IMG00104-20110218-1830Ever since the city of Cape Coral passed an ordinance allowing bars to stay open until 4am, the downtown area known as South Cape has become a prime nightlife destination in Southwest Florida. Any local can tell you though, that the Cape Coral nightlife scene has always been anything but boring. While the area has plenty to offer in the form of bars, clubs, and dancing, if live music is more your thing, the following five bars and restaurants should be at the very top of your list to experience a variety of the local flavor.

Dixie Roadhouse for Country Western
Dixie Roadhouse is by far Cape Coral’s most popular nighttime destination, and has even been voted as the best nightclub in all of Southwest Florida. Although you have to be at least 21 to get inside this country western club, after that, anything goes, and you’ll find everyone from college students to retirees sharing the dance floor and having a good time. Most recently, the owners of Dixie Roadhouse were amongst the most vocal supporters of the new city ordinance to allow bars in South Cape to stay open until 4am, and were the very first bar in town to take advantage of the new hours after the ordinance passed. Offering a nightly DJ and the occasional live band, the free line dancing lessons are not to be missed!

The Nauti Mermaid for Music on the Water
If you prefer to enjoy your live entertainment in a gorgeous, waterfront setting, then The Nauti Mermaid may be just the bar and grill for you. Located within the Resort at Marina Village, this popular hotspot serves both lunch and dinner and is accessible by both car and boat. Special events within the resort often bring special entertainment to this locale, and there is even a fire pit for sipping wine and enjoying a little after dinner conversation to add to the unique ambiance. The restaurant offers live music Wednesday through Saturday nights, as well as on Sunday afternoons, and is the perfect place to unwind while watching the boats coming and going in the marina.

Woody’s for a “Cheesburger in Paradise”
If you like relaxing Jimmy Buffet style to the sound of steel drums and other tropical sounds, then Woody’s is your Cape Coral bar. And if you enjoy watching the big game with friends in a restaurant that the whole family can have a good time in, then we’ll definitely be seeing you there. Sports fans are sure to compete for seating at any of the restaurant’s massive booths – each equipped with their own flatscreen TV – while others are sure to simply enjoy their margaritas under the stars at the outdoor tiki bar while enjoying some of the local musical talent. The closest you can get to island living while still on the Florida mainland!

Brew Babies for Live Jazz
For some fresh Italian seafood and a unique family-friendly atmosphere in Cape Coral, Brew Babies is one of the lesser-known and yet most loved locations for live music. This restaurant features live jazz music after 5pm to be enjoyed in one of the Cape’s classiest settings, a romantically-lit Italian style courtyard with its very own bubbling fountain in the center. The food at this location is considered to be some of the best in Southwest Florida, and the family who owns the restaurant is involved in every step of the way, from designing the menu to baking the desserts. You’ll find this local gem directly behind the Holiday Inn in downtown Cape Coral.

The Dog for Local Artists
This dog-themed restaurant in Cape Coral is truly one of a kind, providing fun your furry best friend can enjoy with you. Not only are the decor and menu designed to celebrate your favorite pets, but Fido and Fluffy are welcome too, and they can even invite a few of their own friends as The Dog can accommodate private parties as well. Nightly music features local artists and bands, but staff members and diners are often invited on the stage as well. If you like good classic food and music that is interactive as well as entertaining, bring your family down to the only bar in town where you can truly bring the whole family.