet island town. But you do have to know where to find it! Explore our local tips on where to enjoy your evenings on into the night in the Golden Isles:
Happy Hours, Craft Brews & Cocktails
When it comes to nightlife, sometimes it’s best to stick to the tried and true – cocktails and craft brews (not to mention late-night dining!). Here are some of our favorite places for classic happy hours, craft brews and cocktails:
In a nutshell: If you’re looking for a classic Southern bar, Brogen’s is your place! With a quieter location amidst the oaks up north on St. Simons and a slightly livelier location down south near Pier Village, you can’t go wrong with this classic.
Why it’s special: Brogen’s South has an incredible two-story porch near the water – so when you drink & dine here, it’s always accompanied by those famous St. Simons Island ocean breezes.
In a nutshell: Located in Redfern Village on St. Simons Island, this unique hang out goes above and beyond what you’d expect to find in a shopping village. Complete with seafood, classic American fare, and a spacious patio where you can find live music on the weekends, this “flip-flop-friendly” bar is a can’t-miss place to hang out into the night.
Why it’s special: Not only does Gnat's Landing boast the aforementioned outdoor space, but you can drink a famous “$8,000 Margarita” while listening to live music if you visit on the right night. What a way to sip the night away!
In a nutshell: In our opinion, Tipsy McSway’s is the best bar in Brunswick. It’s the perfect nighttime destination for cocktails, beer, and live music on Friday or Saturday nights. Add to that a chill, locals-only vibe, and you have the recipe for a great night!
Why it’s special: It’s an environment for great friends and audible conversation – something that is hard to come by at a bar. Even when there’s live music on the weekends, it’s never so loud you can’t hear your friends!
In a nutshell: The only oceanfront restaurant and bar on Jekyll Island, Tortuga Jack’s offers a 3,000-square-foot tiki bar and deck from which to enjoy your late-night bites and brews, complete with gorgeous weather and ocean views as the sun goes down.
Why it’s special: Not only is this bar’s patio one of the only ways to enjoy Jekyll Island ocean views with a cocktail in hand, but it’s also pet-friendly, so you can enjoy our coastal nightlife without leaving your furry friend at home!
In a nutshell: Located on the Jekyll Island Historic District pier, this river-view beachy hangout is the best place to enjoy open-air dining (with Southern favorites such as peel & eat shrimp, hushpuppies, fried chicken & more) in an unmatched location over the water.
Why it’s special: The Wharf is the only on-the-water bar and restaurant to boast gorgeous views of the sunset on Jekyll – and it’s especially fun when there’s a live band playing!
Girls’ Night Out
When it’s time for a night out with the girls, just about any bar will do – as long as you have the right company! But when you’re celebrating your friendship together, it’s always fun to class it up! Here are some of our favorite, slightly more upscale bars we love to frequent with our girls:
In a nutshell: ECHO is an oceanfront restaurant with a great outdoor space that boasts beautiful St. Simons coastal views. Attached to the beautiful King & Prince resort, the elegance of this hot spot will not be lost on your crew!
Why it’s special: There’s always something going on. Whether it’s a craft brew tapping, daily specials, or live music, there’s a full calendar of events for you and your girls to plan around!
In a nutshell: For a place that has an expensive, yet relaxed vibe, this St. Simons Pier Village spot offers an incredible happy hour – including can’t-beat specials on wine, cocktails, and inspired small bites!
Why it’s special: Georgia Sea Grill has a small and exclusive vibe. You might have to make a reservation for your group, but with only 34 guests able to be seated at once, it’ll be worth it!
In a nutshell: With such a cryptic name, visitors might not realize that Golden Isles Olive Oil, located in Redfern Village on St. Simons Island, now offers a wine bar. Sip the evening away while enjoying dainty bites such as cheeses, tapenade, handmade pastas, honey, jams and other gourmet delights!
Why it’s special: Not only does Golden Isles Olive Oil support local artists and products, but it’s also the latest hot spot for a local hangout. You’re sure to find something you like at this bar, since it has the largest selection of wines by the glass available across the Golden Isles!
In a nutshell: St. Simons Island’s Halyards can be considered slightly more upscale, and the dining experience most certainly follows suit! Their inspired menu is set daily by their chef, and there is a craft beverage program including an extensive wine list, innovative Southern brews, and cocktails made with premium liquors and fresh, local ingredients.
Why it’s special: The beautiful, modern bar features comfortable seating and high top tables perfect for your group of girls! Halyards offers great happy hour deals on appetizers and drinks, so this can be your weekly spot!
In a nutshell: Located on St. Simons Island, The Public House is elegant, yet relaxed, and it offers a huge selection of craft beer and bottled and tap wine from around the world. With options to sit in the bar or post up in the intimate restaurant, there’s a perfect setting for your group.
Why it’s special: Not only is the elegant vibe perfect for a girls’ night out, but this location offers live music! Look for events to plan a great night with the backdrop of an even better band.
Breweries & Distilleries
Not only are there bars & pubs galore where visitors can find a great Southern brew, but now there’s a brewery right here in our historic port city, Brunswick! Enjoy a slice of pizza alongside some of the brewery’s 12 on-tap and on-trend, hop-forward flavors at a brand-new brewery, scheduled to open in late fall 2018. Stay tuned for more information!
Loving the craft scene? You won’t want to miss the newly opened Richland Rum distillery, also located in Brunswick. Featuring “Single Estate Old Georgia Rum,” chances are you haven’t yet tried this unique style of rum! We’re here to fix that: enjoy a tour and a tasting of this classic coastal spirit Monday-Saturday on your next trip to the Golden Isles.
Events, Live Music & More
With year-round gorgeous weather, the Golden Isles always has something going on. Explore our calendar of events for a variety of live music, festivals, food-centric events and more! Planning your trip around what’s going on? Check out our annual events for the icing on the cake of your already perfect vacation.
In addition to our festivals & events, there’s always live music in the Golden Isles. From lively bars to cozy coffee shops, large event venues to intimate settings, find out who’s playing this week and where.
Looking for some nightlife a little farther off the coast? Hop aboard the Emerald Princess II Casino – it’s a 200-foot ship with four fun-filled decks. Complete with 220 slots, blackjack tables, roulette, poker and more, the ship promises a night of fun – as long as you remember your lucky rabbit’s foot!