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Best Rooftop Lounges & Bars in San Diego

Rooftop parties bring a big crowd to downtown San Diego every weekend, especially during the summer. We have some beautiful views from atop the buildings: the breathtaking cityscape and the gorgeous San Diego sunsets over the water give a beautiful backdrop for an exciting party. San Diego can throw some good ragers, and we made a list of some of the best places to dance your heart out while you enjoy a view of America’s Finest City:

Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter

Top of the Hyatt

Raise your glass and sip in style with a spectacular view 40 stories above San Diego Bay atop the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer dramatic panoramic views of the city below, Coronado Island and beyond.

The Poolhouse

Head to the Pendry Hotel Downtown for the city’s newest rooftop lounge. During the day the third-floor space is reserved for hotel guests, but from 5–9 PM the general public is invited to the hotel’s daily rooftop social, with specials on drinks and light bites.

Rustic Root

When Gaslamp is a complete shitshow and you want a bit of a reprieve from insane lines and fighting for elbow room at the bar, head to Rustic Root. The super-relaxed atmosphere pairs really well with the rooftop view for watching the masses as they roll down Sixth Ave.

Float

Skylines, cityscapes and sunsets – San Diego has them all. But Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is one of the few places downtown that offers panoramic rooftop views of San Diego’s best sights. Float, Hard Rock’s rooftop bar, overlooks the harbor, historic Gaslamp Sign and the famous Coronado Bridge. Float offers you and your friends a lavish look into one of Southern California’s most stunning views.

Float is a stylish oasis in the afternoon, but at night the poolside lounge evolves and out come the fire pits and DJs. Private poolside cabanas feature lounge seating and flat screen TV’s, and are able to be reserved day and night. Whether the sun is up or down, there is something to fit every mood and satisfy every impulse at Float.

The Rooftop by STK

By day, The Rooftop by STK will sweep you away with stunning city views and creative regional cuisine. Using organic, locally sourced ingredients, our rooftop restaurant serves breakfast and lunch featuring American dishes with a cool SoCal spin. By night, The Rooftop by STK is San Diego’s ultimate rooftop destination and nightlife experience high above the city. This cool sky-lit nightclub and lounge is the place to be seen in San Diego. There’s a live DJ every Friday & Saturday from 9pm-12am, VIP bottle service available, and farm direct American cuisine. The rooftop party at STK has a way of making you feel like a celebrity.

The Nolen

A 14-story jewel in the Gaslamp, The Nolen features both a patio and a rooftop, because why not? Its beautiful setting — which features a communal fire pit — underlies an immersive cocktail menu. It’s cocktails only at The Nolen, but the barrel-aged and classic menus featuring cant-miss drinks like sidecars and new-age cocktails like a Christmas in Nicaragua.

SummerSalt Rooftop Bar and Lounge

Hosting some of the hottest events in town, the SummerSalt Rooftop Bar and Lounge at the Palomar San Diego lets you rock the night away, cool off in the pool or relax while sipping their signature cocktails.

East Village/Petco Park

Altitude Sky Lounge

Living up to its name in more ways than one, Altitude Sky Lounge lays claim to being the highest of all San Diego’s rooftop bars. Perched atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter at 22 stories above street level, Altitude offers fantastic views of downtown, San Diego Bay, and Petco Park. It’s the ideal place to sip a cocktail while watching a Padres game or relax with a beer and take in the sights.

Level 9 Rooftop Bar

The Level 9 Rooftop Bar has a way of capturing the vibe that only the Gaslamp Quarter offers. It’s not stuffy or exclusive but it is vibrant, delicious and offers quite a few indulgences for those who make their way up here. It’s actually the picture-perfect place to begin a night out on the town, because nothing goes better with cocktails and conversation than a stunning sunset over San Diego. Level 9 is a great place to pre-game before you set out to explore San Diego’s wilder side. Happy hour specials are popular here with the locals, and include $5.00 well drinks, domestic beers and selected wines from 5pm to 7pm Sunday through Friday. In addition to the full bar, extensive drink menu and happy hour specials, Level 9 also offers some great culinary delights that are perfect for sharing.

