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Rooftop Bar Hopping

Find great views--and great drinks--high up in the air
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  There may be not better way to enjoy a summer evening in New York than ascending to a rooftop bar and looking out at the city while... more »

Tips:  You may have to wait awhile at some of the bars; elevators may be slow or it may be too crowded on the roof. At some of the bars, you ... more »

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Points of Interest

Start your tour of rooftop bars at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the most highbrow drink experience in New York. If you are on the East Side, take the 4, 5 or 6 train to 86th Street and walk west three blocks or take a cab to the museum.

The Met opens the seasonal Roof Garden every April-October, weather permitting, with a sculpture exhibit ... More

Ava Lounge, atop the Dream New York hotel on the West Side of Manhattan, has a bilevel rooftop bar with a cozy living room area in the back and a wood deck, up a flight of stairs, open seasonally.

Try to get here or the next stop for sunset; both places are on the West Side and have western views.

Martinis are a strong point here.

Take a cab to... More

Head next to Hudson Terrace, which opens its rooftop bar seasonally, May to September. The space has a retractable roof.

On beer garden Tuesdays, sample beers from different breweries; on wine down Wednesdays, taste different wines. Hudson Terrace is also good for groups; you can get pitchers of capirinhas or margaritas, or a carafe of one of the... More

Local West, across the street from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, is literally more down to earth; the rooftop bar is just one flight up. But you are still removed from the street scene and can catch up with people heading to the Hamptons for the weekend.

You can eat burgers and hot dogs with your drinks.

The rooftop bar has a... More

Top of the Strand, with a retractable roof, has cabana beds and a view of the Empire State Building.

The $15 cocktails include a stunning choice: the Cantonese. Canton ginger liqueur, Absolut vodka, lime and mint are served straight up in a martini glass. Perfection.

Wines by the glass are $12 and a small selection of bottled beer is $9.

... More

La Birreria, on the roof of Eataly, brews its own unfiltered, unpasteurized, naturally carbonated cask ales. The bar serves only beer, wine and spirits like Campari; no vodka or tequila. Snacks include sausages and pickled vegetables.

Since its opening in May 2011, La Birreia has been exceedingly popular, with typical waits of more than an hour. ... More