Beachside Evenings: The Best Nightlife in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, and Pensacola Beach

Besides fantastic coastal activities such as beach strolls, water sports, and, of course, the breathtaking views of the sea, the Gulf Coast of the USA is also a hotspot for nightlife activity!

Whether you’re exploring Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, or Pensacola, these coastal havens offer a perfect blend of outdoor bliss and vibrant city life.

As the sun sets, the area comes alive with an array of options, from seaside restaurants and beachfront pubs to lively breweries and music venues.

In this guide, we’ll unveil our top picks for the best beachside nightlife spots and activities along the Gulf Coast, spanning Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, and Pensacola.

Let’s plunge into the lively nights by the Gulf!

People cheering with beer bottles.

The Best Nightlife Activities in Gulf Shores

Big Beach Brewing Company in Gulf Shores, AL

Big Beach Brewing is a haven for beer enthusiasts and anyone seeking a fun night out in Gulf Shores. Their diverse handcrafted beers cater to every palate, offering a range from IPAs and Stouts to Cream Ales and Belgian-style beers — all crafted to perfection. You can explore something new with each visit, in addition to their 12 regular taps.

If beer is not your drink of choice, you’ll still find plenty of options with a diverse selection of wine and cocktails. On weekends, the atmosphere becomes even livelier with live music featuring amazing bands.

While Big Beach Brewing doesn’t serve regular meals, they often host food trucks during special events, allowing customers to grab a bite while enjoying their flavorful brews.

You can enjoy everything in their delightful outdoor taproom, complete with a fire pit if the night ever gets a bit chilly.

Bar 45 in Gulf Shores, AL

Considered one of the best sports and entertainment venues in Gulf Shores, Bar 45 features over 20 large TVs for sports fans to watch a match and chat with friendly locals while trying their delicious draft beer and mouth-watering bites.

They also host weekly events such as karaoke night on Wednesdays, trivia on Thursdays, and live music performances every Friday. Check out their outdoor patio overlooking a golf course — that’s what we call a beer with a view!

The bar is open from Wednesday through Sunday, and every day there’s something different going on. The atmosphere is invariably welcoming, vibrant, and warm. Besides beer, they also offer great signature cocktails and mocktails.

The Best Nightlife Activities in Orange Beach

People playing arcade games.

The Wharf in Orange Beach, AL

For years, The Wharf has been commonly considered the number one place for entertainment in Orange Beach.

You can easily spend a whole day exploring the area, checking its boutiques, and strolling along the marina to admire the boats and yachts coming and going.

Towards the end of the day, watch the spectacular sunset from the iconic Ferris wheel at The Wharf, one of the tallest in the Southeast.

Then, when evening comes, it’s great to enjoy dinner and grab a cocktail at one of the restaurants scattered around the area. Nighttime attractions include the mesmerizing SPECTRA Laser Light Experience, featuring a dazzling display of lights, lasers, and music.

You should also check if there’s an event happening at the amphitheater or have fun with friends at Breakout, an escape room-style game.

Speaking of which, game lovers junkies will have a blast at Arena the Next Level, a 10,000-square-foot arcade featuring interactive games such as laser tag and bazooka ball, to name a few.

CoastAL in Orange Beach, AL

Another must-visit spot in Orange Beach, CoastAL is great for a night out infused with great music, food, drinks, and views of the Gulf of Mexico. As the only beachfront restaurant in Orange Beach, it offers customers the opportunity to have fun while enjoying the salty breeze from the ocean.

During the weekends, you can spice things up by indulging in great fresh seafood dishes for dinner and then enjoy a live music performance from a local artist with a signature cocktail in hand.

CoastAL offers both indoor and outdoor areas, both exuding delightful beachy vibes. Simply a fantastic setting for an evening with your loved ones or friends.

The Best Nightlife Activities in Perdido Key

People Dancing.

Perdido Key Sports Bar & Restaurant in Perdido Key, FL

Perdido Key Sports Bar & Restaurant is a real local gem and late-night hotspot where you can indulge in superb chicken wings, tacos, and burgers. Once you get energized with great food, it’s time to dance your night away with the amazing live music they play and get to know the locals.

