Instead of visiting just any old rooftop bar to take in the skyline, go to one that guarantees the most epic views possible. These rooftop, skyscraper and hotel bars across the United States offer the best uninterrupted, full 360-degree views of their respective cities, and they serve delicious drinks and food to boot. So go ahead, snap that Instagram of your outstretched hand holding a cocktail against the skyline—we promise it’ll make everyone jealous.
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San Francisco, CA
While there are many great bars in SF that offer panoramic vistas, the newly-opened Cityscape Lounge tops them all. Take the elevator to the 46th floor of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square (the largest hotel on the west coast), and marvel at first sight of the Bay when the doors open. Nosh on small plates and sip craft cocktails while admiring the entire city through 14-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows.
San Diego, CA
Come for the rooftop pool during the day; stay for the unparalleled views of San Diego at sunset. In the morning, sunbathers flock to the cabanas atop this seventh floor lounge for some poolside breakfast. Come nightfall, RoofTop600 at the Andaz transforms into a nightclub with live DJs, light bites and VIP bottle service, while you take in the city’s twinkling lights below.
Los Angeles, CA
Instead of the swanky vibe you’ll find at most L.A. rooftop bars, Perch strives for an unpretentious, comfortable atmosphere. The French-inspired, bohemian ambiance is realized in the antique-looking furniture, verdant landscaping, warm fire pits, jazz music and French cuisine, which create a welcome escape from the bustling downtown below.
Las Vegas, NV
People with motion sickness need not enter this Las Vegas restaurant and lounge. Situated in the Stratosphere Casino, 800 feet in the air, Top of World revolves 360-degrees every 80 minutes. That way, you can see every inch of the Strip while enjoying their world class wine list, without ever leaving your seat.
If the heights of Las Vegas are a bit too dramatic for your taste, you can still enjoy a rotating view of a less hectic city at the Compass Arizona Grill in Phoenix. Located atop the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, the restaurant offers upscale southwestern fare alongside seasonal cocktails—like a Prickly Pear Margarita—while slowly spinning above the Valley of the Sun.
St. Louis, MO
Sports fans will delight in this aptly named bar which offers a bird’s eye view into Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Located atop the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, this indoor/outdoor rooftop bar also offers views of the iconic Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River, and it features an open kitchen, wine wall, fire pits and flat-screen TVs (though they won’t compare to watching the baseball game happen live right below).
You won’t have to worry about feeling sweaty and claustrophobic at this night club, thanks to its open air rooftop. 3Fifty Terrace is located on top of the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, from where you’ll be able to see Detroit landmarks like the Broderick Tower and Comerica Park while bathing in the neon red backlight. And if you’re wondering what happened to the last 10 degrees, don’t worry—the name refers to the club’s address, not its views.
While the bar itself is super modest, offering only a few cocktail specials alongside coffee, gelato and snacks, the view inside the 360 CHICAGO observation deck is magnificent. A huge stop on the Chicago tourist trail, this tower is home to the TILT attraction, in which visitors can lean against tilting glass windows to get downward facing views from 1,030 feet up. If that’s too vertigo-inducing, just grab a cocktail and wander the observation deck to take in the breathtaking views of the skyline and lakefront.
Enjoy some New England seafood in a sophisticated atmosphere at this rotating bar that towers over the Back Bay with views of the Boston skyline behind it. In addition to some classics, Top of the Hub also offers an extensive sweet ‘Tini menu, which includes a Pear Drop Martini and a Banana Foster Martini.
Atop the historic, infamous Watergate Hotel, Top of the Gate boasts up-close views of the Potomac River, the Key and Arlington bridges, and the Kennedy Center, with the Washington Monument, Capitol Building and the rest of D.C.’s pearly white skyline in the distance. Enjoy open air cocktails while socializing with the post-work crowd, then head downstairs to The Next Whiskey Bar
, which features an illuminated wall of 2,500 bottles in a cozy lounge setting.
New York, NY
Most rooftop and skyscraper bars abound NYC offer 360 vistas at a small fortune, so you might as well do it up right at The Press Lounge, the schmanciest of the city’s rooftop hotspots. Located 16 stories above the Kimpton Ink48 hotel in Hell’s Kitchen, The Press Lounge offers pricey small plates and pricier cocktails—ones that won’t taste nearly as good as the drinks you can get on the ground in this city. Plus, there’s a strict dress code and usually a long wait to get in. So why is it worth a spot on your NYC bucket list? The sweeping panorama of Manhattan’s skyline and the Hudson river will take your breath away.
This aerial rotating bar steps up the game with twin revolving floors that pass over the Ohio River. The restaurant focuses on fresh, sustainable ingredients—like lettuce grown at an aquaponic farm—and has a spirits list that spotlights Kentucky’s many bourbons, including Louisville’s official cocktail the Old Fashioned
While you don’t have to ascend terribly high to get sweeping views of quaint Charleston, this restaurant is the only place in the city where you can enjoy a drink and full panoramic view of downtown. The easygoing eatery lets you admire historic architecture from above while sipping on their speciality tap wines, which are half price during Tuesday night happy hour.
Away from crowded downtown Miami, watr at The 1 Rooftop offers 360 views of South Beach’s gorgeous oceanfront. At 18 stories high, this Polynesian-Japanese fusion bar offers fresh seafood like sushi and poke, along with a tropical cocktail menu that includes ingredients such as torched pineapple, honey-coconut syrup and passionfruit purée.