When you think about iconic bars in southern California, your mind probably goes first to Los Angeles. It makes sense simply because of all the Los Angeles bars that have been featured in movies. Orange County may not have quite as many, but it certainly does have some iconic bars from a Tiki bar to a cowboy bar. Visit these iconic bars to get a real taste of Orange County.

(credit: Don The Beachcomber)

Don the Beachcomber
16278 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
(562) 592-1321

You’d be hard pressed to come up with a more iconic bar in Orange County than Don the Beachcomber. It may not look like much from the outside, but when you step inside, the decor makes it feel like you’ve walked onto the set of a movie that features a Tiki bar. This is a classic Tiki bar where you can find classic Tiki cocktails like The Zombie (invented by Don Beach himself). In addition to the cool atmosphere, this is also a bar where you can frequently hear live music.

(credit: Rooftop Lounge)

Rooftop Lounge
1289 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-2446

If you were ever going to put a picture of a bar on a postcard, this place would be a pretty good choice. Located atop the Casa del Camino hotel, this bar provides spectacular views of the ocean. While you can watch the sunset anywhere, you can’t find a better place in Orange County than this one to enjoy some cocktails and a gorgeous sunset. You might be tempted to make it a nightly habit.

(credit: Goat Hill Tavern)

Goat Hill Tavern
1830 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 548-8428

Goat Hill has been around for almost 50 years. In that time it has been known for one thing in particular: beer. This bar boasts 141 taps so even the most particular beer snob you know is sure to find something to drink here. The road signs and all the other things on the wall certainly grab the attention. On top of the beer and decor, you’ll find darts, pool, and shuffleboard here. This is a place where you can gladly while away a few hours.Related:  Best bars by neighborhood in Orange County

(credit: Eric W./Yelp)

Swallow’s Inn
31786 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 493-3188

South Orange County seems an unlikely place for a country bar like this one, but The Swallow’s is an institution here. When you first walk in, you notice the decor – including bras – all over the walls and the ceiling. The drinks here are pretty affordable – particularly for south Orange County. Another thing to love about this bar is the frequency of live music. You’re sure to have a good time whether you join in the dancing or just watch the crowd dance to the music

(credit: Mutt Lynch’s)

Mutt Lynch’s
2300 W Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 675-1556

When a bar has been around for more than 40 years, you know it must be doing something right. What Mutt Lynch’s does right is to provide a beachside location where people can have a good time. Frankly, if you’re looking to have a good time, it’s good to have drinks that look like they’re served in a fishbowl. That’s exactly what you’ll find here. It’s always a party atmosphere and Mutt Lynch’s, so bring your crew and enjoy a good time.Related: Best mixologist bars in Orange County

By Gary Schwind