Jacksonville is the Florida city that seems to fly just under the radar, a growing beach-adjacent urban area that doesn’t seem to get quite the coverage its neighboring cities generate. But as with any somewhat overlooked city, conditions are usually ripe for a stalwart collection of dive bars and Jacksonville certainly fits that bill.
The center of gravity for Jacksonville’s best dive bars is the beachfront strip east of downtown along the Atlantic Ocean, stretching from Neptune Beach southward. A pair of the area’s best dive bars live here, Pete’s Bar
in all of its 1933 Neptune Beach whitewashed glory and Ginger’s Place
, the unmissable home to the ghost of its past owner who rose to prominence as a mermaid, yes, mermaid.
And there are other stops to be made, including that rarest of phenomenon, a “new” dive bar worth visiting. In this case, Shantytown Pub’s
post-2000 opening date can’t be held against the Jacksonville dive bar, its murals, wall decorations and budget-friendly pours fitting the dive bar bill. These and other dive bars around the city sit just under the surface, just as Jacksonville somewhat does in Florida, a pairing that yields some good dive bar results.