America’s best idea? National parks, obviously.
America’s second-best idea? Parking breweries right outside our favorite national parks. Here are our favorites—just in time for your summer road trip.
Near: Redwood National Park
If taking in the giant trees along California’s coastline leaves you with a hankering for beer, stop into this beloved local brewery in Crescent City, California. Order the flight and taste six of the brewery’s options. And come hungry: The menu at SeaQuake is extensive, and the food is definitely not just an afterthought.
Blue Mountain Brewery
Near: Shenandoah National Park
This brewery sits at the southern tip of Shenandoah National Park, in Afton, Virginia. It usually has ten of its own beers on tap at any time. Blue Mountain grows its own hops and uses well water pulled from deep beneath Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. If you’re not into beer (but are somehow still reading this story), know that the brewery also stocks craft kombucha and wine, and there’s a full menu to satisfy your hiker hunger.
Snake River Brewing
Near: Grand Teton National Park
Twice named small brewery of the year at the Great American Beer Festival, Snake River Brewing is churning out some top-notch ales. In fact, you’d love these brews even if you weren’t drinking them after a day in one of America’s most beautiful places. There’s a beer list a mile long with enough options that anyone can find something they like. The menu is diverse, too, but be willing to shell out a bit of cash—this is a resort town, after all.
Voyageur Brewing Company
Near: Voyageur National Park
Located on Lake Superior, this independent brewery is a must-stop for thirsty kayakers and hikers. Bring your pup—the patio and rooftop are dog-friendly—and make sure you order the cheese curds to balance out your alcohol consumption.
Miami Brewing Company
Near: Everglades National Park
Miami Brewing Company sounds like it belongs in hip South Beach, but this brewery is actually in Homestead, Florida, a quaint Everglades gateway town. It’s hot here year-round, so the brews that really shine are aimed at peak refreshment, like the Big Rod Coconut Blonde Ale or the Shark Bait Mango Wheat Ale. If wine is your thing, the Schnebly Winery is right next door.
Rock Cut Brewing Company
Near: Rocky Mountain National Park
Drink your Switchbock after a day of doing switchbacks up the Continental Divide. There’s a lot of garbage food in Estes, which can feel like a tourist trap, but Rock Cut serves genuinely memorable beer. Cure your post-hike munchies with fare from the food truck that often pulls up outside the brewery. Also cool: You can “beer it forward” by buying a beer for a friend whose name gets logged on a giant blackboard. When they’re in town, they can redeem their beer.
South Gate Brewing Company
Near: Yosemite National Park
Located, you guessed it, near the southern gate of Yosemite National Park, you’ll always find a solid lineup of regulars and seasonals on tap. Don’t miss the South Gate IPA, which is a true West Coast–style IPA and has all the Simcoe and Pacifica hops you could ever want. For food, there’s a menu that changes seasonally but always offers robust organic and local options.
Atlantic Brewing Company
Near: Acadia National Park
Located on an old farmstead in Bar Harbor, Maine, this brewery has a tasting room and a restaurant (called Mainely Meat BBQ—don’t say we didn’t warn you, vegans) that serves full-size pours. There are always five classic beers, plus a few seasonals and small-batch releases. Bring your growler for a fill-up with Island Ginger—a beer spiked with fresh ginger—before you head deep into Acadia for a few days.