Ocean views are nice and all, but if you’re gonna have a drink on the water, well, we say you should have a drink *on* the water. From barges in Brooklyn to boats in Bermuda, here are seven sea-faring spots to sip a summer cocktail.
1. Brooklyn Barge, Brooklyn, NY
Originally built in the 1940s, this barge was a box car carrier for the Pennsylvania Railroad in a former life. As of last year, it now spends its summers on the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, serving as a floating restaurant and bar from May to October. The owners also partner with local groups to provide water activities like kayaking, sailing, scuba, and stand-up paddle board lessons along with catch-and-release fishing sessions and tours of historic visiting vessels.
2. The Willy-T, British Virgin Islands
This 100-foot schooner (officially named the William Thornton, after an 18th-century architect who designed the U.S. Capitol) anchored off the coast of the uninhabited Norman Island is only accessible by boat, so visitors can grab a water taxi to reach their drinking destination. The place is all about the party and revelers often imbibe via a “shotski”—a waterski adorned with shot glasses that allows multiple patrons to throw ‘em back at the same time.
3. Tiki Barge, Baltimore
With a public tiki bar on the top deck and a members-only pool club on the bottom, Tiki Barge on the Chesapeake Bay touts views of the city and plenty of palm trees (not an everyday sight in Baltimore). The bar has a dozen boozy “crushes” on offer ranging from watermelon to pineapple to grapefruit. And to balance out that drinking, the venue also holds poolside yoga and Zumba classes…with post-workout beers included in the price.
4. The Deck on the Moshulu, Philadelphia
The tall ship Moshulu has quite the pedigree. Originally built in Scotland in 1904, she’s sailed all over the world, was once occupied by Nazi forces, has capsized, served as grain storage in Finland, and appeared in iconic films like Rocky and The Godfather Part II. Today, Moshulu serves as a fine dining restaurant on the Philly waterfront and, in summers, opens its upper outdoor bar—dubbed The Deck—where groups gather post-work and on weekends to take in the views over cocktails, buckets of beer, and fruity wine pops. There’s also a lineup of summer fun including DJ nights, yoga sessions, and even book signings. Photo credit: Allison Guzy
5. Calico Jack’s Floating Bar, Bermuda
This 75-foot pirate ship smartly docked near the island’s visiting cruise ships is a well-known spot for visitors to stop, not just for a drink but also for a chance to walk the legendary plank… ending with a jump into the North Atlantic. The boat is also home to two bars equipped with TVs (but really, would you want to spend a minute of your time watching TV while on a pirate ship in Bermuda?) and also rigs up an inflatable slide for bonus fun on the water.
6. Frying Pan, NYC
It’s more than just a boat—it’s one of a very few lightships still in existence and was actually salvaged after sinking and spending three years on the floor of the Chesapeake Bay. Now docked at Hudson River Park on Manhattan’s West Side, the Frying Pan is a good spot for summer afternoon beers or burgers at the adjacent Pier 66 Maritime located on a floating railroad barge. The summer season culminates in a big old Oktoberfest bash in September.
7. Cloud 9, Fiji
OK, this one wins the stunning setting award. If happen you make it here (via boat, of course), chances are you’ll just stare slack-jawed out at the miles crystal blue water for a while. But once you’re done gawking, you can indulge in a cocktail, lounge on reclining daybeds, munch on wood-fired pizzas (yes, really) and listen to tunes spun by the day’s DJ. Cloud 9 also arranges for water activities like jet skiing and parasailing, but of course, that would require putting your drink down and getting up from your seat, so make sure to give it some thought first…
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