No summer in New York is complete without a trip to Governors Island, the car-free oasis in Upper New York Bay. After a day spent clambering over installations in the Interactive Sculpture Garden, playing a round of minigolf, or just gazing at the views of the harbor and Statue of Liberty, enjoy a nightcap at one of these bars near the ferry terminals at Brooklyn Bridge Park or the Battery Maritime Building.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Governors Island
Near the Battery Maritime Building
This Revolution-themed bar, the first American spin-off of Dublin’s Porterhouse Brewing Company, lures its worldly crowd with house drafts such as the Oyster Stout ($8) and a selection of international brews, including Victory Prima Pils ($7). Energy is high in the main room, where cowhide-covered booths and glass cases filled with empty beer bottles outfit the old-timey lodge. Patrons can also guzzle grapefruit juleps (vodka, grapefruit juice, grenadine, lime, honey, mint; $12), or sip bourbon (Jefferson’s selection $12) in the neighboring Dingle Whiskey Bar. 4-minute walk
This swanky bar isn’t the type of place you hit in cutoffs and flip-flops, but the cocktails and decor still scream summer fun. Seasonal drinks ($14) at the Andaz hotel hot spot include Squiggly Line Punch (cranberry and pineapple juices blended with lime and spiked with rum) and the signature Se7en 5ive Smash (Laird’s applejack, lemon, mint, old-fashioned bitters). Bartenders prepare the tipples at shiny tables topped with jars of berries, sugar cubes and additional accoutrements, and patrons wander among them. 8-minute walk
With a bar that stretches the entire length of the drinkery and an outdoor patio, there’s ample space here for you and your crew to raise a glass to the sunshine. The pub is decorated with dog prints and, naturally, welcomes revelers’ canines on the outdoor patio. All-beef franks ($7-$8) and popcorn shrimp ($10) are among the snacks you can wash down with one of 20 American craft beers, or house cocktails such as the Jack Russell (brandy, lime, grenadine; $11). 6-minute walk
Despite its location on an unassuming lower Manhattan block, Keg No. 229 is a prime destination for some celebrating: The serve-yourself beer taps in the back allow you to keep track of your boozing on LED screens, and the couches up front offer a cozy refuge for your gang. Sitting that close to the bar, however, ushers in a whole new hoard of temptations, including cocktails ($9-13). 14-minute walk
Near Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6
A menu dedicated to Empire State–made tipples and East Coast small-batch craft brews is one big draw for this casual beer hall, which is outfitted with cafeteria-style communal tables; the fact that the tavern doubles as a community center is another. Barhoppers come to indulge in 16-ounce Southampton and Victory brews ($6–$8), and often stay for one of their many. 27-minute walk. Travel: B25 bus.
You’ll be tempted to snag a chair as soon as you glimpse the serious cocktails patrons enjoy on the front patio of this pre-Prohibition–style drinkery. At the bar, bartenders in neckties pull from a fresh spread of syrups, liqueurs and fruits to create superior tipples such as the False Alarm (pisco, Campari, raspberry syrup, lemon, prosecco; $13). 32-minute walk. Subway: F to Bergen St.
If the bartender here doesn’t know your name when you walk through the door, they likely will by last call. The no-frills decor is limited to a burgundy paint job and a lone mounted deer head, but it’s the friendly atmosphere and roughly 30 bottled beers that bring suds-savvy enthusiasts who also enjoy drafts such as the citrusy, Wilco Tango Foxtrot from California ($6). The front room transforms into an ideal summertime hangout when the French doors are thrown open. 34-minute walk. Subway: F to Carroll St.
This low-key Carroll Gardens den was named after the stiff walk that plagued people who consumed toxic Jamaican Ginger during Prohibition, but the drinks served here today will make you walk funny only if you throw back enough of them. While the bartender prepares an Electric Mayhem (Buffalo Trace, yellow Chartreuse, Aperol, lemon, bitters; $11) or Five Island Monk (Banks rum, green Chartreuse, lime juice, maple syrup, black walnut bitters, cayenne-salted rim; $12), slyly scope out the scene from the massive tilted mirror behind the bar. Or order a bottle of Cane and Ebel red rye ale ($7) and soak up the breeze coming through the big bay windows. 36-minute walk. Subway: F to Carroll St.
Carolines on Broadway
Even comics who are regulars at the city’s other stand-up rooms have to work extra hard to get stage time at this venerable institution. Carolines is the best place to see marquee names, including sitcom-ready stars, familiar faces from the ’80s comedy boom, Friars Club–style spritzers and cable-special ravers. You’ll never see anything less than professional. Show times vary.
Venue says: “The First Name in Comedy! Located in the heart of Times Square, Carolines on Broadway is NYC’s top destination for live stand-up comedy.”