The 10 Best Beach Bars in America Slideshow
June 11, 2013
10. Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, New York City
This isn't your typical beach bar — or beer garden. But New Yorkers crave anything sandy and fun, and Beekman's is full of it: 6,000 square feet of sand, hammocks, and "glowing" white lounge chairs in sand (we can only imagine how dirty those get), outdoor games, and a great menu of Pat LaFrieda burgers, German brats, and fish tacos. Sure, you may not be able to dip your toes in the water, but the view of the Brooklyn Bridge will make up for it.
Proximity From Water: On the water
Drink Specials: They have an extensive beer menu with some cocktails, including "The Beach Ball,” a fruity rum punch. Happy Hour changes every week.
Dress Code: Shirt and shoes required (but you can sneak your toes in the sand)
Proximity to Hot Lifeguard: Sadly, as it’s not on a real beach, no lifeguards to be seen
Music: DJs, concerts, and plenty of dancing to make New Yorkers happy.
Risk of Sand in Your Drink: An inevitable "sand pit" for adults, and we can only imagine that outdoor games will kick up even more sand
9. Tom's Burned Down Café, Madeline Island, Wis.
This bar has burned down before, back in 1992, hence the name. Don’t have too high expectations for bells and whistles from this dive bar (so divey that it only has port-o-potties as bathrooms), but your expectations for fun? Those should be high. With live music that ranges across all genres, and quirky quotes all over the walls, this makeshift bar (made of some remains of the original bar, and tarps) attracts both tourists and locals.
Proximity to Water: 500 feet.
Drink Specials: There's an assortment of cocktails; the signature drink is the Island Rum Punch, made with three kinds of rum with pineapple, cranberries, orange juice, and lemonade, topped with a cherry and lime. Happy Hour changes every week, but all Tom’s Cups are $0.50 off a drink.
Dress Code: Neither shirt nor shoes are required, but they're suggested. Often kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders come in after a day on the water.
Proximity to Hot Lifeguard: The bar is further inland than the beach, so you’d have a long ways to go to find a cutie with a paddleboard.
Music: Live music that matches the eclectic bar: country, reggae, electric, and well, fun.
Risk of Sand in Your Drink: Not much protection from the elements at this place, but there is protection from sand.
8. Nikki Beach Miami, Miami
No one knows better how to party than those in South Beach, Fla. — or at Nikki Beach. It's just your average restaurant-slash-nightclub-slash-oceanfront beach club with a rotating list of DJs, cocktails, and fanfare (like aerial performers, naturally). Sure, it's a little more club-y than a relaxing beach, but what do you expect in Miami, anyways?
Proximity to Water: 300 feet.
Drink Specials: Signature cocktails, but the bar is best known for its insane bottle service menu. If you have $700 to spare, might we suggest the Johnnie Walker Blue bottle service? Or perhaps $10,000 for a jeroboam of Cristal? If not, it's just a cool $300 for a bottle of Wild Turkey.
Dress Code: The formal dress code "includes casual daywear and beach chic attire," but plenty of pictures suggest that bikinis are most definitely welcomed.
Proximity to Hot Lifeguard: Pretty far from lifeguards, but plenty of hot people in and out of the bar, or so pictures suggest.
Music: Rotating DJs can only mean one thing: it’s going to get loud.
Risk of Sand in Your Drink: Low chance of sand mishaps, thanks to the number of tables, daybeds, and cabanas… but you never know.
7. The Blue Lounge at Moonshadows, Malibu, Calif.
The romantic lounge is built right on top of the Pacific, and you’ll hear the waves crashing below you as proof. With a Mediterranean-influenced menu and an extensive drink menu to leave you satisfied, a sunset and live DJ will finish off your evening with a sexy atmosphere.
Proximity to Water: The deck of this bar is literally over the water! You couldn’t get closer (but then again, you can’t go dip your feet in the water).
Drink Specials: There's an extensive wine menu, ranging from sake to sparkling wine, as well as a tap and bottled beer menu. Happy hour changes, but in June it’s $5 mojitos on Thursdays.
Dress Code: Shirt and shoes required; "smart casual."
Proximity to Hot Lifeguard: Sadly, the hot lifeguards are too far away to scope.
Music: Weekends have a live DJ, plus the sounds of the waves crashing are always present.
Risk of Sand In Your Drink: It’s above the beach, so you won’t be getting sand in your drink at this restaurant bar, but you will get the best sunset in Malibu.
6. The Beach Bar, Asbury Park, N.J.
This beach bar is located in, where else, the Jersey Shore. But before you re-imagine the cast of Jersey Shore reuniting at your local haunch, think again — the Beach Bar, located on the boardwalk, adds a touch of class to an unexpected venue. With a great view of the ocean, potent drinks, and above-average boardwalk eats (like a hot dog with kimchi and a truffled caprese salad), it's no wonder that Jersey Shore residents and visitors camp out at the Beach Bar for hours on end.
Proximity to Water: 500 feet.
Drink Specials: The menu features seven cocktails, with the signature drink being the Rum Bucket (the bar even joked on Facebook that President Obama, speaking on the Jersey Shore's comeback from Superstorm Sandy, was looking for one). Happy hour changes weekly.
Dress Code: Shirt and shoes required, but you’re close enough to the beach to strip it all off there.
Proximity to Hot Lifeguards: The bar is located right on the boardwalk, so you’ll definitely get views of some hotties.
Music: No dancing or DJs, but relaxing tunes in the background add to the beach vibe.
Risk of Sand in Your Drink: Depends if you sit outside or inside; sitting outside, you will probably get some sand in there.
