A staple of all human cultures, almost everything is improved by music—and that includes vacations! Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or just interested in what talent the locals of St. Augustine have to offer, there are a few restaurants and nightclubs we encourage you to check out. All music is free to their patrons.
Located right in the heart of downtown, even the name of this restaurant and bar pays tribute to the music that is so integral to its identity. It’s open six nights a week (closed Mondays), and offers live music each one! The weeknights feature recurring bands, such as salsa on Sundays and Tuesday’s blues, but Friday and Saturday nights have a revolving door of local artists, so you’ll never know what you’ll find—even if you’ve been once, it’s worth revisiting! And if you particularly love music, head in on Wednesday for open mic night!
2. Tradewinds Lounge
Open seven days a week, Tradewinds features blues, rock n’ roll, country, and oldies in their eclectic lineup—a tradition which goes way back in the bar’s 50+ years of operation. Note here that there are no food options, as the proprietors prefer to focus on drinks and music. The atmosphere is very relaxed, so the dancing is uninhibited and delightful. Not a showy place, Tradewinds is truly a hidden gem, savored by locals.
3. Stogie’s Cigar Bar
If you’re out for a more upscale evening—especially if you dream of Prohibition-era parties—then check out Stogie’s. People with an aversion to tobacco may not like it here, but if some secondhand smoke doesn’t bother you, then you’re in for some spectacular jazz music. The beer is also top notch. Stogie’s is open until the wee hours of the morning, making it a great place to visit when other options have closed. So, music, a drink, and a smoke at 1 a.m.—what about this doesn’t scream “high life?”
4. Dos Gatos
Not as heavy on music as some of these other entries, Dos Gatos deserves a mention as another nightclub that is ready to satisfy your drink cravings until 2 in the morning. It features events from Karaoke on Mondays to dance-music DJs on the weekends, Dos Gatos is a 21+ bar that fully embraces its lounge setting.
5. Mardi Gras Sports Bar
A sports bar, Mardi Gras is just as serious about entertainment as the other entries on this list. Monday evenings offer live music from 8:30 all the way until midnight, with judges picking the best song of the night—and you know how much energy a little competition can create! Every Friday and Saturday night features a different band, so it’s worth checking the place out if you’re craving a jam to go along with your drink. And of course, what bar would be complete without karaoke? Give your own voice an exercise on Wednesdays!