The watering hole goes out on the water.
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First there was the beach bar. Then there was the swim-up pool bar. And now, in the Caribbean, it's all about the floating bar.

From Jamaica to the Turks and Caicos Islands, drinkers are swapping the sand for pleasure boats, pontoons, and platforms — far enough offshore to feel like a getaway, near enough to make swimming back an easy (albeit unlikely) option. Read on for some of our favorite island oases.

LimeOut floating bar and restaurant in the US Virgin Islands
Lime Out, in St. John's Coral Bay.
| Credit: Sarah Swan/Courtesy of Lime Out

Captain Oak's Tiki Bar — Turks and Caicos

For $20 per person (round-trip) you can let someone else do the driving from your hotel to this floating bar, anchored off breezy Long Bay Beach on the island of Providenciales. On the menu: local Turk's Head beer, rum cocktails, and "light foods and heavy fun." fb.com/captoakstikibar.

Tiki Pon Da Sea — Jamaica

In the west-coast town of Negril, you can hop this motorized tiki boat for one of many boozy cruise options, including a classic sunset sailing along Seven Mile Beach. The breakfast cruise to nearby Booby Cay — complete with all-you-can-drink mimosas, rum punch, or Blue Mountain coffee — is a memorable way to start the day. tikipondasea.com.

Tiki Pon Da Sea floating bar, in Jamaica
Visitors to Negril, Jamaica, can sail with a Red Stripe in hand on the pontoon-boat bar Tiki Pon Da Sea.
| Credit: Rodcliffe Hume/Courtesy of Tiki Pon Da Sea

Lime Out — U.S. Virgin Islands

For those who'd rather not drink on an empty stomach, this "cottage on pontoons" in St. John's Coral Bay offers tacos (try the rum-rib with chipotle slaw) and a lineup of rum-based cocktails, as well as stylish merch. limeoutvi.com.

Floyd's Pelican Bar — Jamaica

The vision of local fisherman Floyd Forbes, this driftwood hangout-on-stilts (rebuilt after major hurricanes) sits off Parottee Point on the southern coast. Bring a hometown flag or license plate to hang on the ceiling — and bills, too, because Floyd's is cash-only. pelicanbar.restaurantsnapshot.com.

Tropical Tiki Tours — U.S. Virgin Islands

Bring your own liquor and snacks for cruises around St. Croix's Christiansted Harbor. The thatched-roof tiki boat comes with crew service, plenty of ice, and a Bluetooth-enabled sound system to keep the party rocking. tropicaltikitours.com.

A version of this story first appeared in the February 2022 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline In The Drink.