Hammock-strung, rum-stocked, and only a lime's throw from the water, beach bars are to summer what roaring fires are to winter – the best places to have an unhurried drink. Unfortunately, finding a good one can be tough. For every authentic outpost, there are a dozen dives decked out in flotation devices, tiki torches, and pun-filled, wall-mounted menus. Avoid all that spring break nonsense. From an island in Lake Superior to the wilds of the Eastern Caribbean, we've unearthed North America's hidden gems, the 25 most memorable establishments around.
DO Brazil, St. Barths
This hard-to-describe-but-definitely-sceney beach bar is owned by French tennis star-turned-singer Yannick Noah (who you may know as Joakim's dad). You're in St. Barths so that French je ne sais quoi comes with the terroir, but the attitude is delightfully unpretentious and there's no beating the views of the sparkling Caribbean at DO Brazil – an open bar and restaurant that overlooks Shell Beach. Watch the dapper crowd – an international mix of jet setters and American honeymooners – while enjoying ceviche and spiny lobster.
Feet from the water: 50
Credit: Richard Cummins / Getty Images
The regulars: Local multi-millionaires, Parisians fleeing the métropole and starstruck American honeymooners
What to order: The Saravah, made with cachaça, fresh ginger and pineapple