California is one of the most beautiful and well visited areas in the world. And why not visit some of the best rooftop bars in California while here.
There are so many great rooftops here that you’ll be amazed. That’s why we’ve made a list of the 10 best ones, so you don’t have to do the work. From San Diego to San Francisco, and many destinations in between.
The warm all year-round climate contributes to a perfect rooftop climate. Mostly in the south parts of the Golden State.
Enjoy the 10 best rooftops bars in California below
Pismo Beach is a small and beautiful town, set in the central part of the Californian coast. You only find one rooftop bar here, but it is on the other hand a fantastic one.
Perched on the third floor of the luxurious and craftsmen style beach resort Inn at the Pier Hotel, the rooftop offers local inspired California fare and open-air outdoor seating with amazing views of the Pacific coastline and Pismo Beach Pier.
The feel of the rooftop bar goes hand in hand with the beach resort it's located above, with both lounge chairs and Adirondack chairs in bright and natural colors.
Also equipped with small but refreshing rooftop pools, you can enjoy the sunshine poolside (or keep it cool under an umbrella) during daytime. Towards the night you can get cozy by one of the firepits and catch the amazing sunset.
The Inn at the Pier rooftop bar offers seasonally-inspired small plates, along with signature cocktails and top local craft brews. Always served in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, with a mixed crowd and quite often live entertainment picking up the vibe an extra notch.
The rooftop bar is open daily, and also to the public, but you do have to stop by the front desk to obtain a key card to allow access to the top floor.
INN AT THE PIER ROOFTOP
601 Cypress Street, Pismo Beach, CA
Bar Service - Daily: 11am–11pm / Food Service - April-September: 11am-10pm, October-March: 11am-5pm
Hotel Erwin's rooftop terrace offers jaw-dropping views of Venice Beach and the Pacific Ocean.
Equipped with numerous lounge sofas and large umbrellas to protect guests from the sun, the mood in this bar resembles that of the beach it overlooks, except it also offers infrared heaters just in case the night gets chilly.
High, as the bar is named, has an extensive selection of Californian beers and wines, as well as a creative menu of signature drinks.
There are also small but delicious bar bites and a weekend brunch that's one of the best in Venice.
While this bar has a very casual and relaxing atmosphere during the day, it picks up at night with the presence of live DJs and partygoers.
This large rooftop bar has space for plenty, but if you'd like to ensure the availability of the lounge sofas, you'll want to make a reservation in advance.
HIGH ROOFTOP LOUNGE
1697 Pacific Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Mon-Thu: 12pm–11pm / Fri: 12pm–midnight / Sat: 11.30am–midnight / Sun: 11.30am–11pm
Marketing itself as "so much more than just a simple rooftop," Mama Shelter looks to stand out amongst the LA bar scene with its colorful decoration and laid-back atmosphere.
Offering stunning views of the Hollywood sign and the Los Angeles skyline, Mama Shelter's large lounge areas, wide-open terrace, and colorful tables resemble more an impromptu rooftop party than a bar, but that only adds to the charm.
Offering a collection of signature cocktails, as well as beers and both Californian and international wines, this is a good spot for trying some local flavors, including sharing platters and burgers.
6500 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Mon-Thu: 12pm-1am / Fri: 11am-2am / Sat: 11am-2am / Sun: 11am-1am
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Located in downtown LA, Perch gives you the opportunity to 'float along the Los Angeles skyline'. And it is an opportunity you definitely should take, as the panoramics over the city skyscrapers are truly amazing.
Covering two floors, Perch comes with both indoor and outdoor restaurant, bar & lounge on the 15th floor, and an open-air terrace on the 16th.
With a French bistro-feel in setting, the Perch restaurant also serves great food with French inspiration, mixed with a slice of American. Also served as rooftop brunch on the weekends.
Up on the top floor, no food is served, but you can instead enjoy some verey well crafted cocktails. And of course, the best vistas.
Sophisticated in a relaxed way, Perch offers live music entertainment almost every night. Combined with one of the best sunsets around, you really can't go wrong.
448 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA
Mon-Wed: 4pm–1am / Thu-Fri: 4pm-2am / Sat: 10am-2am / Sun: 10am-1am
With a double terrace setup, Altitude Sky Lounge offers some of the best views San Diego has to offer.
The large main terrace, which overlooks the ocean and Coronado Island, is a beautiful spot for mingling with others, getting to know new people, and living out new experiences.
The smaller terrace offers views to the San Diego skyline, and more private ambiance.
Both terraces are decorated with large, stone fire pits, comfortable lounge sofas, and stool seats pressed directly against the railing.
While this is a relaxed bar during the afternoon, come night, things pick up considerably. Saturday evenings are especially crowded, thanks to live DJ shows and other events.
