The Hottest Rooftop Bars to Visit This Summer

May 3, 2018

The summer months are just around the corner, so it’s time to seek out new rooftop bars. And whether you’re looking for great views of the U.S. capital while sipping a cocktail or prefer a Hong Kong-inspired experience in Miami, there are plenty of great establishments to check out around the country. For inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of the best rooftop bars the U.S. has to offer. 

Top of the Gate, Washington, D.C. 


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History buffs can check out the recently opened Top of the Gate rooftop bar. Located at the top of the infamous Watergate Hotel, this spot offers exquisite, 360-degree views of the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River, the Key and Arlington bridges and a number of other sights. Guests can expect a laundry list of cocktails, beers and wine to choose from -- consider trying the Scottish Lemonade or the Mango Moscow Mule. And if you’re in the mood for a bite to eat, Top of the Gate dishes up delicious pizzas, from a four-cheese option to mushroom and caramelized onions. 


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Sugar, Miami

If you’re in search of a strong cocktail, Asian-inspired fare and a good view in Miami, check out Sugar. Located on the 40th floor of EAST, Miami, a hotel at Brickell City Center, Sugar is one of the city’s highest rooftop bars and offers amazing skyline views. This spot, inspired by the Sugar lounge in Hong Kong, features an impressive list of cocktails -- try the Toki Highball or the Nashi cocktail -- and Asian tapas, including boneless Korean chicken wings and steamed prawn-and-scallop dumplings. The experience is completed by the sounds of both local and international DJs.


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Cindy’s, Chicago


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Spend a chic afternoon sipping cocktails and enjoying panoramic views of Chicago’s Millennium Park at Cindy’s. Located on the 13th floor the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, which was historically a men’s club, the stylish bar is named after the hotel co-founder’s mother, Cindy Pritzker. Choose from an array of cocktails, beer, wine and spirits as you enjoy stunning views of the Art Institute and Lake Michigan. Food is decidedly American -- served for lunch, brunch and dinner -- and ranges from lobster rolls and New York strip steaks to scrambled eggs with prosciutto (and carrot cake). And for those looking to hold a larger event, from bridal showers to business lunches, this establishment offers a private and semi-private dining experiences.

Mr. Purple, NYC


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For a trendy night out with friends or a date night destination, Mr. Purple has you covered. Situated on the 15th floor of the Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side, this rooftop bar offers up Instagrammable views of Manhattan and a swimming pool located on its largest balcony. Guests will find an impressive list of specialty and classic cocktails -- try the eponymous Mr. Purple or the Irish Mule -- and a decently sized list of all-day bar bites, from tuna tartare and franks in a blanket to grilled cheese. They also do brunch, featuring classics like omelets (using cage-free eggs) and smashed avocado on toast, in addition to drinks packages -- great for splitting if you’re in a larger group. 


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Pavilion Pool and Bar, Charleston, South Carolina 

Take in uninterrupted views of Charleston from the top of the Market Pavilion Hotel at the Pavilion Bar, located in the city’s French Quarter. Visitors will find an impressively long list of reds, whites and sparkling wines, in addition to a wide selection of cocktails, split into three sections: specialty drinks, mojitos and martinis (try the Refreshtini or the Harbor Breeze). The Pavilion Bar also dishes up a decently sized food menu, with options such as duck confit nachos, barbecue chicken pizza, a vegetable wrap and a Kobe beef burger. To top it all off, you’ll also find a full-length pool situated in the middle of the outdoor area. 

Ashley Bess is an editor turned freelancer writer who describes herself as short, opinionated, recently repatriated, lover of gin and travel and with a head full of useless song lyrics and movie quotes.

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