RAISING THE BAR
Drinks With a View
Top off your vacation with a cool drink and a view to match at one of these 10 unforgettable settings.
Panama's wildlife-rich jungle and iconic canal (See photos)
Rocking gently in a hammock while nursing a frozen cocktail is a favored pastime throughout Panama, but only at the Canopy Tower can you do it while toucans, howler monkeys, and bright-blue butterflies sail by a few feet from your face. The 50-foot tower has been converted from an abandoned U.S. Air Force rain forest lookout station into an affordable ecolodge. Panoramic windows reveal hundreds of species—including tamarins, white-tailed capuchins, and sloths—and on a clear day, you'll see all the way to the skyline of Panama City and the ships crossing the Panama Canal, three miles away.
Drink up Panamanian-made rum and local beers like the full-bodied Balboa. Semaphore Hill Rd., Soberaniá National Park,Panama; 800/930-3397, canopytower.com, drinks from $2.
Cape Town's oceanfront mountain (See photos)
There are only two ways to reach the Table Mountain Café: Brave a 3,000-foot-long aerial cableway, or hoof it on a two-hour uphill hike. But either option seems a small price for the payoff of sweeping views of Cape Town, wedged between a 260-million-year-old mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean. Look below for the posh Camps Bay beaches, the Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela was held, and a stadium built for the World Cup.
Drink up Reds from the nearby Stellenbosch wine region—take them outdoors on the stone balcony to watch the sunset over the ocean. Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa, 011-27/21-424-8181, tablemountain.net, drinks from $3.50.
The Côte d'Azur's blue sky and sea (See photos)
A medieval stone house converted into a hotel and restaurant, La Chèvre d'Or clings to a leafy hillside above the medieval village of Eze, halfway between Monaco and Nice. Three terraces at the building's highest point provide vistas stretching past the property's green gardens to the idyllic Mediterranean beaches of the St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula.
Drink up A toast-worthy glass of champagne from the nearly 35,000-bottle wine cellar. Rue du Barri, Eze, France, 011-33/04-92-10-66-66, chevredor.com, wine from $21, cocktails from $32, champagne from $37.
Sydney's twinkling harbor (See photos)
The best place to take in Sydney's skyline is right beside its most iconic feature. The alfresco Opera Bar sits directly at the foot of the Sydney Opera House and provides dramatic perspectives of the city, harbor, and wide-arched Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location itself is a bit touristy, but Opera Bar—with its low-key weekend jazz afternoons and buzzed-about nightly live music and DJ sets—manages to attract a trendy local crowd.
Drink up An organic house pale ale to enjoy with locals perched on the concrete banks alongside the water. Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia, 011-61/2-9247-1666, operabar.com.au, pale ale $6.