Fairweather

Nestled in the East Village above the restaurant Rare Form, Fairweather’s patio bar pays homage to San Diego’s amazing climate with “drinks from sunny places” including daiquiris and piña coladas, mai tais and zombies.

La Jolla

George’s at the Cove

Considered one of the region’s best rooftop dining locales, grab a bite al fresco at Ocean Terrace overlooking the picturesque La Jolla Cove. House specialties include a range of unique vodka infusions and new twists on the traditional, like the Seasonal Caipirinha.

Mission Bay & Beaches

Cannonball

Besides the delicious California cuisine, Pacific Rim influences and sushi, this oceanfront restaurant is serving up one of the best views in Mission Beach. Sip on refreshing seasonally-inspired beach craft cocktails while soaking up the essence of this bustling, beautiful San Diego beach.

Amplified Ale Works

An ocean-view gastropub and craft brewery serving fresh Mediterranean-inspired dishes alongside craft beer and wine.

 

Best Rooftop Bars and Lounges in Washington DC

There’s something missing from the D.C. skyline: skyscrapers. A height limit has kept most of the District’s buildings shorter than the Capitol dome, creating a town-like atmosphere while offering unobstructed views. It’s the perfect recipe for rooftop bars—and this summer, the city’s nightlife mavens have taken note. D.C.’s in a rooftop boom, with nearly a dozen new drinking perches open this year. From cozy cornertops where you can people-watch the street below, to Instagram-ready sunset and stadium views, here are some of Washington’s best new rooftop bars.

Top of The Gate

Take it from your rooftop bar experts, the pinnacle of the Washington D.C. Rooftop Bar industry begins with Top of the Gate. Nestled atop of the infamous, stunning, and ever-so-popular, Watergate Hotel – this rooftop bar has built a reputation, offering some of the most breath-taking views in the entire city. Of course, that’s just the beginning of what makes this bar such a popular tourist and local desired destination.

For one, the ambience and environment of this rooftop bar are on par to win awards across the country. The moment you walk on top of the Watergate Hotel, you will feel the Top of the Gate difference. Additionally, the drinks and food that this bar offers are evident why many people keep coming back. Our favourite is their delicious pizza – take that from your NYC Rooftop Bar Crawl experts.

Sauf Haus Bier Hall

Do you want fun? Take all of your closest friends to the Sauf Haus Bier Hall. Let’s start off by talking about the fact that this rooftop bar currently has over 16 different beers on draft and a wealth of different speciality cocktails that can take any night to a brand-new level. Additionally, this bar has some of the most unique and special foods, including a 2 lbs. pretzel. That’s right, 2 pounds!

On top of the impressive drinks and small plate options, the rooftop bar, of course, offers stellar, breathtaking views of Washington D.C. If you are visiting during the summer – you can watch the sunset fall across the Dupont area – making it a memorable and photographic moment. We highly suggest checking in with the rooftop bar to see what specials are happening before visiting. \

POV

When visiting Washington D.C. – what is one of the primary reason for your visits? To see the National Monuments! Well, after spending a long day trekking around this touristy, political capital – it may prove beneficial to get a new view of the many different monuments. In all of D.C., the best location to catch an aerial view of not only your favourite monuments but also the stunning sunsets – is POV. Now, we would like to say, this is not your average rooftop bar.

In fact, in all of Washington D.C., this might just be the most extravagant and expensive rooftop bar experience. With some of the best-handcrafted cocktails, professionally cooked plates, and VIP experiences, POV can provide locals and tourists with the experience they dream about. Now, if you are planning a visit, plan your trip in advance. This place can get busy.

Cortez

Only the heartiest of margarita lovers have ventured up to the rooftop deck at Cortez, which replaced 1905 in Shaw last month. But the warming weather should increase the number of people hunting for the colorful bar stools, especially with a new happy hour offering $8 margaritas and $5 beers between 5 and 7 p.m. on weekdays. The deck offers views of U Street, neighborhood rowhouses and, in the distance, the Washington Monument. 1905 Ninth St. NW.

Radiator

When it comes to a rooftop bar, there is no better experience than when a company offers their guests 360-degree views. With that being said, Radiator is making a big step in the rooftop bar industry by taking their regular restaurant and bar experiences, which can be found at the bottom of the Kempton Mason and Rook Hotel, and enhancing them with their city-wide views atop the hotel. Now, what makes this such a popular choice among locals is that each month, the rooftop bar follows a specific theme.

