Talon Lodge Beach Bar, Sitka
Credit: Philip Younger

Alaska's only open-air beach bar sits on a particularly photogenic private island in a relentlessly attractive state. The island happens to boast one of the few natural sand beaches in all of Southeast Alaska and is accessed by a 15-minute boat ride or very brief hop in a seaplane. Chill on the outdoor deck overlooking the ocean and sip cocktails spiked with herbs grown in the onsite garden while keeping an eye trained on the Inside Passage. "Guests are often treated to whales swimming by, sea otters, sea lions, seals and a host of Bald Eagles who patrol the island," says Phil Younger, the lodge's owner.

Feet from the water: 30
The regulars: Serious anglers and seaplane captains
What to order: Talon Tini made with raspberries fresh from the garden