Seaside Sips: New England’s Top Beach Bars

Seaside Sips: New England's Top Beach Bars | Image Courtesy Wequassett

Is there anything better than a cold drink on a hot day? How about adding in a salty sea breeze, tropical cocktails, and sunset views? We did the tough research and rounded up some of the best beach bars in New England. Just don’t forget the sunscreen! (Image above courtesy Wequassett Resort)

Ocean Edge

It doesn’t get any beachier than the aptly named “Beach Bar” at Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, Mass. Open mid-May through early October and located right on the dunes of Cape Cod Bay, this small but mighty bar offers topnotch water views and photo-worthy sunsets. The menu is short and sweet with basics like shrimp cocktail, a Maine lobster roll, cheeseburger, and hot dog. Their craft cocktails and local beers are the perfect accompaniment to a day on the beach. Try the Cape Cod Cranberry Mojito or Beach Bar Rum Punch and feel free to take it down to your spot in the sand, or dine at the covered 32-seat bar if you can snag a seat! oceanedge.com

Image by Chip Riegel

Ocean House

This iconic resort’s massive yellow structure sits on 13 acres of oceanfront landscape, including a 650-foot private white sand beach with views of Montauk, Block Island, and the Atlantic. The Watch Hill, Rhode Island, property offers several options for alfresco dining and cocktails during the summer. If you’re lucky enough to be a guest or member, you can dine at Dune Cottage, which sits directly on a private beach and offers a shaded pergola and Mediterranean-inspired fare. The Seaside Terrace overlooks the pool and is open to the public for casual cuisine and sunset cocktails. For an authentic taste of Rhode Island, try the Spiked Del’s Lemonade or a Dave’s Coffee Mudslide. The Verandah Raw Bar is also a summertime favorite for guests and visitors, offering some of the freshest local seafood around. With comfortable seating and sweeping views, long lunches and lazy sipping are strongly encouraged. oceanhouseri.com

Ocean Mist

Locals know best, and if you ask any Rhode Island surfer where they hang out, they’ll likely send you here. Tucked away in Matunuck, Rhode Island, this classic beach bar has a back deck that’s about as close to the ocean as you can get without actually swimming. Expect plenty of ocean breezes and even a few sea sprays as you relax with an unpretentious crowd, plenty of good vibes, and great live music. The Mist is open year round for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with indoor dining and entertainment, but things really heat up in the warmer months when the back deck opens. Sip an ice-cold local draft beer, like a Narragansett or a Whalers, and dine on fresh seafood, wings, pizza, and more. oceanmist.net

Seaside Sips: New England's Top Beach Bars | Image Courtesy Stones Throw

Stones Throw

This funky and casual spot sits directly across from Long Sands Beach and, as the name implies, is close to all the action of York Beach, Maine. Located in a hotel, the restaurant serves up a tasty brunch, lunch, and dinner, all with plenty of local flavor. Burgers topped with fried eggs, lots o’ lobstah, and Maine root beer-marinated steak tips with Maine potato fries are all viable options. Wash down your meal with a libation from their extensive cocktail menu, which includes Stones Sangria, Stones Rum Punch, a Blue Mule, The Painkiller, and more intriguing quenchers. stonesthrowhotel.com

Image by Heidi Haseltine Photography

STONES RUM PUNCH

2 oz rum
½ oz pineapple juice
½ oz orange juice
½ oz cranberry juice
Float of black strap rum

Combine all ingredients except float in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a pint glass over fresh ice. Pour a black strap float on top and garnish with wedge of pineapple and orange slice.

Image by Heidi Haseltine Photography

THE PAINKILLER

2 oz spiced rum
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz cream of coconut
Splash of OJ

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain over pint glass with fresh ice. Garnish with fresh nutmeg and pineapple wedge.

Wequassett

This five-star luxury destination in Harwich on Cape Cod is a summertime must-visit, and its seasonal alfresco options are all worth exploring. The Outer Bar and Grille—just renovated for the 2019 season—is a casual, open-air dining room. It includes the poolside Pleasant Bay Terrace, which offers lunch, dinner, live entertainment, and even family-themed dinners. For those who want to be truly “on the beach,” you can venture down to LiBAYtion (pictured above) for unbeatable water views and people watching beneath the pergola. Try one of their signature cocktails like the “My Paloma” and stay for live music. Want an even cozier experience? Try The Verandahs, which is open for breakfast and dinner during the season and features fire pits and couch seating. wequassett.com

Seaside Sips: New England's Top Beach Bars | Image Courtesy Wequassett

MY PALOMA

1.5 oz Volcan tequila
.75 oz Aperol
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz honey syrup
.5 oz grapefruit juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour into a highball glass over ice and top with a dark IPA beer. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and a mint sprig.

Ballard’s

Just steps from the ferry on Block Island, this true “toes in the sand” beach bar is considered by many the holy grail of summer. Every day is a party all summer long, with live music, beach volleyball, tiki bars, and rental beach chairs and umbrellas. There’s even wait service so you don’t have to give up your hard-earned spot on the beach. Make sure to try one of their signature pineapple drinks, which includes a whole fresh pineapple carved and filled with the cocktail of your choice, like the popular Goombay Smash, Organic Banana Mudslide, or classic Piña Colada. The extensive food menu includes local seafood favorites as well as snacks, sandwiches, and appetizers, and they recently rolled out a beachfront breakfast menu for those who like getting the party started early. Want to make an evening of it? Ballard’s offers private beach bonfires for wedding festivities, birthdays, family reunions, and more. ballardsbi.com

Madison Beach Hotel

This upscale resort overlooking Long Island Sound in Madison is a favorite of Connecticut locals, and for good reason. It offers stunning views and impeccable food and drinks. In the summer, dine alfresco at The Porch, which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a raw bar in a casual yet stylish atmosphere. Unwind and watch the sun set over the sound or enjoy a bonfire and s’mores (on select evenings). madisonbeachhotel.com

Bernie’s Beach Bar

This dare-we-say dive bar is a Hampton Beach institution. Its rustic charm is part of the appeal, and many will say there’s no better place to be on a summer day than beach side at Bernie’s. There’s always music out on the deck during the summer months, and visitors can escape the sun for a bit in the air conditioned inside bar. Bring the kids along during the day for a casual meal, or dance the night away when the sun goes down and the 21-plus crowd takes over. berniesnh.com

Text by Allie Herzog

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