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Hitting The High Cs: Our Best Bets For Live Music

Whether you enjoy country tunes, cover bands, dueling pianos or being caught up in the action yourself, there are a slew of live music options for your next trip to the beach. From Destin to Inlet Beach and all along Scenic Highway 30A, these are your best bets for live music (and some pretty good eats, too!).

Photo courtesy of The Red Bar
  • The Red Bar — No list of live music spots would be complete without this renowned Grayton Beach attraction. When The Red Bar burned to the ground in 2019, its owners wasted no time putting plans in place to rebuild. The new Red Bar reopened in 2020 and the good times have been rolling ever since. Join the jazz band nearly nightly for tunes while you eat.
  • Old Florida Fish House — Real estate agent Janet Murphy recommended this option for dueling pianos on Thursday nights, but that’s not the only live music option. This 30A eatery welcomes the soothing sounds of Russ Whitten, local contemporary artist Matt Lyons and special guests like Jared Herzog from “The Voice” regularly.
  • Redd’s Fueling Station — We’ve heard through the grapevine that the singing bartender is quite entertaining, with performances on days with a “T” — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Redd’s also welcomes the John Galt Dance Band on Fridays and has both dueling piano and open mic nights.
  • Club LA — You’ll find Keli at Club LA when cover bands are on the schedule, which is often. In the months ahead, enjoy tribute bands dedicated to Guns N’ Roses, The Eagles, Rob Zombie, Def Leppard, AC/DC, Meatloaf, Alice Cooper and U2.
  • The Harbor Tavern — The Harbor Tavern’s Facebook page is full of invitations to “come hang” and enjoy a rotating lineup of musicians, but they also do food and do it well with a variety of seafood tacos, burgers and Mediterranean bowls.
  • Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation — You’ll have to be strategic about this one, but your planning will be rewarded. “Concerts in the Village” has taken on a life of its own, with a full line-up of musicians every spring and fall. This family-friendly atmosphere takes place in an outdoor venue and the season culminates with an annual Festival of the Arts.
  • The Hub — Known as “The Greatest Backyard Party of All-Time,” The Hub is a popular spot for food, shopping and, of course, music. From funk to jazz to Americana, performances at The Hub take place on the lawn or you can mill around the complex while enjoying live entertainment.
  • Shore Thing Cigars — Janet recommended this locale for its karaoke nights on Fridays, but this off-the-beaten-path option also offers live music on Sunday evenings as well. Music might seem like an odd option for a cigar bar until you realize country superstar Luke Bryan is part owner.
  • Graffiti & Funky Blues Shack — This is a favorite of agent Keli O’Neal. Located right in the heart of Destin, this option has won “Best Music Venue” locally for several years. They feature live music from 7 to 10 p.m. and also have outdoor seating with live music as well. A full calendar of bands performing here is available on their website.
  • The Village of Baytowne Wharf — Located inside the gates of the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, The Village of Baytowne Wharf is your go-to for all things entertainment including fireworks, art, food and more. Their Wednesday night concert series features local and regional talent through the summer.
  • North Beach Social — Agent Mandy Cooper enjoys this venue that sits right on Choctawhatchee Bay. In addition to a killer menu and drink selection, they feature live music five days a week — Mon., Tues. and Thurs. from 5 to 8 p.m. , Saturday noon to 3 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Red Fish Taco — Conveniently located right on Scenic Highway 30A in Blue Mountain Beach, Red Fish Taco is your one-stop destination for fresh Mexican cuisine and live music outside in the Garden Room from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. They also host special musical events like an upcoming dance party in honor of Jamaican Independence Day.
  • The Bay — Sundays and Wednesdays are your go-to days of the week to check out this bayfront option. On Sundays, enjoy Sunday Pickin’ with Mike Whitty and friends. Wednesday nights involve a bonfire and a diverse line-up of talent. You won’t go hungry here either, with Chef Jim Shirley’s creations that involve local seafood and Gulf Coast southern cuisine.
  • John Wehner’s Village Door — This local favorite offers a fearsome duo: A restaurant with live music daily and a live music dance club. One venue is located off Highway 98 near Seascape Resort in Miramar Beachwhile the dance club is housed inside of the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
  • AJ’s Grayton Beach — With live music every night, AJ’s at Grayton Beach is a sure bet. Inside, AJ’s has three bars, two stages and a dining area, complementing the lush outdoor patio and firepit. AJ’s Grayton Beach was voted one of 30A’s “Hottest Spots for Live Music.”  
  • Growler Garage 30A — Thirsty Thursday is Growler Garage’s weekly music night featuring Max McCann and his “All Originals.” There is also an extensive menu of craft beers and wines on tap and a unique atmosphere of nostalgic signage, custom painted guitars and surfboards and cool bikes to look at.
  • Stinky’s Fish Camp — Enjoy a Bluegrass Brunch with Longleaf Drive every Sunday at Stinky’s from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The brunch menu is extensive, too, with beignets, oysters all ways and a smattering of sweet and savory menu options.
  • Bric à Brac — Perhaps one of the most unique venues in Destin, Bric à Brac is part restaurant, part night club. They feature live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Latin nights at the dance club beginning at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings. The restaurant’s crab cakes were voted “Best in Destin.”
  • Shunk Gulley — This 30A hotspot is as well known for its cuisine and gulf views as it is for live music. Whether you just want to relax to indie guitar players or upbeat party songs, these talented musicians know the vibe of the area. A revolving line-up of talent can be viewed on the restaurant’s website.
Photo courtesy of Shunk Gulley

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