Thanks to its proximity to the Petco Park, this bar is a favorite for baseball fanatics, so if the Padres are playing, make sure to arrive early if you want to score a spot.
San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, 660 K Street, San Diego, CA
Often referred simply as "The Nolen," this modern bar offers stunning views of the San Diego Skyline, the Coronado Bridge, and Point Loma.
Known as one of the best rooftop bars in San Diego, The Nolen offers a vast collection of beers, wines, and cocktails to go with the unbeatable view.
Though first and foremost a cocktail bar, The Nolen also offers tasty bar bites, perfect for getting your night started.
With its comfortable seating, large fire pits, and grand views, The Nolen is a well-established spot for fun and sophisticated nights out, romantic dates, and amazing sunsets.
On Sundays, The Nolen also offers brunch.
453 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA
Mon-Thu: 4pm-midnight / Fri-Sat: 4pm-1am / Sun: 10am-1pm & 4pm-midnight
One of the newer additions to San Diego's rooftop bar scene, Cannonball, offers a spacious open terrace, a relaxed atmosphere, and delicious drinks.
This oceanfront property is only two floors up, but it has stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and it is one of the best spots in San Diego for sunset watching.
Spacious, modern, and trendy, Cannonball is decorated with traditional stool seats, comfortable lounge sofas, and regular dining tables.
For the chilly nights, the bar is also equipped with fire-pits and heaters.
With a casual and relaxing atmosphere, Cannonball feels almost like a beach club, and the views of the ocean waves certainly help.
With local live bands playing every so often, cold beers, seasonally inspired cocktails, and Californian cuisine galore, Cannonball aims to become a cornerstone of the community.
For the sushi lovers out there, it's worth mentioning that Cannonball won the "Best Sushi in San Diego Award" of 2018.
3105 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, CA
The perfect choice when visiting rooftop bars.
Located directly across the Disneyland Resort, The Fifth offers a wide variety of craft cocktails, several local brews, and a small but delicious menu of bar bites and entrées.
With 5000 square feet of open space, this place is ideal for large groups looking to relax and have fun.
It is furnished with lounge areas, dining tables, outdoor heaters, and umbrellas, The Fifth aims to be uncomplicated yet welcoming.
The Fifth is known for its brews and craft cocktails, as well as a seasonally inspired menu that focuses on local ingredients.
This venue can be rented for events and is family-friendly from opening to 10pm.
Grand Legacy At The Park, 1650 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA
Tue-Thu: 5pm-midnight / Fri-Sat: 5pm-1am / Sun-Mon: closed
Located on the 9th floor of the Twin Dolphin Tower at The Waterfront Beach Resort, this rooftop bar offers jaw-dropping panoramic views of the coast, as well as a menu, made almost entirely of sharing plates.
With a vast selection of cocktails, wines, and champagne, the Offshore 9 is an excellent choice for those of you looking to spend an enjoyable time with friends while taking in the scenery.
Dress code is resort casual, and though reservations aren't required, it's good to call the restaurant to inquire about availability, as the popular hours vary wildly from day to day.
21100 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA
Mon - Thurs: 3pm-10pm / Fri: 3pm-midnight / Sat: 12pm-midnight / Sun: 12pm-10pm
On offer: jaw-dropping views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Cielo Wine Bar provides a relaxing and private space to enjoy the sunset and delicious local wines.
With an intimate outdoor setting, made more comfortable by fireplaces, heaters, and lounge areas, Cielo is a fantastic choice for romantic dates or nights when all you want to do is drink and relax.
Though the wine is the focus, Cielo also offers a light food menu and creative signature cocktails, making it an experience for everyone involved.
Cielo is open only seasonally, so if you're interested in visiting, make sure to call beforehand to ensure availability.
3055 Olin Ave #2100, San Jose, CA
Daily: 5.30pm-9.30pm (closed Sunday)
While the name "Cheesecake Factory" doesn't evoke images of bars and rooftops on the regular, this one promises precisely that.
Located on San Francisco's premium shopping street, Union Square, this Cheesecake Factory is situated on an 8th floor. It offers beautiful views of the city's skyscrapers and the entirety of Union Square.
The restaurant even has a small terrace, where you can get front-row seats to the view while enjoying the dishes this chain is known for.
Because this is a family-friendly location, this is one of the few rooftop destinations you'll find where children aren't only welcome, but actively catered to.
This is a rather popular spot for locals and tourists alike, so come in early and be prepared to wait for a table.
THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY
Macy's, 251 Geary Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA
Mon-Thu: 11am-11pm / Fri: 11pm-12.30am / Sat: 10am-12.30am / Sun: 10am-11pm
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