Of course you’ll be busy all weekend at WordCamp Jacksonville honing your WordPress knowledge. But you can’t forget about the beachside cocktails. As the largest city by area in the US, it’d be pretty tough to try to see all there is to see, but you can always hit up a bar (or three).
A lot of Jacksonville’s most popular destinations are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from each other. There’s really no excuse not to relax with a cold beer or dance the night away at one of these top nighttime destinations in Jax. Just make sure you’re up and ready for those 8 a.m. WordCamp sessions!
Sidecar is the crown jewel of the San Marco area. Renowned for their specialty cocktails, and conveniently connected to a top-notch pizzeria, Sidecar boasts an extensive whiskey menu, as well as enough beer and wine to satisfy anyone’s palate. Sidecar is sophisticated but not too fancy, keeping in theme with the historic San Marco neighborhood. Try their specialty whiskey infused with peach, pecans, and Capt’n Crunch. You read that right. The cereal.
Dos Gatos is a downtown destination located right across from the historic Florida Theatre. They call themselves “Jacksonville’s original cocktail lounge,” so you’re sure to order from someone who knows what they’re doing. Dos Gatos prides itself on providing fancy cocktails without the hipster pretentiousness. Guess we’ll be the judge of that!
A “rock ‘n’ roll speakeasy”? Whatever that means, count us in! The Rogue is a whiskey dive bar without the shady characters. Plus 25¢ tacos and ring toss. Get a ring on the bottle, win a shot! The Rogue is right on West Jax’s King Street, so somehow whiskey and tacos aren’t your vibe, there are plenty of other places to hop around to.
Looking to kick back and relax? Watch the sunset from a lounge chair? Pretend you’re far, far away? The Lemon Bar is one of the top beachfront bars in Florida, and the perfect place to pretend you’re really on vacation. The Lemon Bar has an extensive menu of frozen drinks, as well as seafood any way you can think of. What’s a trip to Jacksonville without a little sand between your toes?
After you have one too many at Sidecar (or, depending on your attitude, just enough), head up the street for salsa dancing at one of the largest clubs in Florida. Cuba Libre is where to go to loosen up a bit and learn a dance move or two. They also serve a few craft cocktails, like the avocado martini. They insist is not as crazy as it sounds.
Okay, we cheated a bit with this one. This isn’t just one destination. It’s 19. But don’t let that intimidate you. Jax Ale Trail is a coalition of local Jacksonville breweries, many of which are located either downtown or right off Jacksonville Beach. Get a drink at four different locations, and you get a koozie. At eight, you get a t-shirt. At Engine 15 Brewing Co. you can accompany your brew with a Frito pie, or you can support vets at Veteran United Craft Brewery. And while that might be a lot to ask in one weekend, you know that any of the breweries on the trail are worth checking out.
If you’re not in the mood to hop from brewery to brewery, sample a variety of local beers at Town Beer Co. The mood is quiet yet fun. It’s a great place to catch up with your coworkers or get to know your new WordCamp friends. Town Beer is nestled among the murals and great eats of the Murray Hill neighborhood, so you can grab dinner and explore before grabbing a nightcap.
If live music is your jam, head downtown to the Breezy Jazz Club. Bands play nightly, with a $10 cover on Friday and Saturday evenings. The Breezy serves anything you would imagine a jazz club would offer, plus some snack foods (read: chicken wings) for your late night cravings.
If you’re looking to spend your weekend as close to the ocean as possible, you have to check out Ragtime Tavern. Serving house-brewed beer and a menu packed with tavern staples, Ragtime is a local hot spot for anything from lunch to happy hour to a late night bite. Ragtime often hosts live bands and offers plenty of patio seating overlooking the ocean. Plus, they take reservations, so it’s great for groups!
Excited yet? Well we’re just jealous we won’t be able to join you! Be sure to say “Hi” to our partner David from Shepherds Loft while you’re there, and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest WordCamp news.