Need some inspiration for your next bar crawl? Look no further than the ultimate guide to America's most historic and legendary bars, dives, saloons, and pubs, Bucket List Bars. The book (hitting shelves today) was the baby of authors Dr. Clint Lanier and Derek Hembree, who took a cross-country trip to research America's oldest bars.
The 40 bars in the book aren't where you'll find a $15 cocktail, the coolest DJs, or the flashiest atmosphere. Instead, you'll get to experience bars with character and history. Their choices reflect the history of a region, of a people, of an event, or of way of life that’s now long gone. (After all, we're sure most bars these days don't have bootlegging, gun and knife fights, gambling, and even mafia activities happening in the dark background.) No two "bucket list" bars are alike. From the Founding Father's after-hours antics to the ale-houses of the 19th century to the mobster Al Capone's haunches during the Prohibition era, the illicit history of bars in America is worth a read.
We asked Lanier and Hembree to share their top picks from their own bucket list of bars in the book (a tough decision, we're sure). The result? Bars from every region of the country with the juiciest backstory. Click ahead to find the 10 bars now on our bucket list, and be sure to check out Bucket List Bars for more tidbits from America's bar history.