The temperatures are soaring, tropical storms are brewing and the election is getting crazier by the day. This would be a very good time to head to a bar, not only for a drink (or two) in icy air conditioning, but to seek the solace that comes in a dark and sexy place that comprises a world all its own, populated with like-minded souls and electric with an anything-can-happen atmosphere. In a great bar, you can share laughter with friends, dance in ways you never dreamed you could, meet the love of your life, swap stories with a perfect stranger or just pour out your heart to an understanding bartender. (Bars on our list are either stand-alone establishments or spaces in restaurants  that are physically separate and spritually distinct from the dining room.)

In This Feature:

The Best Bars in Sarasota and Manatee

Here are the toasts of our town.

06/22/2016 By Hannah Wallace

Your Guide to Sarasota's Best Breweries

Craft beer lovers’ cups are running over with several new and newish breweries in the 941. We tour their taprooms and sample the suds.

03/28/2017 By Hannah Wallace

Our Top 5 Cocktails of 2016

Our five favorite flavors from the past year of beverage, ahem, research.

12/27/2016 By Hannah Wallace

6 Great Local Tiki Bars

For instant attitude adjustment, head to one of these iconic tropical hotspots.

06/22/2016 By Hannah Wallace

The Trivia Stakes are High in Our City's Brainiest Bar

The bar-based quiz tradition may very well achieve its Platonic ideal on Wednesday nights at Growler's.

01/04/2017 By Hannah Wallace

What's Your Drinking Personality?

Four great bars to hit depending on your, ahem, spirit animal.

06/22/2016 By Hannah Wallace Illustrations by Emma Gerig

Our Favorite Local Bar Bites

Mini-masterpieces from some restaurant bars.

06/22/2016 By Hannah Wallace

Crime Novelist Tim Dorsey on His Fictional Hero’s Favorite Florida Bars

We asked best-selling crime novelist Tim Dorsey where his hero, Serge A. Storms, would drink.

06/22/2016 By Tim Dorsey

Cocktails at The Colony

Remembering a long-ago summer behind the late, great resort’s bar.

07/08/2016 By Susan Burns