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Rooftop cocktails by the pool are a perfect way to enjoy a hot summer afternoon, but what happens when the weather chills? Or the rain comes? With changing leaves and cooling temperatures setting in,  there are a handful of rooftop bars around the country that provide fun and cocktails even when summer seems nearly a year away. 

RELATED: 9 bars you must check out before you die

L27 Rooftop Lounge: Nashville

L27 Rooftop Nashville

Photo courtesy of L27 Rooftop Nashville

L27 Rooftop Lounge is located on the 27th floor of The Westin Nashville and offers stunning views of Music City’s skyline. During the day, the lounge has an upscale feel, with light dishes and fun cocktails among daybeds positioned around the rooftop and glass-enclosed dipping pool. As night falls, the half indoor and outdoor lounge breaks out an ambient soundtrack, and sets a relaxed mood as tourists and locals stop in for dinner and drinks.  Open year-round, last winter L27 launched the “Alpine Experience” where they transformed the entire rooftop into a chalet similar to something you’d find in Aspen, so there’s fun to be found even in January!

Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge: San Francisco


Photo courtesy of SF Proper

When San Francisco’s coastal fog comes rolling in at night, Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge at the San Francisco Proper Hotel lights up its fire pits to take the sting out of chilly nights. Elevated 120 feet above Market Street, this bar is an ode to its home city, from its design, which is an infusion of modern spirit with a re-imagining of the past, to the uniquely curated cocktails intricately tied to the city. The charming residential essence of Charmaine’s recalls the spirit of the romantics, with deep colors, artisanal textures, and eccentric vintage inspired patterns and furnishings.   

The Outsider: Milwaukee

The Outsider

Photo courtesy of The Outsider

This rooftop bar at the Kimpton Journeyman has outdoor fire pits and a section that can be completely closed off. The Outsider is the kind of place where you’ll want to become an insider real quick. The indoor/outdoor rooftop restaurant and bar always has something going on, from Sunday backyard barbecues to shuffleboard tournaments. A trellis keep things temperate in the warmer months, while colder temps brings fire pits and blankets that make being outside just as cozy as in.

Grain: Norfolk, Virginia

Main by Hilton

Photo courtesy of the Main by Hilton

Grain is located in downtown Norfolk, at The Main by Hilton. This elevated beer garden and rooftop lounge brings the indoors out and the outdoors in with an open air patio and fire pits set against spectacular views of the Elizabeth River. Once the weather begins to chill in fall, grab seats around the large fire pits and enjoy a couple of beers. The warmth of the gas logs and tall propane heaters scattered around the deck will help take the chill out of the air and give the night a feeling of sitting around a campfire. The interior section of Grain has lots of wood, stone and various seating options which are surrounded by shrubbery to make it feel as if you are still outside. 

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I|O Godfrey: Chicago

IO Godfrey in Chicago

Photo courtesy of IO Godfrey in Chicago

I|O Godfrey is the year-round rooftop lounge at The Godfrey Hotel Chicago in the River North neighborhood. Thanks to the rooftop’s retractable glass roof, there’s sweeping city views from the sprawling lounge year-round. This spot is known for their kitchen cocktails—drinks made entirely in the kitchen by mixology-trained chefs. But it’s also great for chilling on a rooftop even when it’s chilly outside (see what we did there?):  Not only does the retractable glass roof protect guests in Chicago’s coldest winter months, but the spot also embraces the winter season each year with a magical Winter Wonderland on the rooftop’s outdoor portico, with rentable clear-domed, heated igloos, fire pits over which to roast s’mores, interactive hot cocktails, and more. 

 AC Hotel Columbus Dublin: Dublin, OH

AC Hotel Columbus Dublin

Photo courtesy of AC Hotel Columbus Dublin

In Dublin—Ohio, that is—the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin is a seemingly misplaced hotel that looks like it was plucked from Manhattan and dropped in central Ohio. Its chic rooftop bar and restaurant VASO overlooks the Scioto River and the city’s historic downtown area, and it’s gorgeous: Think a Christmas Hallmark movie set or something out of a postcard. However, fall and winter months can be quite bone chilling, which is why the property’s rooftop offers heated, insulated Igloo’s during the harsh months, allowing guests to enjoy the view sans hypothermia. 

The Fleur Room at Moxy Chelsea: NYC

The Fleur Room at Moxy Chelsea

Photo courtesy of The Fleur Room at Moxy Chelsea

A great rooftop in an urban setting is one that can be playful and modern without losing its sophistication and timeless touch. This spot at the Moxy Chelsea blends botanically-inspired design with Italian romance, sort of like a new secret garden. The Fleur Room features a copper-clad bar, glass chandeliers that resemble giant water droplets, and a massive disco ball salvaged from the notorious 1980s L.A. nightclub Vertigo. And there’s a secret weapon: a lounge wrapped in a wall of glass that retracts at the touch of a button, transforming the space into an alfresco sky veranda. There’s also incredible 360-degree views stretching from New York Harbor to the Empire State Building and a life-sized, toga-clad Roman statue resting on a column—one arm extended so it can hold a guest’s phone and pose with them for a selfie—which is pretty darn genius.

Spire 73 in Los Angeles

Intercontinental LA Downtown

Photo courtesy of InterContinental LA Downtown

Located 73 stories above the city atop the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, the aptly named Spire 73 is currently the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere and has 360-degree views that are not compromised by the season or time of year. (Not that LA has much in the way of changing seasons!) Spire 73 has misters for the warmer months along with chic fire pits and heating systems for the cooler months, as well as selection of cocktails designed to be enjoyed under the constellations.

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Tagged: California, Chicago, Chicago, Los Angeles, Midwest, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Top 10 Lists

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Aly Walansky
Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer.

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