By Lily Rogers, on August 4, 2017

8 Best US places to enjoy outdoor drinks

What’s better than a day outdoors? Especially when the agenda includes a little day drinking. We’ve chosen places where the relaxed attitudes (and laws) toward alcohol and their multitude of places to enjoy a beverage, whether it be boozy or alcohol-free, mean you can really let your hair down.

In these cities, outdoor barbecues, bustling restaurant patios, and laidback park spaces are readily available, and we picked specific bright spots that’ll welcome you and your crew to toast to an idyllic day spent together.

Of course, we always recommend being safe, responsible, and respectful. Clean up after yourself, follow laws, enjoy with moderation in mind, and you can have a lovely, celebratory holiday relaxing with your peeps in these perfect places.

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

Bacchanal Wine, New Orleans
Via Yelp/Jennifer F.
As one of the few U.S. cities to allow public drinking in most areas, New Orleans takes its drinking seriously, but knows how to bring the good times to the streets (or the patios). Go-cups allow imbibers to change venues without leaving an unfinished beverage behind, and public attitudes are live-and-let-live.

The great outdoors:

  • Bacchanal Wine – A Bywater neighborhood gem that features an old-world wine menu, two free tastings every week, and one of the best outdoor bars in the city, where small-production distilleries rule the cocktail menu and Louisiana beers, like brews from Great Raft, are flowing.
  • Café Amelie – This oasis features a lush courtyard in the French Quarter with a soothing fountain, which makes for a fresh, green, and serene place to sip champagne cocktails like the classic French 75. Make online reservations to ensure a seat outside.
  • Audubon Park – Head here for a holiday, special event, or a casual picnic. This park is a lovely green space with lagoons, ancient oaks, and park shelters that can be reserved online. The Fly area of the park is an especially lively spot, where crawfish boils and barbecues are happening on the regular.

2. Springfield, Missouri

Via Yelp/Dayna A.
With no statewide ban on public drinking, Missouri keeps careful but lenient watch over its public spaces, and many don’t mind you cracking open a cold one while soaking up the sun.

The great outdoors:

  • Metropolitan Farmer – This south side restaurant’s patio includes a fire pit and blankets for when your afternoon sips slip into cocktail hour.
  • Sequiota Bike Shop – At this dog-friendly outdoor eatery that provides bike rentals, enjoy a spirited slushie or craft beer, have the staff pack you a picnic to go, and head out to find a prime spot in Sequiota Park.
  • Tea Bar and Bites – Take it easy on the booze, and come to the courtyard at this charming place for a pot of steeped tea and a bite of something sweet.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

Beer Park Las Vegas
Via Yelp/Heiko T.
Well, duh, you can drink on the streets in Vegas, you already know that. But did you know it stretches beyond carrying your cup from the craps table to the club? Head there now so you can see (and sip) for yourself.

The great outdoors:

  • Beer Park – Fake a backyard barbecue on the rooftop of the Paris hotel, where giant Jenga and cornhole would have you convinced you’re at a friend’s place if it weren’t for the amazing views of the Strip sparkling in the background.
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area – A mere 30 miles east, this reservoir is a playground for boaters, sunbathers, and water skiers. Chill out on the beach with a cold drink and make some new friends.
  • Mount Charleston – Lots of picnicking spots are on hand, where you can enjoy a chill day outside with family or friends. Be sure to pack a lot of water! While it’s usually tens of degrees cooler on the mountain, it’s still the desert.
  • 4. Sheboygan, Wisconsin

    Via Flickr/Brett VA
    The nickname The Spirit on the Lake is not referring to the kind of spirits you mix with soda and lime, but Sheboygan is a fun place to grab a drink, especially when the weather beckons everyone outside. There isn’t a bad seat in this city for a satisfying siesta.

