Several weeks ago I was drinking tasteful craft beers on the patio of a small restaurant in the mountains, and found myself thinking how well that moment captured the essence of vacation. What could be better than parking your arse in a nice setting and indulging in an adult beverage without any agenda to get somewhere by a particular time?
I decided to write about great places to do just that, but quickly realized there are so many such places that culling the list to an arbitrary number and assigning first-second-third rankings is a fool’s errand. So instead, I will make this a recurring topic and each time offer up five recommendations in alphabetical order. On this day, here are the five that come to mind.
Hog’s Breath Saloon;
On an island packed with places to imbibe, few feel as genuine and down-to-earth as the Hog’s Breath. Yes, that seems odd when you consider that its logo is known around the world, that it is on
This is the place on Duval that draws the most locals. It has bars both indoors and outdoors, though I prefer the latter because when you sit outside on a sunny afternoon sipping a margarita, it feels as close to perfect as you can get -- and it feels equally close to perfect when you sit outside at night downing a beer while the band plays Grateful Dead tunes. And unlike nearby Sloppy Joe’s, the Hog’s Breath does not overhype its history to the point that its present seems like a caricature.
Jack of the Wood Public House;
I have consumed good, strong beers at this pub on multiple occasions over the past decade, and it is where I was sitting when the idea for this blog was born 11 months ago. Everything about Jack of the Wood screams
McClure’s Beach, California
Technically, drinking alcohol on McClure’s Beach is not allowed because it is part of Point Reyes National Seashore. But this is a remote spot where you might be the only person for miles, so don’t worry. Just slip a libation into your backpack (a flask of good bourbon should do the trick, as should one of those small bottles of red wine from a grocery store four-pack) and make your way north of San Francisco to the small town of Inverness. Then, drive up the ridges of the
At the end of
McSorley’s Ale House, New York City
Abraham Lincoln once drank here. So did John Lennon. Located in
The Vegas Strip
I’m not talking about any particular spot on
Although I try to steer away from touristy areas, in favor of those that “keep it real,” I still find that there is something very appealing about Vegas’s unapologetic over-the-top excess. And I don't even like to gamble! You have to walk the strip before you die, and I recommend you do so wearing flip-flops and drinking a glass of chilled pinot grigio to combat the desert heat. I guarantee you won’t regret it.