Home Travel USA Margaritaville: A Time-Honored Memorial to Jimmy Buffett

Margaritaville: A Time-Honored Memorial to Jimmy Buffett

Most people know of – and many people live by – the aphorism “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” but during my recent trip to Hollywood, Florida, it took on an even more special meaning. When Jimmy Buffett died in September 2023, he left behind a beloved legacy of famous songs. Such is true of many well-known musicians. But none has also left behind an empire of bars, restaurants and hotels as celebrated as the artist himself. The various “Margaritavilles” – based on Buffett’s 1977 hit song – attract thousands of visitors nationwide and it felt particularly fitting, as an ardent fan, to visit one.

JImmy Buffet comes alive at the Margaritaville Resort

The huge replica of a royal blue flip-flop that adorns the hotel lobby and the sign above the reservation desk that says “No Passport Required” immediately tells you you’re not at a Holiday Inn. The lengthy chandelier across the ceiling comprised of upside-down margarita glasses and the multiple song lyrics displayed around the hotel reinforce the Jimmy Buffett worldview. Do I even need to mention that Jimmy Buffett songs flow from speakers everywhere?

Margarita chandelier at the Margaritaville Resort.

From No woman to Blame to Strumming my Six-string to Searching for my Last Shaker of Salt, the unmistakable voice accompanies you throughout the grounds. Strolling through the property, which ends up facing the ocean, the Welcome to Paradise, License to Chill and Beach Vibe will entice even those who have never heard of the groupie accolade of Parrothead! Think original Swifties! Not exactly your grandmother’s hotel. On the other hand, considering that Buffett’s heyday was in the ’70’s and ’80’s, that’s exactly what it might be…

Boat dining at the Margeritaville Resort.

How to describe hanging out in this flagship hotel’s Margaritaville Bar – one of a half-dozen dining options on the property? An indoor beach scene doesn’t capture it. Yes, there is seating in boat replicas. Beach videos adorn the walls. Each table has a different seascape, palm tree or other beach-related design. Even the floor resembles waves – and large coconut palms cascade downward. Pelican statues watch over you as you dine – if you can even for a moment take your attention away from the décor to actually order. Do I need to mention again what songs accompany this scenic overload?

The menu proclaims: A State of Mind Since 1977. And you feel that in your core. But let’s get to the important stuff. Margaritas. Although I understood there are 31 Margaritas to be had throughout the hotel, I was content with the 16 available at the Margaritaville Restaurant alone, with unsurprising names such as Who’s To Blame, Finns to the Left and Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot.

Now maybe I’m biased, but it seemed the bartender didn’t just make a drink, he crafted a work of art befitting the drink’s origin. Unlike the many other margaritas I’ve imbibed over the years, this concoction of flavors — all proprietary recipes, of course — caused my throat to smile as it caressed its way through my digestive system. Admittedly, that was after the third or fourth sampling. And, of course, the fact that Jimmy Buffett favorites were continuously being performed on stage helped the process along.

And it goes without saying that the property as a whole boasts multiple pools, slides, spa and all the other amenities typical of any up-scale hotel. But if you’re there for Jimmy Buffett, you’re in the right place.

The “5 o’clock Somewhere” bar.

Across the street is the iconic 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar, where the beach vibe continues with tables in the sand, reminding me of a plaque I once gave my husband: A Drink in the Hand, Toes in the Sand. Actually doing it is better than just reading about it. And if you need more diversion, you can play a round of corn hole, rent a kayak or attend the weekly “best dance party in flip-flops.” Okay, so yes – this one is just a bar – but with Jimmy Buffett’s vibe all pervasive and his music so immersive, for the moment I was thankful that it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere!

A Margerita toast.

And if you’re still questioning the importance of the singer to Florida’s legacy, State Road A1A, a major Florida highway, will soon become Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway while specialty “Margaritaville” license plates will be available throughout the state. Hard not to hum along….

For more information, contact https://www.visitlauderdale.com/beaches-and-beyond/cities-towns/hollywood and https://www.margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com.

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