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Find Your Beach, Even in NYC

Updated: May 25, 2019

We rounded up our favorite beach-centric, tropical-themed, and outdoor bars in NYC to help you get through the crazy-hot summer.

Any local NYC resident will tell you about the weekly migration that occurs on summer weekends. The masses flock to surrounding suburbs or island destinations to escape the heat rising off the pavement and the subway smells. But if you are one of the few that likes to stick around to enjoy the unique quietness, if you're visiting for a four day weekend (hey, download our NYC guide!), or if your simply looking for a seasonally appropriate happy hour during the week, you've come to the right place. Hit these local joints for water views, outdoor seating, umbrella drinks, and overall good vibes.

Tucked behind the Soho Grand Hotel, this summery spot is known for its frozen strawberry margarita that comes adorned with a fresh watermelon slice. The decor is perfectly nautical, with white umbrellas and shiplap booths covered in navy and red pillows. The croton plant and palm trees also provide a certain shield from the busy streets of Soho, giving a true sense of escape. If you're looking to eat, we loved the pizzas! Gilligan's is open from May to late September, making it feel very special for those summer months.

Those who can't visit the vineyards in the Hamptons, can feel satisfied with this waterfront rooftop and outdoor bar. City Vineyard serves up tons of awesome wines, coming straight from sister establishment, City Winery. This is one of our favorite places to enjoy a glass of rosé wine after work while the sun sets over the Hudson River.

Nautically-inspired drinks aboard a wooden ship? See you there! Pilot feels like the ultimate escape, not only because of the coastal vibes but also because of its location in Brooklyn. Being a ship deck, the bar can get a bit crowded, but the fresh flowers and the navy blue wicker bar stools make up for the wait. We love the "Get On Up" and, of course, the Aperol Spritz (can you say "Instragram!"). Looking for a bite? The lobster roll is a must.

If you're not up for the trip across the East River, check out Pilot's sister bar-restaurant, Grand Banks.

Visit Tulum without even boarding a plane! Grupo Gitano was born out of Tulum and has two amazing locations in the heart of Soho. Both spaces are intensely tropical and amazingly chic. The cocktail list is a total transport to the beaches of Mexico; many come with a piece of fresh fruit or are served in a coconut husk. Above all, the Mexican-inspired menu is bold and perfect for sharing with a group. Spend the night at one of Gitano's spots and you'll depart feeling like you really escaped NYC.

Also hidden instead a hotel, this rooftop oasis is an ideal post-work happy hour spot. The eclectic cocktail menu pairs well with the all-wooden bar area and amazing city views. If you do happen to be visiting over the weekend, Broken Shaker recently began serving brunch and the French Toast is drool-worthy.

Not in NYC? Broken Shaker is also in Miami, Chicago, and LA.

Pier A is another great spot for sunset views over the Hudson River. A hot-spot for sunny Saturday's, it does get crowded. But snag a spot by the railings and enjoy a cold beer outside in downtown Manhattan. While we don't recommend the food, it's an easy spot to grab an afternoon drink with friends.

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