Laid back locales

Floridians have certainly learned to use the best of their 1,197 miles of coastline with the invention of the beach bar. Jimmy Buffet songs come to mind along with the sounds of rushing waves, the smell of saltwater and a very relaxed atmosphere. Many USF students call central Florida home, and the beaches that surround the area have become vital relaxation spots. Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Daytona and Cocoa beaches are all fundamental summer hang outs that wouldn’t be complete without the unique beach bars that accompany them.

Undertow Beach Bar
3850 Gulf Blvd.
St Pete Beach
(727) 368-9000

St. Petersburg just wouldn’t be the same without Undertow Beach Bar. Undertow is family owned and operated and was established in 1991. Undertow, located directly on the beach, offers a relaxing reggae feel, boasting great food and drink specials. On Wednesday there are $1 domestic longnecks from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m., Thursday night is promo night, with free stuff from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. and Saturday offers live reggae and a volleyball league. Try their specialty rumrunners, daiquiris and Kalik, a light Bahamian brew. Parking is limited so it is suggested that guests try to carpool. Beach lovers flock to this low-key location to relax, watch the sunset and sip on specialty drinks.

Frenchy’s Original Café
41 Baymont St.
Clearwater Beach
(727) 446-3607

Clearwater Beach is home to “The Original” Frenchy’s Café. According to its Web site, “Frenchy, his partner Pete, and their friends worked together creating a restaurant with a casual atmosphere and the freshest seafood possible.” Established in 1981, Frenchy’s boasts a “world-famous Grouper sandwich,” and they might be right. Frenchy’s bought their own production fishing dock and boats. Caught by Frency’s own employess, the fish is never frozen. They have expanded to three more locations in Clearwater with the Salt Water Café, Rockaway Grill and South Beach Café. Come taste the freshest seafood around in a great atmosphere.

Froggy’s Saloon
800 Main St.
Daytona Beach
(386) 254-8808

On the east coast, Daytona Beach is known for its crazy spring breaks and, of course, the annual Biketoberfest. Opened in 1990, Froggy’s caters to the biker lifestyle but assures nonbikers that they will feel right at home. Boasting the “world’s largest biker bar” and “the world’s biker party headquarters,” Froggy’s is a 20-hour-a-day party (open 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.). Its slogan says it all: “Get here early, get a spot, Froggy’s makes sure you don’t wait for a shot!”

Coconuts On The Beach
2 Minutemen Cswy.
Cocoa Beach
(321) 784-1422.

Cocoa Beach would be nothing without this hot spot. Forget Ron John’s, Coconuts on the Beach is the place to be. Boasting an extensive menu and happy hour (Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), Coconuts has daily events such as karaoke, local bands and DJ’s to complete the party atmosphere. The majority of the bar is a large outdoor tiki deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The bar offers a unique, friendly atmosphere, with everyone from locals to tourists from around the world coming to visit.