As your Rooftop Bar expert – we can say that this place is probably one of the best places to bring your friends for a get-together, or a fun, intimate date experience. We highly advise trying some of the different delicacies on their menu and, of course, their speciality cocktails. Be sure to always check back with the rooftop bar to figure out what the new theme for the month may be before visiting.

Bar Deco

If you are a sports fan, then you are well aware that one of the biggest stadiums in the country is located in Washington D.C. Of course, we are talking about the Verizon Center. With that being said, Bar Deco could be seen as the un-intentional rooftop bar compliment for the popular sports entertainment arena. Today, this location has established an impressive reputation from locals and tourists catching glimpses of some of the events held at the centre.

With that being said, atop of the Chinatown’s Sixth Street, visitors can snag some of the coolest views of the streets below, the Verizon Center, and so much more. Now, this is a traditional rooftop bar, meaning they do not offer any major small plate items. With that being said, you should also show up to this location early, especially on the night of a sporting event. It can get busy and packed quickly! 

Whiskey Charlie

The view from the outdoor seats at the Wharf’s first rooftop bar is breathtaking: cherry blossoms blooming in East Potomac Park, boats sailing in the Washington Channel, planes taking off and landing at Reagan National Airport. Turn around and spot the scoreboard at Nationals Park, the Capitol Dome and the Library of Congress.

Whiskey Charlie has been offering these stellar vistas since mid-November, but winter wasn’t the ideal time to visit a waterfront rooftop with frequent crosswinds. The bar, perched on the 10th floor of the hotel Canopy by Hilton, at the development’s southern tip, kept drinks flowing indoors through the cold months, offering fire pits and heat lamps for those brave enough to imbibe on the deck. The views compensated for the chilly fingers holding glasses.

Whiskey Charlie’s full outdoor bar is set to open April 15 — a spokesperson said management was waiting until there was no longer a chance that the pipes could freeze — but in the meantime, you’re welcome to grab a $13 cocktail inside, such as the spicy Warm Spell, made with mezcal, tequila, pineapple and a chile pepper tincture, or a Dark and Stormy punched up by house-made ginger beer, and then carry it out to the deck, where there are a mix of couches, garden furniture and high communal tables. (Plenty of customers, though, seemed happy to settle at the railing and take selfies with the water and docks in the background.)

Colada Shop

Beginning Friday, Colada Shop — and its vibrant, Technicolor vision of Miami’s Little Havana at 14th and T streets NW — is expanding to the building’s Instagrammable rooftop, where flowerpots hang on seafoam-green walls and tables are surrounded by low, cushioned couches and bright blue and yellow chairs.

A satellite bar sells $10 pouched cocktails — think adult Capri-Suns, the latest trend for adults who can’t let go of childhood — and $35 pitchers of mojitos and pineapple sparkling sangria after 4 p.m. on Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays. (Customers can still order classic Cuban cocktails, including one of the area’s best daiquiris and the rum-and-apricot Hotel Nacional, which will be brought up from downstairs.) Snacks, such as empanadas and croquetas, are also available.

Even better, you don’t have to rush out of work to snag a happy-hour deal: On Thursdays, the Havana Nights party offers $6 house cocktails and $2 empanadas from 4 to 11 p.m. 1405 T St. NW.

The Embassy Row Hotel

This rooftop wins the superlative for “Most Attractive.” A sparkling pool, brightly colored couches, and cabanas give you the feeling that you’re no longer in the city, with refreshing drinks and bar bites enhancing the experience. Day passes are available starting at 3pm for $30, but if you’re ordering food, you don’t need to buy one. This summer, there’s plenty to do up there — spin classes in the pool, live music, a silent disco, sunrise yoga on weekends, and bottomless Bloodys and mimosas for $35 from 11am-1pm on Sundays.

The Ellipse Rooftop Bar

Opened in summer 2016, this stylish, minimalist spot has plush seating, fire pits, and a retractable canopy. Settle in with a cocktail like the Spicy Mexican Mule, local craft brews, the charcuterie board, and bar staples like nachos, wings, and tots.