Taryn's Wreckreation Guide: Small Bars With BIG Character

January 26, 2017


As an avid bar-hopper, I have fond memories hanging out in cool spots up and down the I-5 corridor. As they say, good things come in small packages. A few of my top picks for a beer or cocktail aren't in giant spaces, but make no mistake, they boast a killer ambiance, stellar vibes, spectacular drinks & friendly staff! 


Conway Boxcar - Stanwood, WA: Every time I walk through the doors at the Boxcar, the energy is SO positive with smiles all around. Packed with mostly regulars from around my hometown, you'll find stools at the bar, booths in the back, and high-tops along the wall. Bring your money for the jukebox, and grab a Space Dust from the bartender. You might run into WOODSHED there, too!

A photo posted by Woodshed (@woodshedband) on


Redlight - Bellingham, WA: If you're looking for a twist on classic cocktails, Redlight is the perfect place for you. It's cozy & intimate with a phenomenal happy hour. Their fruit juices are fresh squeezed and it makes a huge difference! For those who love live music but want a little break from loud rock shows, they book fabulous local acts without the ear-ringing every couple weeks.

Rhiannon ~ gin, fresh herb agave simple syrup (sage/lemon balm/pineapple sage), lemon, served in an absinthe rinsed glass and garnished with a cherry.

A photo posted by Redlight (@redlightbellingham) on


Tacoma Cabana & Rum Bar - Tacoma, WA: Featuring a diverse selection of killer bottles, you'll love getting your rum on at Tacoma Cabana! Their cocktail master whips up some of the most unique drinks you've ever tasted, and you're definitely encouraged to branch out. Pro tip: Sit at the bar to watch the master at work!

You've heard of the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner but have you drank the Flight of the Ancient Mariner? Four mini sample Mariners with four different heavyweight naval style rums Pusser's Gunpowder Hamilton Navy Strength Lost Spirits Navy Style 61 Plantation OFTD

A photo posted by Jason Alexander (@tikicommando) on


The Cozy Nut Tavern - Seattle, WA: With "cozy" in the name, it has to make my list! Their warm atmosphere and amazing staff make The Cozy Nut a local favorite in the Greenwood neighborhood. You'll love their tasty drinks, cold beer and happy hour specials! Plus, there's plenty of quirky stuff on the walls to keep your attention for HOURS.


What's the tiniest bar in your town? Give me the deets in an email and let me know where to find this treasure! 


Happy Adventuring,


Taryn Daly



Wreckreation Guide is powered by Visit Bend. Upgrade your downtime in Bend, Oregon. Do some skiing at Mt Bachelor with short lift lines and long runs; or take a deep breath and give the breathtaking views a double take. Bend, Oregon – it’s where you go to play!