The Best Rooftop Bars In The U.S.

For Condé Nast Traveler, by Paul Rubio.

Well-made cocktails and Instagram-worthy views go hand in hand at our favorite hotel rooftop bars around the country.

1. Sugar at East, Miami, Florida

A highlight of downtown Miami’s futuristic transformation is this hyper-cool, sky-scraping rooftop bar that crowns the East, Miami, an Asian-influenced hotel that’s part of the billion-dollar Brickell City Centre complex. Take in 270-degree views of the Magic City’s growing skyline from 40 floors up while sitting in a Southeast Asian jungle setting, sipping cocktails that match the wild motif.

2. The Ides Bar at Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn, New York

Manhattan is packed with amazing rooftop bars, but to truly appreciate New York City’s skyline, you’ll need to cross the East River to Williamsburg and head up the sixth floor of the Wythe Hotel. Here, at the Ides Bar, the near-unobstructed vistas of Manhattan are as awesome as the classic cocktails. How good does a Venetian Spritz sound right about now?

3. The Nest at Thompson Seattle, Seattle, Washington

Seattle’s newest and highest hotel bar tops the new Thompson Seattle hotel, promising prime views of the downtown skyline, Elliott Bay, and the Olympic mountains. Signature craft cocktails are named after and inspired by different birds. Take the Flamingo, for instance — a pink-tinted punch spiked with lime, pineapple, and Perrier-Jouët and served in a massive copper flamingo. Arrive early to grab a table near the outdoor fire pits, and keep a lookout for the traveling pushcarts piled high with oysters, which are shucked on the spot.

4. The Rooftop Bar at Quirk Hotel, Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia gains major small-big-city cred with the May 2016 opening of this seductive, bi-level, open-air rooftop venue atop the 2016 Hot List spot Quirk Hotel in downtown’s Arts District. Be sure to try the house Quirk Beer, an ice-cold pint of locally brewed Hardywood Cream Ale with sea salt and lime, and toast to the city where canned beer originated way back in 1935.

5. Rooftop at Mama Shelter, Los Angeles, California

The funky boutique hotel Mama Shelter Los Angeles combines French chic and California cool in the heart of Hollywood. (Consider this: Its guest rooms have French skincare products and copies of Keith Richards' autobiography.) It only recently unveiled its rooftop, catalyzing a hype that’s totally warranted. The colorful space has a yoga center, a Mediterranean restaurant, and an oh-so-L.A. outdoor screening area, all with dramatic views of downtown, the Hollywood hills (including its iconic sign), and, on a clear day, even the Pacific Ocean.

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