Every weekend, the question is the same: Where should I go drinking? But in the summer, the question is slightly different: Where can I go drinking and cool off? As the temperatures rise, the 21-and-over crowds seek recreational bars that aren't filled with heaping masses of sweating bodies (here's looking at you, New York bars).
So while the heat wave continues from coast to coast, we're seeking the best poolside bars across the country that allow us to dip our toes in, cool off for a brief moment of respite, and relax with a drink in hand. Consider the poolside bar the chicer cousin to the tiki bars of the last century; while tiki bars (and cocktails) are making their comeback, nowadays, the crowds are heading toward the nearest watering hole with reflection pools, chaise lounges, and updated summer cocktails.
You'll notice a couple of themes throughout our list of America's best poolside bars: they're almost all located within hotels, which makes a lot of sense. Not every bar is as considerate as The Standard in downtown Los Angeles, which offers swimsuits to purchase at the front desk, but swimwear and beachwear is highly encouraged. (Besides, out-of-towners are the most likely bar-hoppers to have a swimsuit on hand.) While that makes it harder for in-town, pool-seeking residents to crash some of these poolside bars, many of them offer day passes to drinkers not staying in the hotel. Oh, and the other noticeable trend among these bars? They're almost all on rooftops — win.
We considered the pools, location, décor, and cocktails when picking through America's best poolside bars; although cannonballs and pool toys may be discouraged at these bars, relaxation and partying are not. Click ahead to find America's hottest — or rather, coolest — poolside bars for your mid-afternoon daydreaming excursion. After all, everyone needs a little vacation.