Dive bars are a place you can go without needing to dress up and drench yourself in cologne. Each has its own character which makes the casual wanderer-in want to be him/herself. While in the Keys recently, we found a few such dive bars worth mentioning.

· Green Parrot Bar – 601 Whitehead St. Key West – Open Daily 10am – 4am
This dive bar is a long time favorite among locals and tourists. Formerly called The Brown Derby Bar during WWII, it was a favorite among the submariners and sailers stationed a few blocks away. Now called Green Parrot bar, some of the retired sailers still come back to the bar to find it virtually unchanged. I’m sure it can get very busy during the summer but the bartenders are quick and knowledgable so you won’t be waiting for your drink for too long.

· Capt. Tony’s Saloon – 428 Greene St. Key West – Open Daily 10am – 2am
It is always great to go somewhere that has plenty of history. Capt. Tony’s Saloon is just that. Opened in 1851 as an icehouse and morgue, it eventually transformed into a humble watering hole for many influential people. It was Ernest Hemingway’s regular bar. He even stole a urinal and dragged it to his private garden where it still provides water for the 45 cats currently in the compound. This is a must-visit place for anyone that wants to have a good time.

· Alabama Jacks – 58000 Card Sound Rd. Homestead Fl. – Open Daily 11am – 6:30pm
Although it is about a 10 miles drive from US1 in Key Largo, this place is a must. It has a legendary following who love the homestyle food served there. It is located on a small river surrounded by mangrove trees. The obvious go-to food options are the Conch Fritters and Dolphin Burger. The jalapeno poppers and friend pickles were the best I’ve ever had.

· Mac’s Club Deuce – 222 14th St. Miami Beach – Open Daily 8am – 5am
This is your quintessential dive bar in South Beach. It’s grimy and you probably wouldn’t want to touch a whole lot. Once you get past that, soaking in the atmosphere is a lot easier with the ocean breeze creeping in through the windows. The beer and liquor selection is nothing special but there is something for everyone to enjoy (unless you’re underage).

· Lost Weekend – 218 Espanola Way Miami Beach – Mon-Sat 5pm – 5am / Sun 2pm – 5am
Located just a short drunken walk away, Lost Weekend is the most spacious of the aforemetioned bars. Drinks are similar to any dive. Although I didn’t enjoy this bar as much as the others, it did have an air hockey table in the back which gives it bonus points.

Just as a caution to anyone that is sensitive to cigarette smoke. Smoking is legal in bars down there. So maybe grab a seat by a window for fresher air. You are allowed to drink in public as long as it isn’t in a bottle and many bars will not let you in with outside drinks. Pretty standard.

[Photos: Steven D/Jaunted]

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