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We all know the feeling—you’re scrolling through social media, having a normal day, when you see it: your friend is at a beach bar in Costa Rica, holding up a frozen margarita in front of a stunning sunset. Wish you were there? Don’t smash that piggybank! That fruity, icy drink on the beach is closer than you think. Here are some of the best beach bars right here in the United States.

Overwater patios at Lorelei Cabana Bar, among the best beach bars in the states.

Photo courtesy of the Lorelei Cabana Bar

Lorelei Cabana Bar, Islamorada, Florida

Lorelei Cabana Bar is the needle in the haystack of Florida beach bars: it’s not a Spring Break hangout. This unbelievably chill bar and seafood restaurant is remote enough to scare away all but the most dedicated bar-hoppers. Set smack on a white-sand beach overlooking the ocean, Lorelei Cabana Bar has multiple patios that jut into the water, its own marina, live entertainment every night, and spectacular sunset views. Get the frozen Key Lime Colada ($8) and toast to some excellent life choices beneath the swaying palm trees.

The Wayfarer Restaurant & LoungeCannon Beach, Oregon

So you want to see Haystack Rock, eh? What about getting as close as possible to Haystack Rock without physically climbing it, while holding a margarita in your hand? It’s all real at The Wayfarer, a beloved restaurant and bar on Cannon Beach, where you canscarf local seafood (Dungeness crab mac and cheese, anyone?) and garlic fries while gazing at one of Oregon’s most recognizable (and photogenic!) natural landmarks. 

How's this for scenic: The sun sets over the water, in beautiful shades of purple and orange, at Gumbo Limbo.

Photo courtesy of the Ritz Carlton, Gumbo Limbo

Gumbo Limbo Beach Bar, Naples, Florida

Shaded palapa huts, carved wooden chairs, and a beachfront location? Yes, yes, and yes, and guess what else? This phenomenal Tiki-themed beach bar is part of the Ritz-Carlton, but you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the boardwalk to the beach, the glorious sunsets, and the bar’s casual seafood fare. Cool off with a Trouble in Paradise ($15), a frozen concoction of spiced rum, dark rum, banana liqueur and coconut creme, and don’t miss the opportunity to tag yourself drinking it on every social app you use.

MoonshadowsMalibu, California

Not many beach bars have won as many awards as Moonshadows. This wildly popular hangout overlooks the ocean and casually collects accolades such as being named one of the Travel Channel’s “21 Sexiest Bars”. Why? Well, there’s the sweeping view, of course, but there are also $8 fancy cocktail specials, live DJs, and truly spectacular sunsets. Plus, you’re in Malibu, on a warm evening, sitting out on a long patio or having dinner right on the beach. Take that, social media. Take that.

An aerial shot of The Rusty Nail, our pick for the best beach bar in New Jersey.

Photo courtesy of The Rusty Nail

The Rusty Nail, Cape May, New Jersey

This iconic 70s surfer bar is a hangout for a reason—the Rusty Nail is right next to the beach, with indoor and outdoor seating that blends together in a higgledy-piggledy blur of colorful umbrellas, twinkly lights, and wood-planked or sandy floors. Dogs are welcome, bare feet are welcome, and children are encouraged to run around and build sandcastles while the adults do ::more important things::. Oh, there’s also an outdoor fire pit, as well as a drink called the Cape May Vice ($9), a layered frozen blend of strawberry and pina colada daiquiri, served with an aged dark rum floater. New Jersey! Let’s go!

Surf Bar, Brooklyn

Honorable mention alert! The Surf Bar in Brooklyn isn’t actually on the beach at all. But walk inside this landlocked beach bar in Williamsburg, and poof: you might as well be in Florida. Sea grass and surfboards grace the entrance of Surf Bar, and inside—what’s this?—the floor is entirely sand. Take off your city shoes and slip into a seat at this fabulously kitschy bar with a patio; wiggle your toes in the sand as you sip on a Mai Tai ($9). New York’s hustle and bustle can wait.

A couple drinking at the Beach Tree Bar and Lounge at the Four Seasons, arguably one of the best beach bars both on Hawaii and in the country.

Photo courtesy of Beach Tree Bar and Lounge at the Four Seasons

Beach Tree Bar and Lounge, Four Seasons Resort, Hawaii

Glamour, glamour, glamour. If you’re on the Big Island in Hawaii, why not make it a big night? This swank beach bar on the sand directly overlooks the ocean and is shaded by big white umbrellas and palapa roofing. It feels remote, peaceful, and ostentatious at the same time, very “celebrity on a secret vacation.” Tuna crudo and mahi tacos accompany signature tropical drinks–try the Green Flash margarita, a blend of basil, jalapeno, lime, coconut creme, Silver Patron and Grand Mariner. Sure, you could make it at home, but drinks just taste better in Hawaii, right?

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Tagged: Beach, Florida, Food & drink, Hawaii, New York City

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