The Best Beach Bar in Every State

Marina at Orange Beach at sunset. (Photo via KuntalSaha / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)
Scott Hartbeck
by Scott Hartbeck
Last updated: 8:00 AM ET, Fri June 1, 2018

Alabama: Pirate's Cove

Their slogan may be "abandon hope all ye who enter", but there's hope, alright-hope for one of the most fun days of your life. Best reached by boat, Pirate's Cove is located on a marina in the gorgeous Orange Beach area and is a favorite among locals (and savvy tourists) who dig digging their toes in the sand while they sip potent Bushwhackers.

Alaska: Talon Beach Bar

Plush Talon Lodge & Spa sits on a private island inside Alaska's enchanting Inside Passage. The resort caters to anglers and those who enjoy being pampered and there's no better place to discuss the day's catch than at their beach bar-Alaska's only open-air watering hole. The bar sits right on the water and comes complete with romantic fire pits for those chilly nights.

Arizona: Turtle Beach Bar

You can imbibe al fresco almost anywhere in Arizona, but nowhere makes you feel like you boarded a flight to the coast more than Turtle Beach. Located on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu, this is a place to pull up your pontoon boat and let the good times roll. Often, those good times include a 64-ounce boozy concoction called a Turtle Bucket.

Arkansas: Bentley's Beach Bar

Located a short drive from beautiful Beaver Lake, Bentley's is the perfect place to blow off some steam after a day spent out on the water. You will find a rotating roster of drink specials and karaoke to keep the atmosphere lively and plenty of tiki trinkets to complete the beachy atmosphere.

California: The Beachcomber

Sure, there are bars in California that are closer to the sand, but the 'Comber still takes the cake. The Beachcomber in sunny San Diego has been dishing up drinks since the 1940s, but what makes it truly special is the atmosphere that manages to make every day spent there feel like a vacation day.

Colorado: Pug Ryan's Tiki Bar

Sure, you're perched at an elevation of 9,000 feet at Pug's, but one sip of their craft beer or rum-soaked cocktails will bring you straight down to sea level. The seasonal bar (mid-May to mid-September) is situated on the shores of Lake Dillon and features a menu of sunny bites and booze to set you up for a memorable summer day.

Connecticut: The Pavilion

This seasonal bar on the Connecticut coast knows how to throw a party. Live bands and DJs rock the place throughout the summer and it's so close to the water that you can get your feet wet between sets. Expect a happening scene any day they're open, but if the sun comes out, look out.

Delaware: Mangobar

Located on the boardwalk in Bethany Beach, Mangobar is beloved for having marvelous views of the Atlantic and for serving slushy "Mangoritas" all summer long. Show up early to enjoy their signature "no shower happy hour" which rewards those who swap out the traditional post-beach washdown for a session of downing drinks.

Frenchy's Rockaway Grill

When it comes to beach bars, you are spoiled for choice in the Sunshine State. Frenchy's Rockaway Grill is one of the all-time favorites though as this colorful venue on the sugary shores of Clearwater Beach is painted all shades of pastel and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Georgia: The Deck

Surrounded by the enchanting sand dunes of Tybee Island, The Deck is both a breezy beach bar and sophisticated dining spot. It's all modern inside, but outside, things are twinkling lights and paths to the beach-the perfect backdrop for their line of re-imagined coastal cocktails.

Hawaii: Huggo's on the Rocks

Huggo's was born in Kailua-Kona in 1998 when the owners became fed up with having to travel up the Big Island coast for a proper "come as you are" beach bar. They haven't looked back since. Expect friendly faces, casual bites, tempting tropical cocktails and live island music-all with a view over the Pacific.

Idaho: The Boathouse

Hayden Lake is arguably the most handsome body of water in all of Idaho and the Boathouse is the only place to go after a summer day on the waves. Dock up at this seasonal bar for a range of tropical cocktails (think Marina Mai Tais and Windjammer Watermelon Mojitos) and Marina-ritas.

Illinois: The Loading Dock

The Loading Dock sits on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi in the gorgeous Great River Road town of Grafton, Illinois. Folks come from all over the Southern Illinois/St. Louis region to take in the views of the river and listen to great live music and if you join them you are guaranteed a good time.

Indiana: Tiki Bob's

Tiki Bob's has been throwing down since 1999 and along the way, it has picked up a reputation as one of Indy's wildest nights out. Don't show up expecting to find Tiki cocktails painstakingly created with artisan recipes; show up here expecting to party like you are on Spring Break for the night.

Iowa: The Barefoot Bar

The Great Lakes of Iowa are one of the Midwest's true hidden gems, but there's nothing secret about The Barefoot Bar. Seemingly all Iowans who hit the water during the summer months make a swing past this seasonal bar in Okoboji for frozen drinks, real palm trees and live music that keeps the tropical vibes going all night long.

Kansas: Sandbar

As far as gimmicks go, Sandbar's "indoor hurricane" has to be one of the best. Every night at ten o'clock at this college bar in Lawrence, a storm of simulated rain, wind and lightning blow through the venue. Oh, there's also a signature song and a mermaid involved, too. (After a few of their powerful libations, it will all make sense.)

