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

Inside Sarasota-Manatee's Craft Beer Scene

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

01/30/2017 By Hannah Wallace Photography by Everett Dennison

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