Kick it on the sand and sip signature cocktails at these six waterfront watering holes.
To prepare our readers for the first day of summer (June 21), several members of the LOCAL Life team recently mapped out the ultimate Hilton Head Island beach bar crawl. The party started at Sea Pines Beach Club and ended more than five hours later, unexpectedly judging a pre-Derby hat contest at Jamaica Joe’z. To justify this as an official work outing (saving each of us a personal day), we share this step-by-step guide to our boozy adventure. If day drinking, good music and an eight-mile walk is your idea of a good time — this experience is hard to beat. Be sure to drink responsibly (i.e., don’t spill any of it). Long live summer!
Ultimate Hilton Head Island Beach Bar Crawl Details
When: Friday, April 26, 2019
Where: Sea Pines Beach Club, Loggerhead Landing, Tiki Hut, Pool Bar Jim’s, Coco’s on the Beach, Jamaica Joe’z
Participants: Lori Goodridge-Cribb, Lance Hanlin, Jeremy Swartz, Allison Cusick, Ashlan Saeger, Kelly Manuelsmith, Dolly the Beach Berner
Total Distance: 7.7 miles
Total Walking Time: 2 hours, 44 minutes
Stop 1: Sea Pines Beach Club
Signature drink: Pirate’s Mai Tai; made with Castillo light rum, Myers’s Dark rum, almond liquor, pineapple, orange and lime juices. $9.
Bartender: Aimee Maher
Highlights: This is the only stop on the crawl that is truly dog friendly. The manager, Lisa, even brought over a cute bowl of water for Dolly the Beach Berner, then introduced us to rock star sous-chef, Danny Hieronymous, who explained how Coast sources its fresh seafood. We spent over an hour there, speaking with the Coast team, enjoying fantastic food and soaking up the stunning ocean views.
Crawler tips: Don’t forget $8 for the Sea Pines gate. When you drive into the club, tell the attendant you are headed to Coast. If you are walking, consider taking Uber or the Sea Pines trolley to this first stop.
Stop 2: Loggerhead Landing
Signature drink: The Tipsy Turtle; made with rum, melon liqueur and pineapple juice. $9.
Bartenders: Eric Bissonnette and Seth Beasley
Highlights: There are plenty of areas to unwind at this stop, which is attached to Marriott’s Grande Ocean. Enjoy a frozen drink or cocktail at the wraparound bar, on the oceanfront patio or near the gas fire pits after the sun goes down. Live steel drums definitely add to the relaxing atmosphere.
Crawler tips: Dogs are allowed in the sandy areas but not under the covered porch, bar area or around the pool. If you are driving, there is metered parking across the street. If you’re hungry, nearby Dolphin Grille offers a good selection of wraps and sandwiches.
Stop 3: Tiki Hut
Signature drink: Miami Vice; made with Cruzan aged light rum, piña colada and strawberry purée. $11.
Bartender: Beau Bader
Highlights: Hilton Head’s most popular beach bar never disappoints. Listen to great live music and watch in-shape people play volleyball while enjoying a cold one under the legendary grass hut. Drinking the Miami Vice too quickly gave many of our team members brain freeze. Jeremy’s “press your thumb against the roof of your mouth” myth actually helped. Kelly’s “press your tongue against the roof of your mouth” myth was quickly debunked.
Crawler tips: Great place for people watching. Dogs are not allowed. If you’re driving, park across the street in the public lot for Coligny Beach Park.
Stop 4: Pool Bar Jim’s
Signature drink: Lava Flow; made with Bacardi Light Rum, pineapple juice, banana, coconut cream and berries. $10.
Bartender: Justin Bubeck
Highlights: The man himself, Jim Lisenby, wasn’t there. He was at the Jimmy Buffett concert in Atlanta because he’s Pool Bar Jim and that’s just how he rolls. The bar was surprisingly busy for the time of year, with many locals and visitors enjoying the cup-and-a-half icy cocktails.
Crawler tips: The bar area can get a little tight, but the sitting areas near the ocean are wonderful spots to enjoy PBJ’s famous frozen libations. If you’re driving, park near The Sea Crest Resort and make your way to the back of the underground parking lot to reach the entrance. The food is done by A Lowcountry Backyard, so it’s great.
Stop 5: Coco’s on the Beach
Signature drink: Margarita Coco Style; made with Don Julio Anejo Tequila and Grand Marnier. $9.50.
Bartender: Justin Walker
Highlights: This relaxing beach shack is a hidden gem. Finding it is half the fun. The elevated deck offers stunning views of the ocean and the famous 10th hole at the Robert Trent Jones golf course in Palmetto Dunes. There’s a volleyball court too, if you have any wind left after the long walk.
Crawler tips: If you are walking, look for beach marker 94A at Singleton Beach. If you are driving, park at Hilton Head Resort. You have to pay the guard $5 to park, but you will get a credit at the bar if you don’t forget to show them the voucher. If the golf cart isn’t running, you have to walk about a mile boardwalk between the resort and the bar.
Stop 6: Jamaica Joe’z
Signature drink: Category 5 Hurricane; made with Myers’s Rum, Malibu, Bacardi, Captain Morgan and Bacardi 151. $9.25.
Bartender: Melissa Diaz
Highlights: This is a fun and festive beach bar with an awesome view of the beach and Hilton Head Island’s largest outdoor pool. The bar area can get a little crowded but there is plenty of seating outside. After a few Cat 5 Hurricanes, a few members of our team were asked to judge a pre-Derby hat party.
Crawler tips: If you are driving, you need to pay a $5 gate pass. You will get a credit at the bar (again, if you remember). Be careful of the Cat 5 Hurricane. You’ll be feeling good after just one but will crave more because it tastes so delicious, despite being a glass full of five different liquors. The frozen version has a little less alcohol and is harder to chug after a long day of walking, sun and fun.
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