Flora-Bama, Orange Beach, AL and Perdido, Key FL

Straddled right on the Florida-Alabama state line is a bar called Flora-Bama. Just like Pepper Palace, this was a place my uncle recommended I stop along the way. I can tell you this was one of the biggest and most unique bars I have ever seen!

Flora-Bama has an interesting story. This story shows you how an invisible line can make a world of difference. In 1962 the State of Florida gave the State of Alabama two miles of beachfront land. This was in exchange for them constructing the Perdido Pass Bridge.

There was also an interesting caveat on each side of the line. On the Florida side of the line is Escambia County. On the Alabama side of the line is Baldwin County. Escambia County was wet, and Baldwin County was dry.

In 1964, the Tampary family saw the potential of this area. With the new highway that was built, there would be an increase in traffic. There was pretty much nothing around the area. Additionally, putting alcohol in a wet county on the line of a dry county was a lucrative business. That’s how the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store was formed.

Over the years the area got more populated, and the crowds got larger. They kept adding onto the bar to keep up with the demand. Eventually, there were many bars built and a large beach area. The bar has been voted as one of the best beach bars in the USA and even the world!

I first pulled into the parking lot and found a spot. I noticed there were a lot of Northern plated cars there, including a few from my native Wisconsin.

I walked from the parking lot to inside the store.

I then walked on the outside of the main bar area and then into the main bar.

I ordered a soda and kept looking around.

When I was looking at the pool tables, I ran into a guy who worked there that I had briefly talked to in the store. His name was Country, and he was a one-of-a-kind sort of guy.

If you notice his arm all wrapped up, it’s because he got nailed a bunch of times by a bull. He was trying to get a poker chip from its horn.

As I said, this guy was one of a kind. I asked him if Country was his nickname and he told me it was his real name. He said he grew up in Northern Alabama and did the rodeo circuit. The stories he told me about some of the bulls he went against, such as one named “El Diablo,” showed he lived up to his name. He was one tough guy, to say the least!

I told him about my blog, and he gave me the grand tour. I got to see all the different bars and then the area where all the bras are hanging.

One thing you may have noticed is writing all over the place. They encourage people to write on pretty much any surface they want. Country gave me a Sharpie and recommended I write on the wood so, “it’ll survive a hurricane.”

I thanked Country for the tour he gave and the interesting stories he told me. I can definitely see why this bar is highly ranked. There’s tons of cool places to hang out, including the beach. They also hire the coolest people. If I wasn’t just passing through, I have a feeling I’d party here all night. There’s always next time, and I’m sure I’ll be back!

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