America's Best Beach Bars
Soak up the views and fruity cocktails at America’s best beach bars, from
Florida to Hawaii.
The sun twinkles on the turquoise water off palm-fringed
Waikiki Beach, the air heady with the scent of coconut suntan lotion. “Aloha,”
grins the waiter at Duke’s Barefoot Bar as he sets down a Tropical Itch, an icy
mixture of vodka, rum, and Curaçao with a foot-long bamboo back scratcher
That scratcher is yours to keep, but the strongest itch you’ll
feel is the desire to linger forever on the bar’s open-air patio above the
white sand, listening to live music and watching coral and lavender hues streak
the sky. Sure, it sounds clichéd, but 50 million people will be inspired to
head to American beaches this summer. The latest American Express Spending
& Saving Tracker reveals that 42 percent of all vacationers
prefer to be near the water, and 29 percent of those are choosing their summer
destination based on its proximity to the beach. And from the sand, it’s never
far to a bar.
“The beach bar is a perfect summer respite,” says Jamie
LaMarco, bartender at The Beachcomber, nestled in the dunes of Cape Cod,
with a roofed deck open to the beach and a 45-foot bar. “You
never have to change your clothes, and you don’t have to pack lunch or a
cooler. It’s where you find lifeguards, surfers, and beach bunnies of all
shapes and sizes.”
You’ll also find something going on whatever the time of
day. The Beachcomber packs in a crowd at lunchtime and is family-friendly
until after sunset, around 9 p.m., when it morphs into a casual club with
musicians playing anything from surf-rock to reggae to jazz.
Such an easygoing vibe is typical of dive bars, surfer
shacks, and even beach bars affiliated with exclusive luxury brands. Guests at
the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, FL, for instance, trade business casual for
swimsuits when hanging at the resort’s Sand Bar—no shirt, no shoes, no problem.
It’s your vacation, after all, and the point is to mellow
out. So scratch your itch this summer at one of America’s best beach bars,
serving up refreshing cocktails and handcrafted beers.