5. LandShark Landing at the Margaritaville Hotel, Pensacola, Fla.
What more do you really want from a beach bar? Surf and sand? Check. Kitschy décor and hammocks? Check. (That includes a fin-shaped fire pit.) Outrageous tiki cocktails and, obviously, margaritas? Check. Come for the sun, stay for the live music and well, booze. (We may not condone sour mix anywhere else but Margaritaville.)
Proximity to Water: 40 feet.
Drink Specials: There are 14 cocktails on the menu, including "Why Don't We Get Drunk And…" (with 99-proof apple schnapps, pineapple juice, sour mix, and Cruzan Rum 151), and the Pink Cadillac Margarita.
Dress Code: Swimwear totally acceptable (after all, beach volleyball can get dicey with clothes on).
Proximity to Lifeguards: They’re pretty far away, but there’s definitely an amazing view of the water.
Music: Live music on the weekends.
Risk of Sand in Your Drink: Extremely high, thanks to plenty of beach activities (beach volleyball could send some sand flying) and a kids’ area nearby.
4. Old Tony's Bar, Redondo Beach, Calif.
This bar originally opened in a small shack of a building off the Redondo Beach Pier in 1952; it soon expanded to an ocean-side restaurant. Today, you'll find the same kitsch and live music you'd expect at a beach bar, with some absolutely killer cocktails (the bar is best known for its Mai Tais.)
Proximity to Water: 20 feet.
Drink Specials: There are 10 specialty cocktails, including Tony's Famous Mai Tai and the Fire Chief (a Famous Mai Tai with a topper of 151 rum); Happy Hour is $1.50 off alcoholic drinks, Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Dress Code: Shirt and shoes are suggested, but not required.
Proximity to Hot Lifeguards: Just a boardwalk walk away.
Music: A rotating list of live music acts, seven days a week.
Risk of Sand in Your Drink: Very low; the bar is on a pier and not the beach. But if it’s windy, it could get dicey.
3. The Beachcomber, Cape Cod, Mass.
With a menu that offers a full raw bar, the best view in Cape Cod, and an assortment of "jumbo" specialty drinks, The Beachcomber is definitely on our list of awesome bars on the beach. Parking is $15 until 4 p.m., but in exchange, you get a $15 voucher to use at the restaurant. This is the top summer spot for food, friends, and drinks for lunch or dinner. But don’t leave yet! The bar turns into a nightclub after the sunsets on the beach, and they have live music with a full calendar of summer performers!
Proximity to Water: 400 feet.
Drink Specials: There are 11 cocktails, and the signature drink is the "Goombay Smash," but the list includes plenty of margaritas and daiquiris, too. Happy Hour changes weekly.
Dress Code: No shirt, no shoes, no problem.
Proximity to Hot Lifeguard: Just down at the beach, so lots to look at ahead.
Music: Different DJ’s rotate each week, with plenty of live music on the weekends.
Risk of Sand in Drink: If you’re out on the patio, you might be at risk — you can literally walk out of parking lot into sand.
2. Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar, Carolina Beach, N.C.
Nestled between the dunes in Carolina Beach, the Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar is a little haven out on the sea. The upstairs dining room offers fresh coastal seafood and panoramic views, while down on the Center Pier (which was partially destroyed during the 1994 Hurricane Fran), the Tiki Bar offers the best of North Carolinian beers and tiki cocktails. Catch some surf and sun, while basking in tiki tunes on the weekend.
Proximity to Water: 125 feet, even closer if you're out on the pier
Drink Specials: There are more than 20 beers on the menu (including North Carolina selections), about 10 wines by the glass, and 11 cocktails including the "Ocean Potion" (vanilla vodka, coconut water, splash of mango nectar, and lime) and the Tamarindo (Absolut Vanilla vodka, tamarind nectar, and ginger soda).
Dress Code: Shoes and shirt required, but at least a bikini cover-up will suffice.
Proximity to Hot Lifeguard: That pier is an excellent lookout for babes.
Music: Tiki shows every Thursday and Sunday.
Risk of Sand in Your Drink: If it's windy, it's a-coming for your drink — but that close to the water, we don't mind.
1. Square Grouper Tiki Bar, Jupiter, Fla.
It would be a crime if the location of Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" video wasn't on our top list. The Square Grouper may have "officially" opened in 2003, but the site's history goes much further back — to the 1850s, when settlers built a small hotel and saloon for local builders and travelers. Since then, the Square Grouper and the Jupiter Inlet have been home to all sorts of colorful history and facts. (Fun fact: "Square Grouper" refers to what the U.S. Coast Guard calls bales of marijuana thrown overboard or out of planes found in the Jupiter Inlet and throughout South Florida, says the bar.) We can't possibly think of a better place to kick back in the sand, with a drink in hand, and relax.
Proximity to Water: Less than 100 feet.
Drink Specials: Besides the $6 Sailor Jerry's all day, every day, you mean? There are 36 bottled beers, eight wines, and 23 cocktails, including margaritas, piña coladas, mudslides, and Hurricanes. The late-night happy hour is $5 Sailor Jerry's, beers for $2.50, and cocktails for $5.50.
Dress Code: No shirt, no shoes, no problem (but sitting in sand, you may not want to be just in a swimsuit).
Proximity to a Hot Lifeguard: Jupiter Beach Park is a little more than a half mile away.
Music: Live music nearly every day of the week, and that doesn't even include "Must Drink Movie Monday" nights.
Risk of Sand in Your Drink: The tables and lounge chairs are in the sand, so the risk is pretty high.