Here are some of our favorite outdoor spots to quench your thirst after work, before your family arrives for vacation, or after your kid’s coach pitch baseball game. Or, you know, any old sunny Tuesday.
:: Triangle Wine: The store where your uncle and your best friend argue about the difference between a sour and a saison over their third craft brew of more than 11% abv. Vibe: A patio you can re-arrange around an impromptu corn hole tournament between the regulars’ kids.
:: Southern Pines Growler Co.: This one’s a no-brainer — brick paths, covered in happy people and dogs, beckons to you from blocks away. Vibe: The patio where you’re most likely to strike up a conversation after a solid 20 minutes of eavesdropping.
:: The Wine Cellar: That place where you can watch people re-up their weekend supplies at the neighborhood ABC store. Vibe: A cozy spot for your group friend outing, where a full lineup of local music will cover any awkward lulls in conversation.
:: CharBar No. 7: That chain that serves the perfect tower of nachos to pair with your late-night cocktails, or a kid-friendly place to have a brew at lunch. Vibe: Deep couches and soft lighting, plus the pleasant cacophony created by banks of televisions and a late-night crowd, makes it a comfortable place to mellow out when you’re tipsy.
:: The Magnolia Inn: Your crazy aunt’s favorite place to grab a drink. Vibe: A pretty patio with an interesting mix of older natives and transplants, whose bad dancing will allow you to be the least self-conscious version of yourself.
:: The Bell Tree: That back patio where, at some point, all late-night routes converge. Vibe: The bar that attracts college students home from break. Most likely, there to brag to and then make out with their high-school crush.
:: The Leadmine: A courtyard that opens in time for something that will help you forget about work. Vibe: Where a mostly under-40 mix goes to indulge in a smoky Old Fashioned after leaving the kids with a babysitter.
:: The Jefferson: Glowing lights and tall foliage provide an ambient atmosphere to get turnt. Vibe: Where the noise from the crowd and the band could wake the hotel’s ghosts — along with the out-of-towners who booked a night’s stay.
Looking for something different? Here’s a list of no-frills bars that have cold a/c and cold beer, but are still not too cool for you.