Live performances happen every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. As the name suggests, if your night out means watching a sports match, don’t think twice. Join the passionate crowd at Perdido Key Sports Bar & Restaurant — the lively atmosphere is sure to keep you coming back every time you visit Perdido Key.

Flora-Bama in Perdido Key, FL

What about paying a visit to the “World’s Most Famous Beach Bar”? Bearing this unique fame, the Flora-Bama is uniquely located right on the Florida-Alabama state line— which leads to its unusual name.

Serving as a waterfront seafood restaurant and bar, it has been an iconic coastal destination, entertaining visitors and locals alike since 1964.

The oysters, tacos, and shrimp offered here are fantastic, arguably among the best dishes available in the area. The atmosphere is unparalleled. You can relish in great live music and scenic beach views; live performances happen every night featuring both regional and national talent.

The Flora-Bama is a guaranteed spot for some beachside drinking fun. Not convinced? Their fame extends to something very quirky — the “Interstate Mullet Toss,” Aka, the Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party.

The Best Nightlife Activities in Pensacola

Lady singing karaoke.

O’Riley’s Uptown Tavern in Pensacola, FL

Delighting patrons for over 20 years, O’Riley’s Uptown Tavern has already become an institution in Pensacola. This local favorite exudes awesome Irish pub vibes and offers a range of delicious drinks with weekly specials, along with warm and friendly service and ample entertainment for an unforgettable night out.

The setting features several pool tables, dart boards, beer pong tables, and even an outdoor recreational deck for special events. There are large TVs for live game showings. Speaking of which, during sports seasons, the matches are celebrated with wild parties that draw in both locals and tourists.

This is a great spot to mingle with locals as well as chat with the bartenders. By the way, feel free to ask for their cocktail recommendations. Their genuine passion for mixology is totally transparent! If you want to sing your heart out, O’Riley’s also offers a karaoke setup.

McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, FL

What about some more Irish vibes? Housed within an original 1927 Old Firehouse, this award-winning steakhouse in the heart of Pensacola offers an authentic Irish saloon experience.

The pub brews five distinct beers in its onsite oak and copper brewery and boasts a great selection of both classic and innovative cocktails.

With live performances happening almost every night, it will be hard not to stay for a drink or two. The live music, often featured, elevates the atmosphere, occasionally incorporating Irish melodies to enhance the vibe. Don’t forget to bring a dollar bill to sign and affix to the pub’s walls. Rumor has it that the establishment is adorned with over a million bills.

Escape Room on Palafox in Pensacola, FL

Here’s one for the adrenaline junkies. Escape On Palafox offers immersive and challenging real-life adventures with several themed escape rooms. In these rooms, participants must solve puzzles, search for clues, and unravel mysteries to escape within 60 minutes.

Each room features a unique narrative, enhancing the immersive experience and presenting a mystery for teams to solve. The rooms are private, ensuring only your group members take part (note: a minimum of 4 people is required). They also vary in difficulty, catering to both beginners and more advanced players.

While this is not exclusively a nightlife activity, it’s still a good way to start an evening before heading out to a bar to go over all the challenges — if you still have the energy with you, that is!

Besides, after your escape room adrenaline rush, you’ll likely be feeling peckish, so consider enjoying a delicious meal at one of the many excellent restaurants along this renowned street or grabbing a drink at one of the bars you’ll find around.

The Handlebar in Pensacola, FL

A local favorite since the 1980s, The Handlebar has been a go-to destination for fantastic live music, a cozy atmosphere, and quality beer. Following some renovations, this historical venue has reopened, bringing back the delightful vibes of its rustic and brick-walled space. If you have a taste for underground and alternative music, this is the spot to be, offering a diverse schedule of live concerts.

Their exceptional sound and lighting system elevate the ambiance of the venue and will captivate you the moment you step in. If you crave some bites, a few food trucks are stationed just outside so that you can recharge your batteries between one drink and the other.

The Best Nightlife in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, and Pensacola

The Gulf Coast is great night and day and all year round! When you plan a visit to this stunning coastal region, it’s always a great idea to check an updated guide to the best nightlife things to do along  Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, and Pensacola; new venues pop up all the time, bringing more exciting concepts and opportunities to meet locals and have a great night out.

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