The Best Rooftop Bars In The US

The sun is shining. A cool breeze is blowing and you're looking to let loose and enjoy the weather. It's rooftop season, baby! There's no better way to beat the heat and kick it back with friends than perched up high in the sky with chilly libations in hand. Lucky for us, our options for rooftop bars are nearly endless. There's a rooftop renaissance happening in cities all across the US, both big and small. Many are beckoning people to come and pay top dollar for a little slice of heaven, with a view to boot.

We're journeying from sea to shining sea to gather our list of the best rooftop bars in the United States. There's a little something for everyone, from the glitz and glam of South Beach Miami to the laid back honky-tonks of Nashville, Tennessee. No stone will go unturned as we head from New York City clear across to Los Angeles, all to discover your next brunch spot and where you can party into the wee hours. Dress your best, gather your crew, and let's explore these hot spots that you should patronize on your next night (or day) out.

Nashville Underground

There possibly hasn't been a more buzzed-about city than Nashville this past decade. The home of country music has turned into a tourist magnet, bachelorette central, and melting pot for young professionals who have decided that they're through with big city life. At the hub of Music City is Broadway, a multi-block stretch lined with bars. As you're navigating this potential minefield, it's easy to fall trap to another celebrity-fueled venture where you're dropping 10 bucks for a Bud Light and a moderately good time.

But there are gems here, too. At the beginning of the strip is the one spot you need to visit on your next trip downtown: Nashville Underground. A venture from musical brothers Joey and Gavin DeGraw, they've carved out a perfect piece of Nashville in their sprawling multi-level bar and restaurant, complete with not one but two roofs that overlook the entire downtown strip. The drinks are strong, the music is great, and the view is even more amazing. It's also arguably the best place to grab food downtown, where Nashville Underground offers a stellar contender for the best Nashville hot chicken around.

Sip 'n Dip

There's no shortage of standout bars complete with ocean views in Fort Lauderdale. The Dalmar is one of the town's newest luxury boutique hotels within an earshot of the nighttime hot spot Las Olas. While they offer a standout rooftop cocktail bar called the Sparrow, we prefer the chiller vibes, not to mention the lack of entry line, of their rooftop pool bar, the Sip 'n Dip. Located on the hotel's 6th floor, the bar and infinity pool offer stunning views of the town's downtown district.

Here, you won't find the often pretentious vibes you get when in some other South Florida hot spots. The seating space is plentiful, complete with both bar seating and lounge chairs throughout the deck. There's even an adorable gelato cart if you're in need of a sugar fix or a new profile pic. Every corner is more Insta-worthy than the next. In the lobby, as the Miami Herald reports, you'll even find a Moët & Chandon champagne vending machine amongst the colorful, modern décor.

The Roof at Edition

While on the topic of boutique hotels, we must mention the godfather of all: Ian Schrager. The man behind Studio 54 is also the inventor of boutique hotels, according to OD Hotels, with standout properties all over the globe including Tokyo and South Beach. California, here we come because this next contender for best rooftop is perched up high above West Hollywood, in a hotel linked to Schrager himself.

The Roof at Edition offers the best view in town, which is a lot to say, given the fierce competition. In addition to a pool and lounge seating, the outskirts of the roof are lined with cozy tables that offer jaw-dropping views of the city in a cozy setting adorned with an abundance of greenery. Nibble on shrimp cocktail and pork al pastor tacos as you wash it down with their extensive cocktail menu. With tropical and Latin-inspired influences, cocktails here embrace all that is California wellness and feature fresh-pressed juices and even kombucha.

Watr at the 1 Hotel

Yes, you're going to pay an exorbitant, practically criminal amount for a cheeseburger, BUT you will be getting the BEST views there are in Miami. This South Beach rooftop restaurant and bar will have you feeling like you're on top of the water (and the ocean!). Located at the 1 Hotel South Beach, Watr at the 1 Hotel is a visual stunner in every sense of the word. In all its modern glory, a wood-paneled bar is a centerpiece for the rooftop, featuring bright, white furnishing and pops of colors from lantern-adorned trees. It's so great that Thrillist named it one of the best rooftop bars in Miami, all around.

