10 of the coolest rooftop bars in the USA

By: Virgin Atlantic

September 3, 2015

Lofty laid-back lounging, killer sunset views, hand-crafted cocktails and balmy nighttime breezes: We can’t resist a great rooftop bar, and the United States simply spoils us for choice. From east coast to west coast and north to south, here’s ten of our favourite high-up hangouts across the nation… 

Los Angeles: The Standard Downtown

Standard Downtown LA © Prayitno.jpg

Rooftop bar at The Standard Downtown © Prayitno

With in-your-face skyline views, the Standard Downtown rooftop remains one of the coolest places to chill out in LA, despite the stiff competition. With a pool scene luring the lounge lizards by day and a crowd of young professionals by night, expect some lengthy queues to get in. 

Standard Downtown, 550 S Flower Street, Los Angeles

Dallas: Soda Bar

The Instagram-worthy Soda Bar at the top of Dallas South Side’s NYLO Hotel is a lesson in lighting perfection, from the floodlit pool to the curved neon bar and giant red ‘South Side’ sign that crowns the roof. And the drinks aren’t bad either: order a NYLORita speciality cocktail made with z resopado tequila and pama liquor. 

Soda Bar at NYLO, 1325 S Lamar Street, Dallas

Portland: Departure Restaurant & Lounge

Perched magnificently on the 15th floor of the Meier & Frank Building which houses the Nines Hotel, Departure is a bold architectural gem with a pared back aesthetic. All sleek steel, glossy teak and fiery orange chairs, the sophisticated surroundings are an easy match for the cocktails. Try the Running Wakamomo for starters: Seven Sirens rum, yuzu, lime, peach and mint.

Departure Restaurant + Lounge, 525 SW Morrison Street, Portland, Oregon

Miami: Juvia

1111 Lincoln Road © Forgem.jpg

This striking design at 1111 Lincoln Road is also home to Juvia © Forgemind ArchiMedia

Seriously sexy in the heart of Miami Beach, Juvia occupies an enviable spot on the penthouse level of the Herzog & de Meuron parking garage on Lincoln Road. Mixing contemporary styling, pops of purple and a gigantic living wall to great effect, this vibey restaurant/bar specialises in French, Japanese and Peruvian food and drink. Expensive, yes – but there’s nothing else like it in Miami. 

Juvia, 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach

San Diego: LOUNGEsix

Smack in the middle of the Ballpark District and Gastown Quarter, swanky LOUNGEsix floats above JSix restaurant, adjacent to Kimpton’s stylish Solarmar Hotel. Scattered with private cabanas and tropical greenery uplit in shades of red, green and gold, the trendy pool deck and bar offers cosy seating hubs and firepits to gather round. Grab your friends, a jug of your favourite cocktail and settle in for the night.

LOUNGEsix, Jsix Restaurant, 616 J Street, San Diego

New York: Wythe Hotel

Wythe Hotel Williamsburg © Peyri Herrera.jpg

The calm before the storm at the Wythe Hotel © Peyri Herrera

With some of the best views in Brooklyn, The Ides rooftop bar is located on the sixth floor of Williamburg’s Wythe Hotel, overlooking the Manhattan skyline across the East River. Order a Salty Dog cocktail and find a bench on the outdoor patio, or grab one of the few indoor tables if the weather looks like this: you’ll still see the views through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Ides, Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue at N 11th, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

Phoenix: Lustre Rooftop Garden

Just the ticket for sweltering Arizona days and nights, Lustre Rooftop Garden does everything from pool parties and all-day happy hours to movie nights, speciality cocktail pitchers and twinkling downtown views. Situated on the pool deck of the Hotel Palomar Phoenix and filled with a steady stream of hip young things, this is the buzziest destination in town.

Lustre Rooftop Garden, Hotel Palomar, 2 E Jefferson Street, Phoenix

Seattle: Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails

On the fifth floor of downtown Seattle’s ultra chic Motif hotel is after-work hotspot Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails. With one of the largest al fresco decks in the city, there’s space for open-air shuffleboard, a neon-orange ping pong table and huge outdoor fireplace to warm up by. Even better, happy hour runs from 4pm-6pm daily… and has been known to overrun.

Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails, Motif Seattle, 1415 5th Avenue, Seattle

San Francisco: Jones

620 James San Francisco © Jennifer Morrow.png

A fog-free day on the Jones rooftop in San Francisco © Jennifer Morrow

Perhaps it’s the fog or the ever-present need for a cardigan, but San Francisco does not have an abundance of sky-high bars like other top US cities. But it does have seasoned rooftop venue Jones just off Union Square, so that’s barely an issue. Stop by for the good value Happy Hour – 5pm-7pm on Tuesday through Fridays – and you’ll probably be tempted to stay for dinner too.

Jones, 620 Jones Street, San Francisco

Chicago: Gene’s Rooftop Beer and Wine Garden

Genes Rooftop © LincolnSquareInsider.jpg

Gene’s Rooftop Beer & Wine Garden © LincolnSquareInsider

The Lincoln Square neighbourhood on Chicago’s North Side is home to Gene’s Rooftop Beer & Wine Garden , located above Gene’s much-loved Polish delicatessen and sausage shop. With a cosy laid-back atmosphere more akin to a European beer garden than a slick city cocktail bar, this is a place for those seeking good beer, good food and an unpretentious neighbourhood vibe.

Gene’s Rooftop Beer & Wine Garden, 4750 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

Ready for your next American holiday? Thanks to our joint venture with Delta Air Lines, you can now experience over 200 destinations in the US. Book your flight today and start living your American dream.

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