    The great outdoors:

    • Weather Center Café — Say hello to a beautiful day with a cup of coffee on the terrace. Savor a home-baked pastry as you admire views of the sparkling Sheboygan River.
    • Lakeview Park – With, you guessed it, great views of Lake Michigan, this park is a picturesque place to host a brat fry and crack open a cold one. Grab a growler of Really Cool Waterslides IPA from 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. to complete your perfect park day menu.
    • Pier 17 – With 16 beers on tap, and 23 more in the bottle, this restaurant’s choices are as endless as its views from the riverfront patio. It’s one of the best places to drink in Sheboygan.

    5. Havre, Montana

    fresno reservoir park havre montana
    Via Flickr via Tony Webster
    Montana is a state with no ban on alcohol in public areas, and with wide open spaces as far as the eye can see, it’s the right place to get away from it all (with a refreshing drink in hand).

    The great outdoors:

    • Beaver Creek Park – Havre boasts 18 community parks, but Beaver Creek is the largest. Pick up a day permit, and post up in one of the many picnic areas in the south end. Or, reserve a spot and camp overnight.
    • Fresno Reservoir – Picnic opportunities are plentiful along this 25-mile-long lake a little west of town. Stop into Triple Dog Brewing Co. on the way to pick up the namesake Fresno Wheat or the Bears Paw Belgian Wit.
    • Pepin Park – For a casual picnic in town, this charming park is available with lunching areas and public restrooms.

    6. Roswell, Georgia

    Via Yelp via Meghan C.
    Canton Street district has carry laws, which mean you can bring your drinks with you if you’re switching venues (in paper or plastic cups under 16 ounces). The city also has many bars with outdoor seating. Freedom never felt so fun.

    The great outdoors:

    • The Mill Kitchen and Bar – The large, airy patio with overhead fans will keep you cool during the day, while the outdoor fireplace will keep the warm fuzzies close at night.
    • Don White Memorial Park – A great place to picnic, this park is right on the Chattahoochee River, where you can fish from the docks. Or, warm up with a game on the volleyball court before enjoying an ice-cold beverage.
    • Alive in Roswell – Hosted by Gate City Brewing, this is a monthly free festival with vendors, food trucks, and free regular trolley service, so you’ll have a safe ride home if Gate City’s Copperhead American amber leaves your head spinning a little.

    7. Erie, Pennsylvania

    Via Yelp/Presque Isle Wine Cellars
    The expansive downtown does not restrict open containers, so drinking is allowed in many public places. There are also 19 city parks, perfect for a day stretched out on a blanket.

    The great outdoors:

    • Frontier Park – With plenty of grassy areas for picnics, this park is a welcome green space in the western end of the city. Grab some Martin’s potato rolls, fresh tomato and mayo, and a Rauch Lager from Lavery Brewing Company for a relaxing meal in the park.
    • Presque Isle Wine Cellars – Located only 13 miles from downtown, this woodsy winery is set on the banks of Twelve Mile Creek, where visitors can enjoy a glass of wine to the soundtrack of soothing waterfalls.
    • Smuggler’s Wharf – This pirate-themed seafood establishment boasts a green vine-laden circular patio with pretty bay views. Oh, and the drinks from the nautical bar will make you say, “Arrr!” in the best possible way.

    8. Hood River, Oregon

    hood river brewery
    Via Yelp via David L.
    A city on the shining waters of the Columbia, Hood River is well known as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and craft beer lovers alike, meaning locals know how to take advantage of the best of both worlds.

    The great outdoors:

    • Hood River Waterfront Park – Spend your day splashing in the water or enjoying the scene from a blanket on the grass.
    • pFriem Family Brewers – Next, head across the street to pFriem Brewers, where you can end the day around the fire pit on the outdoor patio, sipping seasonal brews like their Belgian Single with notes of mint and rhubarb.
    • Viento State Park – This swimming spot just west of town has shallow, rock-bottom waters and sweeping views of Hood River and Cascade Locks. It’s a usually uncrowded oasis to chill out and cool off.

    What are your favorite places for an outdoor drink?