The City of Stuart, Florida, is on the Treasure Coast of Florida spanning the banks of the St. Lucie river. Geographically, it is located between Port St. Lucie to the north and West Palm Beach to the south. Stuart has a reputation as the boating capital of Florida, and a motto of “The Sailfish Captial of the World.” The beautiful south Florida beaches are just a quick 10 minute drive from the heart of the historical downtown area, which boasts a collection of boutique stores, restaurants and bars. Stuart is most certainly a fishing and boating paradise, but it also caters to the music lover as well. The City of Stuart has a wide range of music options, whether you’re looking to kick back and listen to acoustic guitar while sipping a cold cocktail to full-fledged music festivals to crazy late night dance parties. In this article, we’ll look at five ways Stuart caters to the music lover.
Option One: Café Troubadors
On any given night, the local restaurants and bars offer up a local musician or band to entertain you while eating, drinking, and just relaxing in the South Florida weather. Venues include the following:
- Salted Lime Café – formerly the Key Lime Cafe, this is an outdoor bar with a simple menu, hosting guitar players several nights a week. Great venue for sipping cocktails in early evening listening to great local talent.
- Osceola Street Café – an outstanding restaurant that also hosts guest musicians weekly. The music is a perfect accompanyment to the casual fine dining experience found here.
- Maria’s Café – Maria’s is another local restaurant that has recently been rocking Oceola street with live bands.
- B. Merry Gastro Pub – The newcomer is also serving up an eclectic variety of local musical talent, ranging from the traditional guitars and bands, to horns and brass instruments.
There are many other restaurants and bars that provide musical entertainment for their patrons. Locals will check out StuartNightLife.com for a full listing each night.
Here’s a secret that few locals even know: If you are planning to stay in the area, check out the Old Colorado Inn. It has a balcony directly above the Salted Lime Café’s “stage.” Guests of the Inn can lounge on the deck, enjoying the music, watching the sun set and people walking by. If you stay at the Old Colorado Inn, tell Steven that Jim sent you.
Option Two: Rockin’ Riverwalk Music Series
With the Rockin’ Riverwalk Music Series, you can catch bands playing almost every Sunday afternoon between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the waterfront (or rather water’s edge) stage. Downtown Stuart boast the Riverwalk stage, which is a stage built over the waters of the St. Lucie River with seating built into the riverbank. What is better than watching live music with a beautiful water view backdrop? Watching them for free, or course! There is no cover charge, no tickets needed, just first come, first serve seating. In addition to the music, there is a Green Market just behind the Riverwalk stage that will serve up food and drink as well as arts and crafts by locals. Stroll down Osceola Street during the band’s breaks to see the shops or grab an icecream. Sunday’s are a perfect day to sit in the open air, relax and enjoy the weather, the company, and the music. It relaxes you down to the soul.
Locals know to bring beach chairs or blankets and set up in the grass areas to the side of the Riverwalk bleacher area and picnic.
Or, better yet, drive your boat to Stuart’s dock and enjoy an unabstructed view of the band, and easy access to the Green Market.
Option Three: Concerts at the Lyric Theatre
The Lyric Theatre has been entertaining people in downtown Stuart since 1926, and continues to do so at the highest level. The music options here range from concerts to musicals to dance. A packed monthly calendar will host classical, jazz, oldies, country, and just about anything in between. Where the Riverwalk is a very casual scene, local patrons to the Lyric prefer to keep it classy, so you’ll see elegance and class in abundance. And they also like to make a night of it, including dining locally and strolling over to the show.
Local tip: The theatre seats about 500, and so planning ahead is often recommended. Check out their website for schedule and ticket options.
Option Four: Dancin’ In the Street
On the fourth Saturday of August, downtown Stuart closes off the streets and invites people to its annual street party and music festival called Dancin’ in the Street. This festival boats multiple stages and the bands and DJs to fill them. The bands vary from Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Country, and Jazz, and include electronic dance music as well. Last year, the attendance was over 7000 people, and was headlined by Blood Sweat and Tears. The next date is August 23, 2014, so mark your calendars. In addition to music, there are food trucks, a kid’s carnival, and beer and wine.
Our final local tip is to save $5 a head by getting advanced tickets.
Option Five: Dance Your Boots and Pants Off
Our list would not be complete if we did not list the option for electronic music lovers. Those who like a younger and wilder crowd will be relieved to know there are serveral clubs in and around downtown Stuart hosting local DJs on a regular basis. Be sure to check out Tank’d Tuesday’s at the Stuart Ale House, and Bring on the Neon paint parties at Cruisers. Additional venues include Crush Wine Bar, Bru’s Room and Bowery Lounge.
Local party hounds follow DJ JulianM on twitter for latest info on what is.
By now, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that downtown Stuart loves music. And you’d be absolutely correct. What other city do you know where the city hall building enhanced its million dollar river views with an equally impressive river side stage? So come on and visit Stuart, and don’t be surprise to see me in the crowd.