Cocktails & Spirits

America's Best Beach Bars

Travel + Leisure magazine made an atrocious error in its article and slide show about "America's Best Beach Bars." It left out all the great South Florida beach bars.

As we scrolled through the list of bars that either reside directly on the sand or very close to it, we were shocked by the lack of representation from Florida -- the sunshiniest state of them all!

Out of the 12 bars that made the cut, Sand Bar in Naples is the lone Floridian soldier. Here's what had to say about it:

You might not expect the funky two-year-old Sand Bar to be part of the opulent Ritz-Carlton Resort. The vibe here is casual and cool. Guests saunter up from the beach to sit on a bamboo barstool beneath a tiki roof. Nurse your drink and, with any luck, a school of dolphins will swim by before long. Nature-themed info boards educate guests about other area wildlife like the loggerhead turtles that nest on the beach and the fauna in the resort's mangroves.

It sounds pleasant. But who goes to a beach to feel the breeze and watch dolphins swim? That's where a Corona and a beach chair come in handy.

Lulu's Bait Shack (or any bar in Beach Place) should have been on that list. Our Night Watch column once called the local hot-spot "an unadulterated year-round spring-break joint where barely legals sip Technicolor liquor from giant fish bowls and a cover band blasts Blink-182 hits in the background."

It's where the tall, bronze, and gorgeous go to party on a weeknight because right outside its doors are miles of ocean just waiting for skinny-dipping.

McSorley's, a long walk from Beach Place, captures the essence of Irish beach parties (not that we've ever been to one.) The Irish bar is typically filled with drunken 20-somethings poorly, and amusingly, singing karaoke. But the best part about the bar is that it's two stories, so if you want to feel the ocean breeze that Travel + Leisure finds so pertinent, it's right there on the roof and within viewing distance of the romping dolphins.

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Devin Desjarlais