The summer is beginning to wane, the days are starting to get shorter and all you want is to squeeze in a few more shorts-and-sandals moments before it officially ends.
There's nowhere better to soak up that slowly setting sun than on a patio at your favorite local watering holes.
Every city's got them, and below is a list of some of the best bar patios across the U.S.
There might not be a city more conducive to patio dwelling than Los Angeles. It's no myth. Los Angeles is generally sunny everyday with warm weather perfect for sipping cocktails, munching on sliders and getting drunk with good friends. There's no better place to do this than at The Churchill, a newer spot with a street-side patio that's already super popular with 20-somethings, the Hollywood scene and the hip kids making a living in the area. The rustic, casual, outdoor space itself isn't too large, but it's very cozy and great for people-watching on bustling 3rd Street. Happy hours offer a pretty good deal on house wine, surprisingly upscale beers and their regular portioned appetizers.
Formerly biker central, Zeitgeist remains an edgy alternative for those seeking good beer and a creative spirit. The graffiti splattered punk beer garden is the real draw with hipsters in hoodies, all walks of creative life, metal heads and old school biker gangs. The patio boasts a bunch of picnic tables that are usually occupied, even on the foggiest of Nor Cal days. A classic bar menu is accompanied by everything from craft beer specials to good old-fashioned PBRs.
There is no better view for a patio bar than the splendor of Lake Michigan, and Castaways Bar and Grill provides just that, attracting the perfectly tanned and buff glitterati fresh off the volleyball sand or a long bike ride. Some super fit bar-goers spend all day pounding beers on the sun bathed decks and rooftop patio, while others come out later for DJs, dancing and wild nights. Day or night, this is the best patio to enjoy Chicago's short-lived warm weather.
For a truly unique patio experience check out Kramerbooks and Afterwards Café. By day, this is a bustling café that also doubles as an independent bookstore with a massive collection of rare and popular tomes lining the walls. When the sun goes down, the vibe turns romantic as lights are dimmed and sumptuous meals of bayou catfish and curried goat are served to famished couples. With an extensive beer selection and live music most evenings, this is the perfect place to stop mid-shopping trip for an outdoor afternoon bite, or a great first date spot under the stars.
Old school German biergarten familiarity is what you'll get when you head over to Spriztenhaus, Brooklyn's largest beer hall. As the weather heats up, you will find large open windows and a full patio of Brooklynites and young office dwellers sipping on suds-filled steins. Friendly bearded faces are always at the ready with refills and ever-helpful suggestions for which wurst to pair with that chilled Weihenstephaner Vitus. It's a great place to sit outside, enjoy some cold brews and chow down on some warm Bavarian pretzels!
Transport yourself to the mid-century where smart afternoon cocktails rule and red leather booths are the preferred seating arrangement. Back Bay Social Club will make you feel transported into a scene from "Mad Men" with distinctive martinis, gin and whiskey beverages and a classic menu. When the sizzling summer nights start rolling in, head on over to join college students, hip professionals and the rest of the unpretentious crowd out on the patio for a Gin Somethin and the stellar banana pudding.
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