The sun twinkles on the turquoise water off palm-fringed Waikiki Beach, the air heady with the scent of coconut sun tan lotion. "Aloha," smiles the waiter at Duke's Shoeless Bar as he sets down a Tropical Itch, an icy mixture of vodka, rum, and Curacao with a foot-long bamboo back scratcher sticking out.
That scratcher is yours to keep, but the most powerful itch you may feel is the need to linger forever on the bar's open-air patio above the white sand, listening to live music and watching coral and lavender colours streak the sky. Sure, it sounds cliched, but 50,000,000 folks will be electrified to move to American beaches this summer.
The most recent Amex Spending & Saving Tracker reveals that 42 p.c of all holiday-makers prefer to be close to the water, and 29 p.c of those are choosing their summer destination based mostly on its proximity to the beach. And from the sand, it is rarely far to a bar. The ideal way to chill "The beach bar is a perfect summer respite," says Jamie LaMarco, barkeeper 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." In Partnership With You may also find something going on whatever the time . The Beachcomber packs in a bunch at lunchtime and is family-friendly until after nightfall, around nine p.m, when it morphs into a casual club with musicians playing anything from surf-rock to reggae to jazz. Such a relaxed vibe is characteristic of scummy bars, surfer shacks, and even beach bars associated with exclusive luxury brands. Guests at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla, for instance, trade business casual for swimsuits when hanging at the resort's Sand Bar no shirt, no shoes, no problem. It is 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 lagers.
Old Tony's Bar Thanks To OLD TONY'S BAR Redondo Beach Pier, California
The scene : This octagonal all-glass landmark on top of Old Tony's Bar attracts South Bay beach bums who come for the spectacular sunsets, crashing surf, and 360-degree perspectives of the coast.
A spiral staircase leading in to the Crow's Nest, as it's known, is lined with shots of celebs who've joined the regulars for nightly live entertainment.
Signature drink : The Fire Chief, a grenadine Mai Tai with a kick from three different rums including a 151-proof floater, served in a take-home collectible cocktail glass printed with Old Tony's symbol, $7.75
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company San Francisco, California
The scene : A surfer's haven that is handily opposite to Mavericks break, feted for some of the planet's toughest big-wave surfing. Hand made Mavericks Amber Ale and Mavericks Budgetary Alement are piped straight to the bar from the Half Moon Bay Brewery next door. Grab a terrace seat close to the roaring fire pits in time to watch the sun set. Weekends are for live rock 'n ' roll and blues while "Brews & Views," a heated political discourse, occurs monthly. Signature drink : Mavericks Amber Ale, as full-bodied and powerful as the mythical wave for which it was named, $6.75 for a 22 oz bottle.
The Barefoot Bar, Duke's Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
The scene: The dress code at this Waikiki hot spot takes its cue from the name: bare feet with bikini or surf shorts. Beach loungers drop in for the Jawaiian music, a mixture of classical Hawaiian mixed with groovin' reggae.
Named after Olympian Duke Kahanamoku, father of international surfing, the bar displays paraphernalia such as his original redwood board. Sip a Tropical Itch, Lava Flow, or draft beer served at a chilly 28 degrees while taking in drop-dead views of Diamond Head and Oahu's leeward coast.
Signature drink: Tropical Itch, with passion fruit juice, vodka, rum, and orange Curacao, served with a local bamboo back scratcher (yours to take home), $7.75.
Sand Bar Naples, Florida
The scene : You might not expect the funky two-year-old Sand Bar to be a part of the opulent Ritz-Carlton Resort. The vibe here is casual and cool. Guests stroll up from the beach to sit on a bamboo barstool beneath a tiki roof. Nurse your drink and, with any success, a school of dolphins will swim by before long.
Nature-themed information boards educate guests about other area wildlife like the loggerhead turtles that nest on the beach and the fauna in the resort's mangroves.
Signature drink : The Naples Sunset, a blend of rum, peach schnapps, and tropical juices, $12.95.
Marshside Mama's Daufuskie Island, South Carolina
The scene : "Our bar is like Canterbury Stories ; there's a little bit of everything," says bartender Tyler Gerow of the honky-tonk Marshside Mama's. Owner Beth Shipman cooks up mouthwatering gumbo, shrimp, and grits, and there's always the latest fish because fishermen pull up to the dock to drop off the catch of the day.
Although it's only a 45-minute ferry ride from Hilton Head, the ferry does not always run, so that the crowd is mostly local boaters. They rock out to live bands on weekends and follow the lead of owner Beth, who's known to yell out, "No whining, just dance. ".
Tags: Best Resort beach Bars