New Orleans, LA
As locals will tell you, New Orleans is more than Bourbon St. It’s not just strip clubs, Huge Ass Beer signs, and neon lights crammed into a few-block stretch that smells of vomit and has an oddly high number of people yelling Bible verses. But the catch here is that the French Quarter is also more than Bourbon St -- it's so stacked with incredible cocktail bars, centuries-old drinking spots, and delightfully dirty dives that it’s almost unfair to the rest of the city.
Corralled inside that 13x6-block square, you can order a Sazerac from Chris McMillian or a Tom and Jerry from Chris Hannah, two of the country's top bartenders who are pouring at Kingfish and Arnaud’s French 75, respectively, while simultaneously upping your ‘tail knowledge, since both are encyclopedias on the classics. Or you could plan a Tiki crawl to three of the country’s best: Tiki Tolteca pours funky standbys above a fast-casual Mexican spot, while next door, the man who sparked the current Tiki revival has his own bar, Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, and down the road Cane & Table offers a giant selection of summery drinks. Grab a Grasshopper at Tujague’s where it was created or a Pimm’s Cup at the Carousel Bar, where it’s basically been perfected. Simply want a beer? No fear -- local crafts are on the rise.