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The quirky-cool atmosphere of Tempe's Graduate Hotel is complemented by Tapacubo, a rooftop bar and lounge with views of neighboring Arizona State and "A" Mountain. Here, you’ll find strong margaritas served from gas station pumps, a bar counter made out of 38,000 pesos, a seemingly endless supply of tacos and guac, and a solid selection of craft beer and cocktails.
Downtown Phoenix’s Kimpton Hotel Palomar is a luxurious place to rest your head, and its outdoor lounge, Lustre, is one of the best rooftop spaces in The Valley. Splash around in the pool in the afternoon, take a date for some Southwestern nibbles and cocktails, or swing by before a Diamondbacks game for a few tall boys. Happy hour runs from 3-6pm on weekdays, featuring cheap appetizers, $7 margaritas, and $5 draughts.
This self-proclaimed bi-level “beatshack” is known for its dance parties and its outdoor area, perfect for cooling off between stints on the floor. After you leave, be sure to stop at the nearby Cocina 10, a Mexican restaurant that’s one of Phoenix’s best spots for late-night eats.
Overlooking Camelback Mountain is Scottsdale’s swanky Casablanca Lounge. The craft beer and spirits menus are lengthy, and the outdoor area is equipped with a fire pit and overstuffed furniture, making it a nonpareil place to sit and sip with friends or a date.
As the name suggests, the bar isn’t exactly high up, but the patio overlooks Scottsdale Road for a cool view. The kitchen is manned by Executive Chef Jordan Sessions, who utilizes locally sourced ingredients to make dishes such as rabbit tamales, roasted carrot fondue, and fry bread chorizo sliders. Better yet, the whiskey list at this speakeasy-style haunt has over 200 options. If you’re having trouble deciding what to order, there are seven flights to choose from, including a $125 sampling of Pappy Van Winkle.
The views of Downtown Chandler and its extensive beer selection are great, but it’s the wildlife that makes this rooftop bar unique. In the garden, you’ll find over a dozen rescued parrots and cockatoos, some of which will even say a few words to you while you dine on bar appetizers and pizzas in this gorgeous setting.
C.A.S.A. is known for its oversized mixed drinks served in buckets and a rooftop area that overlooks all of the debauchery happening down on Mill Avenue. It’s a primo spot for ASU students and people-watching, but if you’re over 30, you’ll probably feel out of place. Then again, after a few buckets, you might not be feeling much of anything at all.
Old Town Scottsdale
The W Hotel’s poolside hotspot is the essential Scottsdale summer hangout for the trendy crowd. The open-air bar offers cocktails and bottle service on the weekends, though you’ll have to “dress to impress” -- collared shirts, no jeans, and close-toed shoes for men, and “appropriate” beachwear at the pool. Don’t show up in basketball shorts.
Not just for hotel guests, the Clarendon’s Sky Deck, is one of the best spots in The Valley to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand. The rooftop bar also hosts evening acoustic and jazz acts, so you can get your boogie on after the sun goes down.
Come for the golf, stay for the booze. After you’ve done your driving and chipping, hit the terrace for a beer, margarita, or a big mug of pineapple rum punch that’s meant to be shared by two or more people. And while you’re there, get an order of the injectable donut holes. The cinnamon and sugar-coated delights come in three flavors: chocolate, raspberry jelly, and Bavarian cream.