Central Ohio may lack sandy beaches and salt-scented ocean breezes. But you don't need to wander far to experience a summer-vacation state of mind. Pencil a happy-hour escape on your calendar and tour the patios at three local eateries known for blending creative cocktails with relaxing atmospheres.

591 N. High St., Short North

High ceilings and columns draped with velvety curtains give this Short North patio an airy, Grecian-inspired feel. Sink into a cushioned bench or grab a high-top table and mingle with the trendy crowd. Owned and operated by the folks who run its neighbor, Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, Eleven is a luxury after-work and weekend destination. (An added bonus when summer turns to fall: overhead heaters.) Drinks:
A long cocktail list and collection of more than 300 wines invite you to sip as you socialize. If you want some wow factor, try the Brulee Germain. The bartenders ignite the inside of the serving glass before filling it, and the subtle, sweet smokiness is a tasty treat. If you're lower key, the $4 happy hour includes some summery selections, including the pink grapefruit martini and lemon drop. Starters:
Small-plate offerings range from olives to chocolate cake. Two yummy options: the melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon sliders or the warm truffle potato chips sprinkled with sage and pecans. Happy Hour:
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday