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10 Rooftop Bars With Stellar Views, Vibes and Drinks

Cocktails accompanied by a sweeping city view? Sign us up!

By Cheryl Rodewig on October 15, 2021

Rooftop bar with twinkle lights at dusk
iStock/Jafni Johari

What better way to celebrate cooler temperatures than with a refreshing drink on an open-air patio, preferably one with a bird’s-eye view of spectacular surroundings?

It’s what you’ll find at these 10 rooftop bars around the country. Odds are, they’re places you haven’t tried yet, from new locations just opening to smaller cities where you can escape the crowds. Bottoms up!

1. Beacon Social Drinkery

Fort Myers, FL

The new Luminary Hotel & Co. brings a culinary powerhouse to Fort Myers with four on-site dining experiences: a coffee roastery, diner, brasserie and, towering above the rest, the Beacon Social Drinkery. At 12 stories high, the rooftop bar overlooks both the Caloosahatchee River and downtown. Choose from craft cocktails, champagnes and more while sampling globally inspired small plates like ceviche and potstickers. At sunset, Cape Coral glows in the distance.

2. The View at 16 Bay View

Camden, ME

With a name like The View, the terrace on top of 16 Bay View in Camden sets a certain expectation. And it delivers with a panorama of the harbor, Mount Battie, Camden Village and Curtis Island.

As you admire the scenery, sip on signature cocktails like the Blue Barren Foghorn (with Blue Barren Harbor Gin from a nearby distillery) or the Blueberry Martini (with local Cold River Blueberry Vodka). Both pair well with their Maine lobster popover, a creative spin on the classic lobster roll.

3. Shine

Hendersonville, NC

Opened in 2019, Shine gave new life to the stately 1920s brick building on Hendersonville’s Main Street. Weather permitting, this adults-only rooftop treats guests to a postcard landscape of Henderson County’s historic courthouse framed by distant mountains.

Their Moscow Mule, made with ginger beer from juiced fresh ginger, is a fan favorite. Or kick back with a boozy slushie, such as Blood Orange Negroni or Cheerwine Bourbon, the perfect apéritif before you step downstairs for dinner.

4. High Rooftop Lounge

Venice, CA

The only rooftop bar in Venice Beach, Hotel Erwin’s High Rooftop Lounge showcases SoCal’s iconic coastline, including Muscle Beach and the boardwalk, with a chill, rock-and-roll vibe that will make you want to linger. Jam to the house tunes and DJs as you chow down on beach-to-table bar bites. Then toast the 30-foot mural of Jim Morrison below with a craft cocktail, like the aptly named People Are Strange, made with Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey.

5. Five Thirty Lounge

Knoxville, TN

Gaze at the blue-rimmed Smoky Mountains and the city below from 10 stories up at Knoxville’s largest rooftop bar, spanning nearly 12,000 square feet. Freshly updated, Five Thirty Lounge shows off a swanky interior with a glittering gold-toned bar, art-lined walls and 15-foot windows. When the weather’s warm, step outdoors with a cocktail in hand, such as the frozen, rum-based Pinky Up, and admire the 360-degree views.

6. The Last Rooftop

St. Louis, MO

From tiki-inspired cocktails to the 60-foot-long heated swimming pool, The Last Rooftop isn’t your ordinary rooftop bar. Survey the downtown skyline above the 10th floor of a famous St. Louis landmark, the former International Shoe Company building. Then snap a photo with the life-size hippo and manatee sculptures and your beverage of choice.

There are plans to double the size of the roof in the future. But, for now, it’s open to hotel guests and members of the public who purchase a day pass. Don’t miss the happy hour specials at sunset.

7. Lady Bird

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital has no shortage of rooftop hangouts, but Lady Bird proposes a new elevated experience. The White House and the Washington Monument offer a backdrop that’s hard to beat while ambient music, thoughtful design and a mural behind the bar suite The Banneker, D.C.’s newest art-inspired boutique hotel. Indulge in locally sourced bites and drinks year-round, thanks to fire pits and movable glass walls. (P.S. This spot is so good we’re telling you about it before they even officially open!)

8. Sub Pub

Manitowoc, WI

A break from rooftop bars at those obvious places, like restaurants and hotels, the Sub Pub crowns the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. After browsing the exhibits, you can head to the roof, open in the summer for views of downtown, the harbor and shimmering Lake Michigan.

The setting is family-friendly — there’s soda, juice and non-alcoholic cocktails plus games like cornhole. Meanwhile, those 21 and up can enjoy local craft beer, wine and monthly themed cocktails.

9. Baker & Able

Huntsville, AL

Baker & Able, which opened this summer, tops the sixth story of downtown Huntsville’s first luxury hotel, 106 Jefferson. From your vantage point, you can take in historic church steeples, Monte Sano Mountain and the courthouse square. Then, kick back with a cocktail starring homegrown ingredients alongside tapas ranging from savory (Tennessee hot chicken) to sweet (gumdrop-studded chocolate bark).

10. Skyloft

Laguna Beach, CA

Enjoy Pacific Ocean landscapes from this chill rooftop restaurant. Skyloft’s shareable BBQ platters are rivaled only by their drinks. The Day Spa is a healthier option, featuring fresh blackberries, cucumbers, basil, lime and a touch of elderflower — violet-hued and exquisitely Instagrammable against a Laguna Beach sunset.

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