There are great beach bars, and then there are great bars near the beach, where the cocktails are crafted, the bitters house-made, and the sensibility just a bit sophisticated. Here are the coolest places to post up on the coast.
Photo: Zach Stovall
Cocktail We Love: Bartender Ingi Sigurdsson’s Classic Daiquiri (get the recipe), an homage to the Cuban-born pairing of rum an citrus, with some simple syrup to nestle sweet in with the tart.
Photo: Courtesy of The Good Lion
Santa Barbara, California
With its regularly rotating craft cocktail menu that features in-season and house-made organic juices and syrups, The Good Lion is a linger-worthy watering hole on State Street.
Cocktail We Love: The Brass Monkey is a Tiki-style beertail that spotlights local IPA from Telegraph Brewing Company with cantaloupe cordial and Italian amaro.
Photo: Richard Cummins/Getty
This gracious Southern city is all about entertaining and hospitality, both of which are excuded in abundance at the storied The Olde Pink House, an 18th-century mansion-turned-restaurant and bar on Reynolds Square.
Cocktail We Love: The Pink Lady (get the recipe) is a pink lemonade-and-raspberry-vodka legend that cools a sultry summer day.
Photo: Courtesy of Edmund's Oast
Charleston, South Carolina
Edmund's Oast is known for its local brew and breezy beer garden, but the cocktail scene is equally renowned.
Cocktail We Love: The Red Wedding (get the recipe) dresses up the Southern pairing of bourbon and sweet tea with Elijah Craig bourbon and hibiscus-and-tea ice cubes.
Photo: Meredith Perdue
Portland Hunt & Alpine's cocktail menu is divided into four categories (refreshing; adventurous; classics and riffs; and brown & bitter) to help you choose your adventure in the beautiful, modern-meets-hunting lodge space along Portland’s bustling Market Street.
Cocktail We Love: Remember The Maine (get the recipe) is named for a battleship, but this rye whiskey cocktail is the perfect warm-up for Maine's cool spring weather.
Photo: Chris Hornbecker
Pepe Le Moko's cozy row of booths nearly sidles up to its zinc-topped bar, behind which open shelves are crowded with the makings of the Ace Hotel bar’s impressive cocktail line-up, curated by star bartender Jeffrey Morganthaler.
Cocktail We Love: The Grasshopper (get the recipe) is a cold and creamy update of the classic 1970s sipper, with crèmes de menthe, crème de cacao, vanilla ice cream, Fernet-Branca, and sea salt.
Photo: Ashley Lester
Views of the Virginia Beach boardwalk, three cocktail classes a week, and a long list of house-concocted recipes put Ultra Craft Cocktails on our list.
Cocktail We Love: The Strawberry Fields (get the recipe) celebrates the beloved strawberry farms south of the city with local fruit, lemon juice, sweet Thai basil, and gin.
Named for the 85 days Washington, D.C., stayed dry (thanks to the teetotalling Sheppard Bone-Dry Act) after prohibition ended, Dry 85 celebrates well our freedom to imbibe. The industrial-mod interior is stocked with more than 140 whiskeys, a dozen craft beers, house-made bitters, tonics, and foams, and a cocktail list that celebrates these heavenly gifts.
Sleek-meets-cozy in this invitingly dark, leather-bedecked bar just a few blocks from the Sound in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. The cocktail list at Rob Roy features spins on the standards and seasonal specials.