When you imagine an oasis, it usually comes with visions of a sparkling pool, surrounded by palm trees, in the middle of a desolate desert. And even though some of the biggest cities in the world are located in extreme desert climates, it’s still fun to think of their best bars as beautiful boozy oases. These six watering holes offer stunning scenery and refreshing libations after a long day dealing with the dry heat.
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Marfa is known for its out-there art scene, but it also has a handful of bars that make the trek to the small west Texas town even more worth it. Bar Nadar is one of those spots. Located at the Hotel St. George, a dazzling pool is the centerpiece of this desert bar, which is there to cool off imbibers as they sip frozen Margaritas in flavors like prickly pear and tamarind. Tacos and nachos are on hand to soak up the extra booze before taking another dip. Bar Nadar, 113 East El Paso Street, Marfa, TX
As one of the best tiki bars in America, Bootlegger wooed us with its strong tropical drinks and cool speakeasy vibe. It’s located in the same space at the original Don the Beachcomber restaurant that opened in 1953, so the legendary Palm Springs space definitely inherited some good tiki karma. Settle into a booth under the glow of a pufferfish lamp and order a classic Hurricane or their signature Mango Unchained—made with birdseye chili-infused tequila, bourbon, mango, lime, pineapple gomme and vanilla syrup. Bootlegger Tiki, 1101 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, California
This gorgeous light-filled, open-air bar is the perfect place to unwind after a day of shopping and sightseeing in Old Town Scottsdale. Take a load off your tired feet at the long bar or on one of their sleek leather banquets, and dive into the extensive menu. There’s a whole list dedicated to bubbles for lovers of Champagne and other sparkling wines, and they have a decent beer selection as well. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, dive deep into their Martini menu, or order another classic like a refreshing Pimms Cup. AZ/88, 7353 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
The Sossusvlei Lodge is one of the most stunning desert properties we’ve ever seen—it’s a perfect mix of rustic and luxurious for those who seek a bit of both on vacation. The resort’s gorgeous bar and Sundowner Deck is the place to sip an ice cold libation as the vibrant colors of the sunset take over. Grab a cocktail, sample their selection of South African wines, indulge in the local beer or go for their wide selection of German schnapps. Move things outside to the fire pit as the cool evening air sets in. Sossusvlei Lodge, On C27 / D826 (at the Entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park), Sesriem, Namibia
Located on the Santa Fe River, this rooftop bar has epic views. Check out their happy hour every Friday for live entertainment and $2 off food and drinks. They have plenty of wine and beer to choose from, along with thoughtful cocktails like the Pretty In Pink—made with Rhum JM, Giffard Grapefruit, Cocchi Rosa and soda. Head downstairs to restaurant Eloisa if you get a hankering for the local cuisine after knocking a few back. Bar Alto, 228 E Palace Avenue , Santa Fe, NM 87501
Dubai has no shortage of glamorous desert bars. But Al Sarab Lounge, with its sophisticated design, numerous fire pits and beautiful surroundings, is at the top of our list. Settle into the two-story rooftop’s plush seating, and take in the sunset views as you sip a tall frosty drink. Shisha lovers will be happy to know that they have a wide selection to enjoy, whether you’re a beginner or connoisseur. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Al Qudra Road, near Endurance City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 8168