The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package (aka The Flora-Bama) sits right on the Florida-Alabama state line. It’s been touted as being America's "Last Great Roadhouse" – the five-star honky-tonk of the Redneck Riviera, immortalized in song by Jimmy Buffett and in prose by John Grisham. Its greatness is agreed upon by all who gaze upon it in wonder, some of them seeing two of it. It’s a mix of honky-tonk, oyster bar, beach bar, and Gulf Coast cultural landmark. (... See below to read more.)
The Flora-Bama was originally constructed in 1964, two years after the road connecting Orange Beach, AL with Perdido Key, FL was completed (known as Alabama State Route 182). In the early days of the Flora-Bama, the lounge was practically the only thing in the area. As traffic began to increase along the new highway, business grew and the lounge grew to match. Walking from room to room, it seems like the builders just nailed up some plywood and called it an addition. The maze of rooms now boasts 20 bars, four stages, and upper and lower deck, and a beach area.
Surprisingly, under all the cheap wood and graffiti, an impressive liquor system runs through the walls. All of the liquor is on tap – flowing from one downstairs room. Additionally, the bar’s walls are plastered with extensive articles and mentions of the bar. Over the past 50 years the Flora-Bama has been named one of the best beach bars in the nation by Playboy Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Delta Sky Magazine, Men's Journal, USA Today, CNN, The Huffington Post, Yahoo Travel, Southern Living, Garden and Gun (and others). The Flora-Bama has also been noted by others including John Grisham (The Pelican Brief), The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Boating Magazine, Outdoor Magazine, Jimmy Buffett (Riddles in the Sand), etc.
Trashy, yet oddly sweet. The Flora-Bama’s owners attribute their success to the bar’s motto, promising unironically to "grant equal respect to all who enter… expecting the same in return." ** Pictured: The Flora-Bama’s signature "Bushwacker." Imagine a Wendy’s frosty meets Kahlua and rum.
Posts are a combination of my own research, visits, and conversations, plus various information found around the web. I try to provide sources, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask!