Who needs to brace the crowds to ascend the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock to get a view of New York? Do what locals do and hit a rooftop bar. Here are some of the best, many of which happen to crown hotels.
For a view of the Statue of Liberty, the Loppy Doopy Rooftop Bar can't be beat. This fun lounge is open only in good weather and is known for a signature drink: a fruity Popsicle immersed in a glass of prosecco.
Looking for a sweeping view of the city? Head to the top of the Times Square Hyatt, which happens to be the tallest Hyatt hotel in the world, to Bar 54 (on the 54th floor of the hotel). In good weather, doors are thrown open to a 1,400 outdoor terrace.
The elegant rooftop lounge at the Empire Hotel permits no flip-flops, tank tops or even denim so it sets a sophisticated stage for sunsets over Central Park. On chilly nights, aim for a table by the fireplace on the West Terrace.
What the cozy Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge within the Library Hotel lacks in height (it is located on the 14th floor), it more than makes up for in atmosphere. In chilly weather, you can sip your Hemingway cocktail (rum, mint and champagne) inside the charming greenhouse.
Foodies making a pilgrimage to Mario Batali's Eataly should plan to make a beeline upstairs to Bierria, a busy rooftop bar, which delivers views of the Flatiron District. The best way to experience the bar is to come early and order a cheese and charcuterie plate and sample affordable wines by the glass or a housemade cask-aged ale.
The Upstairs NYC Rooftop Bar and Lounge has one of the city's clearest views of the Chrysler Building thanks to its location smack dab in Midtown Manhattan. A retractable ceiling makes it tailor made for all seasons. Light small plates pair like tuna crudo and watermelon with feta pair well with the refreshing summer cocktail list.
You wouldn't guess a Miami vibe awaits atop a Fairfield Inn and Suites near Times Square, but that's precisely the feel at the Sky Room, which spans the 33rd and 34th floors of the hotel. Views of the Empire State Building are gleaned amid lush plantings, heated floors, live DJs and private cabanas.