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Best Bar You Didn't Know Existed 

Boathouse Bar, at the Kansas City Zoo

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6800 Zoo Drive | 816-513-5800 | kansascityzoo.org

To get to the Boathouse Bar at the Kansas City Zoo, you have to walk through Botswana — past the elephants, over the river and into Africa — deep inside Swope Park. The modest bar (open on weekends from March through October) serves no tiki drinks, whips up no fruity concoctions with umbrellas in them, offers no imports on draft. It's a simple, open-air watering hole with a modest beer cooler perpetually half-filled with a random selection of canned cocktails, aluminum-bottled beers and 187 ml wine bottles. But the beauty of this drinking experience lies not in its options or its aesthetics but in its remoteness. On the bank of Lake Nakuru, the Boathouse Bar's spacious upper deck stays miraculously low-head-count. It's perfect for a quiet, sunny drink on a spring or fall day, and even in the summer, you can close your eyes and pretend that the children's voices echoing close by are those of wildebeests. There — you're on the savanna!

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