The menu items and drinks are pricey, like their take on the Negroni, which uses flavors of Asian pear and baking spice, but think of the price as an investment in your view. The energy is high and the vibe is cool at this quintessential Miami rooftop. 

IO Godfrey

The windy city offers up a number of impressive outdoor offerings, given its climate. You'll have no problem dealing with the occasional gust for this River North area rooftop that's a wonderful addition to the cityscape. IO Godfrey is Chicago's largest and only year-round operated rooftop bar, located just blocks from the Magnificent Mile. A favorite of locals and visiting tourists alike, IO Godfrey has navigated the potential issues associated with their frigid winter temperatures thanks to a retractable roof. Are you inside? Are you outside? That's for you and Mother Nature to decide.

It's posh and trendy with an American-inspired menu that includes Wagyu beef sliders and avocado toast for its discerning and hungry guests. In addition to their expansive wine list, IO Godfrey offers a selection of house cocktails, like a chef's margarita topped with a habanero salt foam. And each winter, IO transforms into a winter wonderland with the addition of heated igloo-like structures and seasonally inspired cocktails, like the Godfrey Toddy served tableside with fresh rosemary and hibiscus (via Urban Matter).

Vertex Rapid City Sky Bar

Rapid City, South Dakota may not be the first city that comes to your mind when you're thinking of trendy spots to throw back a few. Yet, don't dismiss South Dakota. This gateway city to Mount Rushmore is home to a historic hotel that's grown to appeal to the modern traveler. Built in 1927, the Hotel Alex Johnson features a tribute to the area's Native American Lakota and Sioux culture, an Irish pub, and a standout rooftop bar named the Vertex Rapid City Sky Bar.

This sky bar located on the hotel's rooftop features breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The space is modern and comfortable with an air of class. Gather around fire pits as you dine on from the Vertex menu, like their bistro open-face steak sandwich and creme brulee. The bar also naturally features a creative craft cocktail list that includes signature martinis and seasonal specialties. If you are not a guest of the hotel, do note that you'll be required to pay a guest fee if you're hoping to visit.

Rooftop at the G

Providence, Rhode Island is home to Brown University, and along with an Ivy League reputation like that comes a certain air of sophistication. This historic northeast city offers a buzzing food and beverage scene along with the old-school intellectual pedigree. Locals know that the best-kept secret of the Providence nighttime scene is Rooftop at the G. The indoor and outdoor spot, complete with a retractable roof for those unbearable winters, is a modern and lively haven offering skyline views of the city and private fire pits.

It also offers a certain versatility to the around-the-clock partier, with a bustling daytime scene and just as lively evening scene thanks to some live nightly entertainment. The menu is seafood-heavy, naturally enough, given the spot's proximity to the coast. It features a selection of raw bar options as well as cooked menu items like fried oysters and shrimp and grits. Their drink menu features new wave takes on classic cocktails, like the Blueberry Gin Sling that features a lavender blueberry simple syrup.

The Highlight Room

With locations in New York and Miami, The Dream has made a name for itself in the boutique hotel world for offering sophisticated and vibey stays for the jet-setting, trend-forward crowd. Dream Hollywood is the ultimate one-stop shop for a fun day-to-night out in Los Angeles, complete with an on-site club and award-winning restaurant, Beauty & Essex. Thanks to the region's nearly 365 days of pure sunshine, you're also going to want to ascend to the rooftop restaurant and bar, aptly named The Highlight Room.

Eater reports that you'll find a pretty staggering 11,000 square feet of rooftop fun, with views spanning from the Hollywood Hills and all the way to Downtown LA. With an often unneeded retractable roof (let's be honest, the weather here is very often the epitome of perfection) the rooftop is home to a pool and lounge area, along with plenty of seating and palm trees for ambiance. The menu features poolside favorites infused with a bit of luxury, like truffle oil herb fries and a hot honey burrata and beet salad. 

California Grill

Only at the most magical place on earth can you enjoy a selection of yellowfish tuna while sipping on an expertly crafted martini high in the sky, all while you watch some seriously beautiful fireworks go off. Central Florida's Walt Disney World is home to quite a few unique dining experiences, but nothing can compare to the California Grill. Perched at the top of the property's original hotel, The Contemporary Resort, this restaurant and lounge has been home to some of the nation's most esteemed chefs and accomplished sommeliers.