Kentucky: Newport Beach Patio Bar

Located steps from the Ohio River, this new bar is already a firm favorite with laid-back locals. The bar serves a mix of summery craft beers and tropical drinks and the best place to enjoy them is on their set of wooden swings where you can brush your feet in the real sand as you rock back-and-forth.

Artie's Sports Bar

While it's true that you can find tropically-tinged bars all over Bourbon Street in New Orleans, this beachy dive bar in Grand Isle is worth driving south for. During the winter months it's a simple, no-frills bar & grill, but during summer they open up their huge deck with sea views and let the good times roll.

Maine: Pier Patio Club

Old Orchard Beach is quintessential coastal Maine and the Pier Patio Pub is the only bar on its ricketty-yet-romantic pier. The bar has been known to sway during a strong storm and you can definitely spot the sea between the wooden floorboards, but when you're sinking a cold beer with new friends, you won't complain a bit.

Maryland: Macky's

Macky's sits right on the water in Ocean City, Maryland and if you pull up a chair outside your feet will be firmly planted in the sand. This seasonal bar's slogan is "where life is good" and after one night spent watching the sunset and then partying under the stars, you'll definitely agree.

Massachusetts: The Tipsy Seagull

You'll find the Tipsy Seagull floating on the water at Borden Light Marina in Fall River. The seasonal bar has become a summer tradition in these parts, as it pairs sweet sunset views with acoustic music every day. Don't let the soothing tunes fool you though, as anyone who has sipped a Secret Seagull Juice can attest, they know how to party here.

Michigan: Snug Harbor

While other spots in Grand Haven have come and gone, Snug Harbor is still going strong. This restaurant and bar is open all year and even in the middle of one of Michigan's cold winter nights, they will adjust your latitude with tasty food and tropical drinks. Summertime is the best time though, as their deck directly overlooks the water.

Minnesota: Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge

Located directly on Lake Minnetonka-one of the country's biggest party lakes-has its privileges. Namely, your establishment will be a rollicking good time come summer time. Make your way to The Wharf section of Lord Fletcher's for numerous outdoor bars, live music and even some beach volleyball.

Mississippi: Shaggy's Pass Harbor

Shaggy's has grown into a small family of fun, beachy joints, but this is the location that started it all. Set in the heart of scenic Pass Christian Harbor on the Mississippi Coast, Shaggy's is the spot for frozen cocktails and margaritas in addition to casual gulf cuisine beside the water.

Missouri: Franky & Louie's

The Lake of the Ozarks turns into a playground under the summer sun and Franky & Louie's is at the center of the fun. Spend your afternoon sipping buckets of boozy concoctions with your feet in the sand and then stay past dark for the live music and DJs.

Montana: Sip 'n Dip Tiki Lounge

Who hasn't been driving down the interstate in Montana and thought "you know what? I could really go for a live mermaid show". Well, the Sip n' Dip Tiki Lounge is here for you with near-nightly Mermaid shows and a host of kitschy, cool electric blue cocktails. They've been going since the 60s, so they must be doing something right.

Nebraska: Patterson Harbor Beach Bar

Harlan County Lake is one of the Cornhusker State's biggest bodies of water and this beach bar is the place to go after you've docked up your boat. Here, you will find views of the water and a collection of fun drinks like the Beach Bar Bloody Mary and a range of shots served on water skis.

Nevada: Sunset Bar & Grille

While the sizzling pool parties down in Vegas are essentially a beach bar on steroids, the Sunset is the laid-back, genuine article. Just steps from the shore, this seasonal bar on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe is the place to sip frozen drinks and be surrounded by a friendly and fun crowd.

New Hampshire: Bernie's

Bernie's may have only been around since 2013, but it already feels like a local legend. In fact, the building it's located in has long been associated with fun in Hampton Beach, and nowadays, you'll find the largest deck on the beach, tons of tropical drinks and world-class live entertainment.

New Jersey: The Rusty Nail

The Rusty Nail has been a hotspot for sunseekers and surfers since the 1970s. The bar sits across from the beach in Cape May and it's well known for its sandy outside section that features a firepit-perfect for that occasional cool summer night.

New Mexico: Jinja Bar

Offering all who walk through the doors the chance to escape (if only for a little while), Jinja is atop the tiki bar game in New Mexico. There are three locations in the state and all have a menu heavy on rum-centric cocktails served up in traditional tiki glassware.

New York: Rick's Crabby Cowboy Cafe

Rick's is a rustic waterside cafe on Montauk Lake at the far end of Long Island. The cafe is especially popular with families, with parents being free to enjoy a frozen watermelon margarita while the kids play out on the deck under the stars. In addition to cool libations, they are famous for the seafood bakes.

North Carolina: Fish Head's

Walk to the end of the Outer Banks Fishing Pier (just past the bait shop) and you will find yourself a real catch. The scene of the scores of beer taps here is almost as beautiful as the views out to the sea and if you get hungry, they've got you covered with a quality seafood menu.

