Ah, summer. The hot time to hit that hidden swimmin’ hole. And chase down fireflies. And take your day drinking outdoors. If your crappy apartment doesn’t come with a proper patio or communal rooftop space, fret not. The lap of luxury can be yours for the cost of an over-priced cocktail. Here are 10 bars as lofty as your seasonal drinking aspirations.
Gansevoort Park – NYC
Perched 20 stories above Manhattan, this tri-level rooftop at the Gansevoort Hotel serves up unobstructed views of the Empire State Building and other architectural wonders that only NYC can offer. This rooftop wonderland has three bars, inside-and-outside fireplaces (because sometimes you need both), wrap-around terraces and a pool.
mBar – Seattle
An integral part of the new South Lake Union scene, this rooftop oasis offers sweeping views of Lake Union and the Space Needle that can be enjoyed rain or shine, making it the perfect juxtaposition for Seattleites. Located atop a new food and retail hall known as 400 Fairview, mBar is both an inside restaurant and semi-covered rooftop bar, dotted with fire pits, a stocked bar, and tables for outdoor dining. Pro tip: don’t just drink. EAT THE FOOD! The kitchen is lead by Top Chef alum, Jason Stratton.
J.Parker – Chicago
Not only is the roof retractable at this Hotel Lincoln summit, it offers arguably the best views of Chicago — unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline.
Upstairs – Los Angeles
A nod to Hollywood glamour, this bar atop the Ace Hotel is speckled with chaise lounge chairs surrounding the big concrete pool. A place to escape the scene. Events take center stage every night of the week, including live bands, DJs and pop-up shops.
Rooftop Perch – Santa Barbara
Named after its 360-degree view, this Spanish-style bar on top of the Canary Hotel — just a few miles from the beach — is the perfect spot to catch the Santa Barbara sunset.
Jones – San Francisco
Located on a third floor sprawling terrace in the Tenderloin, this rooftop retreat provides happy hour, dinner and brunch. Pro tip: bring your dolla bills for the cash-only bars (there are 3). (photo cred: www.620-jones.com)
Departure – Portland
Portland’s take on an L.A. rooftop bar, this sleek lookout provides guest of The Nines hotel an aerial view of the city.
Juvia – Miami
This chic space occupying the penthouse level of 1111 Lincoln Road provides 10,000 square-feet of open air and indoor seating, not to mention one of the best views of Miami Beach.
Bell Tower Bar – Santa Fe
With clear views of the mountains and city, this cocktail bar on top of the La Fonda Hotel is known for its sunset views and margaritas.
POV Terrace Bar – D.C.
The P.O.V at the W in D.C. might sound like a game of Wheel of Fortune, but the big jackpot here is the breathtaking views of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and White House that await you at the top.