The sun twinkles on the turquoise water off palm-fringed Waikiki Beach, the air heady with the scent of coconut tanning lotion. "Aloha," smiles the waiter at Duke's Barefoot Bar as he sets down a Tropical Itch, an icy mix of vodka, rum, and Curacao with a foot-long bamboo back scratcher sticking out.
That scratcher is yours to keep, but the strongest itch you will feel is the desire 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 provoked to go to American beaches this summer.
The latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker exposes 42 % of all tourists like to be near the water, and twenty-nine percent of those are selecting their summer destination based on its vicinity to the beach. And from the sand, it's never far to a bar. The ideal way to relax "The beach bar is an ideal summer respite," asserts Jamie LaMarco, barkeeper at The Beachcomber, snuggled in the dunes of Cape Cod, with a roofed deck open to the beach and a 45-foot bar. "You never need to change your attire, 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 will also find something going on whatever the time . The Beachcomber packs in a group at lunchtime and is family-friendly till after nightfall, around 9 p.m, when it morphs into a casual club with musicians playing anything from surf-rock to reggae to jazz. Such an easygoing vibe is characteristic of scummy bars, surfer shacks, and even beach bars affiliated with exclusive luxury brands. Guests at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla, for example, trade business casual for swim-suits when hanging at the resort's Sand Bar no shirt, no shoes, no problem. It's your holiday, in fact , 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 hand made beers.
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 pulls South Bay beach bums who come for the impressive sunsets, crashing surf, and 360-degree perspectives of the coast.
A spiral staircase leading up to the Crow's Nest, as it's known, is lined with shots of celebrities 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 imprinted with Old Tony's symbol, $7.75
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company San Francisco, California
The scene : A surfer's haven that's handily opposite to Mavericks break, known for some of the planet's toughest big-wave surfing. Hand made Mavericks Amber Ale and Mavericks Budgetary Alement are piped directly to the bar from the Half Moon Bay Brewery next door. Grab a patio seat close to the blazing fire pits in time to observe the sun set. Weekends are for live rock 'n ' roll and blues while "Brews & Views," a heated political discussion, occurs monthly. Signature drink : Mavericks Amber Ale, as full-bodied and powerful as the legendary 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 won't 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 underneath a tiki roof. Nurse your drink and, with any luck, a college 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 Nightfall, 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 bit of everything," announces bartender Tyler Gerow of the honky-tonk Marshside Mama's. Owner Beth Shipman cooks up mouthwatering gumbo, shrimp, and grits, and there is often the latest fish because fishermen pull up to the dock to drop off the catch of the day.
Even though it is just a 45-minute ferry ride from Hilton Head, the ferry does not often 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