North Dakota: Oasis Bar

In Shipwreck Bay Water Playland, The Holiday Inn Fargo is home to one of the region's most impressive indoor water parks. Inside, you will find Oasis Bar, a lush escape where the adults can enjoy a tropical cocktail while the kids play in the nearby pools and slides.

Ohio: Beer Barrel Saloon

Put-in-Bay is Ohio's island playground and the Beer Barrel is one of its longest-running parties. Inside, you will find the world's longest bar (you can check with Guinness) and outside a deck complete with light-up "palm" trees, lush greenery and revelers toasting to the tropical vibe of the island.

Oklahoma: Mooney's Sunset Bar and Grill

Located in a town called Disney and home to a dock on the shores of Grand Lake, Mooney's is a magical kingdom for those who enjoy a cold drink and a colorful Oklahoma sunset. They've been quenching thirsts here for over 30 years now, so just dock up after a day out on the lake this summer and join the fun.

Oregon: Wayfarer Restaurant & Lounge

Wayfarer is located directly on Oregon's stunning Cannon Beach and is home to refreshing drinks, tasty food and stunning views. Make your way through the cocktail menu and sample dining on seafood delicacies all while glancing out the window at iconic Haystack Rock.

Pennsylvania: The Tiki Bar

Situated right beside the "raging" Manatawny River, the Tiki Bar keeps the tropical vibes going all year long in this part of Pennsylvania. Pull up a chair and feast on some fresh-grilled food and down a Hurricane or two while watching the water flow by on their scenic deck.

Rhode Island: Ocean Mist

Their tagline is "just a beach bar" but to their legions of loyal fans, Ocean Mist is so very much more. Sure, it may be a little out of the way, but they come in droves to sip frosty drinks with views of the sea and listen to sizzling tunes played by an army of great live bands.

South Carolina: Scotty's Beach Bar

Located directly on the beach, Scotty's has long been a favorite of locals and tourists alike in the Myrtle Beach/Surfside area. Slowly sip your drink on the back deck as you gaze out to the Atlantic or step up to the microphone and do some crooning on karaoke night.

South Dakota: Hurley's Motorboat

A summer tradition in South Dakota, seasonal Hurley's crams a whole lot of fun into a few short months. The bar is typically open from early May until late October, and when they are it's all cold cans of beer and a tropical vibe beside the lake on their pontoon boat-inspired patio.

Tennessee: Fat Daddy's

Sat right on the water on the Tennessee side of Kentucky Lake, Fat Daddy's is always a fun time. Pull up your boat to enjoy a wide variety of cooling beverages and a frosty line of frozen wine coolers. There's live entertainment galore and you can even rent a cabin and stay the night if you are so inclined.

Texas: Clayton's

Everything's bigger in Texas, including the beach bars. Clayton's sprawls along the shore of South Padre Island is your beach bar base from late breakfast time (they open at 11) to late night. Slurp one of their powerful pina coladas while you take in the live music-which is often provided by an A-list entertainer.

Utah: Under Current

SLC's Under Current is more coastal chic than sand-in-your-toes, but they make the cut nonetheless. The main reason is their reverence for the art of true tropical cocktails done the right way. Take the Captain Kidds Punch for example, it's a potion of aged rhum agricole, overproof rum, lime, demerara, egg and nutmeg.

Vermont: Mike's Tiki Bar

Mike's was Vermont's very first go-to for outdoor tiki drinks and the East Burke bar is still going strong. Even if the weather is a little cool the day you stop by, you'll be warmed up by the bright beverages and the quality range of craft beer on draft.

Virginia: CP Shuckers Oceanfront

The beachside edition of CP Shuckers is the place to sink cold drinks come summertime in Virginia Beach. Truth be told, you won't go wrong at either of their locations in town but this one sits directly across the street from the sea and combines fun with the brand's signature friendliness.

Washington: PourHouse

While you may normally associate tiki drinks and libations laced with rum with beach bars, the PourHouse is bringing craft beer to the party. On the shores of Port Townsend Bay, this chilled-out space sports a tap list that some Seattle bars would be jealous of and a one-of-a-kind lakeside drinking nook that features unique reclaimed metal work.

West Virginia: Tricky Fish

This eclectic cafe in Charleston will adjust your latitude and your attitude. The venue is filled with inspirational signage which really sets the tone and when you taste the seafood tacos paired up with a cold beer you will have found your new favorite spot in town.

Wisconsin: Tiki Beach

If you had any doubts that they know how to do beach bars right in the Badger State, then one trip to Tiki Beach is all you need to see the light. The cold light beers and frozen drinks that is, all surrounded by a sandy beach, palms trees, and watersports facilities.

Wyoming: Mangy Moose

Who says a "ski bar" can't be a beach bar? Okay, maybe they technically can't but the apres ski scene does have a lot in common with the sunset scene? You may not spot the sun sinking into the sea at the Mangy Moose, but you will the type of night you'll remember for a very long time.

Even in if you live in a landlocked state, you're aren't far from a little latitude adjustment.

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Scott Hartbeck

Scott Hartbeck

Born in the USA but now based in England, Scott has been writing about travel for over 10 years. He specializes in Europe, rail...

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