Floor-to-ceiling windows offer picture-perfect views of the nearby lake, surrounding resorts, and the true highlight, Disney's Magic Kingdom. While the restaurant and lounge are enclosed, visitors of the restaurant are offered the opportunity to explore and snag a truly one-of-a-kind photo opp on their observation deck. If you're looking for a truly special ending to your evening, you can wow your tastebuds with a 1-ounce pour of a high-class cognac such as Rémy Martin Louis XIII from the California Grill's extensive food and drink menu.

Magic Hour

The magic continues at this rooftop experience in the heart of the Big Apple that encourages you to not take life too seriously. Manhattan's Magic Hour Rooftop bar & lounge, atop the Moxy Times Square, is a fantasyland of sorts for adults. This carnival-themed spot is the largest indoor-outdoor rooftop in all of New York City and operates year-round. Lose all inhibitions are you sip cocktails on the carousel-style bar that actually rotates in this well-themed piece of the sky. The rooftop is also home to mini-golf and gorgeous topiaries.

The drinks at this day-to-night spot are extremely playful, like their signature pink hot chocolate and the Forgive Me, For I Have Ginned mixed drink. For the serious drink (and a dose of silly fun), they offer 'Doctors Orders', which includes two 10-ounce I.V. bags filled with rum & Vita Coco coconut water. Magic Hour is a breath of fresh, fun air in a city that can sometimes be a bit stuffy by some standards. 

UP on the Roof

UP on the Roof in downtown Greenville, South Carolina offers a little something for everyone. The menu combines small plates that celebrate locally sourced ingredients, like their local mushroom risotto, with an impressive selection of rotating craft beers and thoughtful craft cocktails. The unparalleled views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains don't hurt either.

The rooftop is stylish and modern while still being a casual enough hang that you don't feel like you need to wear a dress or tie. The cocktails here are all crafted from fresh-squeezed juices, like the Bo's Point of Views, which combines Maker's Mark bourbon with black walnut bitters and pink grapefruit juice. They also offer themed pop-ups from time to time, like the Alice In Wonderland-themed Down The Rabbit Hole that sees a whimsical transformation of the décor and spirited cocktails to match, including large format beverages for a truly Mad Hatter type of tea party.

ONYX Rooftop Lounge

If you're in need of a saltwater revival, few places can meet your needs quite like Santa Monica. The stunning coastal town in California is an outdoor lovers' delight, complete with sandy beaches and plenty of restaurants and bars to meet all your cravings. Sitting atop the ultra-luxe and world-renowned Hotel Shangri-La is the ONYX Rooftop Lounge. Once a former penthouse suite, Santa Monica's only indoor-outdoor space has been transformed into the ultimate ocean-front bar and lounge. You've never seen golden hour until you've seen it from here.

With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean in sight, ONYX is a magical mashup of luxury mixed with a bit of kitsch. Aside from the view, the main draw here is the creative and often potent slate of cocktails. The Last Tango is a standout mezcal-based cocktail that's ONYX's twist on a margarita. Gin lovers will also find a few interesting cocktails like London Calling, a California spin on the classic gin and tonic. The music is usually bumping, too, with a DJ spinning a unique mix of glam rock and disco. 


Chicago is all about those views. While Cindy's may not be the highest spot in the city by elevation, it is without a doubt one of our favorites. Stare down at the famous Millennium Park or across to Lake Michigan at this rooftop hang located in the historic Chicago Athletic Association building, now a hotel. A sought-after local spot for brunch, lunch, dinner, or all cravings in between, Cindy's is all things hip and bustling. In addition to a solid beer list that features the best of what local breweries have to offer, they churn out some rather impressive cocktails, too.

The cocktails on offer range from the classic, like an old fashioned made with high-quality whiskey to the downright funky Tierra Roja which blends mezcal and charanda, a sugarcane-derived spirit similar to rum. It's spacious, modern, and you'll get a nice dose of Midwestern charm from the friendly and hardworking staff.