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By: Shayne Benowitz

From sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean to sunset over Biscayne Bay and the Everglades, the landscape of Greater Miami & Miami Beach is dotted with islands, criss-crossed by causeways and carved with meandering waterways. One of the best ways to take in Miami’s awe-inspiring views is with an expertly mixed cocktail at a swanky rooftop bar. Read on for some of our favorites.

Area 31's outdoor dining area & glittering city view
Take in the stunning skyline views at Area 31

Downtown Miami/Brickell

Area 31 at the Kimpton EPIC Hotel

For a quintessential Miami view and rooftop bar experience, head to Area 31 on the 16th floor of the Kimpton EPIC Hotel at the mouth of the Miami River in Downtown Miami. With a rooftop pool terrace that seemingly juts into Biscayne Bay, the skyline views here are stunning. Area 31 offers a sophisticated atmosphere for poolside rosé, happy hour cocktails or al fresco dinner. Add to the experience by booking a spa treatment, yoga or barre class at the onsite exhale Spa, which grants you poolside access.

Rosa Sky Rooftop

Situated on a bend in the Miami River, 22 stories high atop Brickell’s dual-branded AC & Element Hotel, Rosa Sky Rooftop is an indoor-outdoor lounge awash in pink light and offering dazzling views of the Downtown Miami skyline. The signature Rosa Sky cocktail, made with strawberry and lemongrass vodka and sparkling rosé – garnished with an ice cube molded into the shape of a rose – is a good place to start your exploration of the creative cocktail menu. They also serve tapas-style small plates, many of which present a playful twist on classics, such as the Cuban “cigars,” made with ham, pork, cheese, pickle relish and mustard aioli fried up inside a crispy shell, à la the traditional Cuban sandwich.

Sugar's mahogany bar & gorgeous city views
Enjoy the view from Miami's highest rooftop bar, Sugar

Sugar at EAST, Miami Hotel

An oasis crowning the 40th floor of the EAST, Miami Hotel at Brickell City Centre, Sugar is a sophisticated urban retreat with Balinese flair, thanks in large part to its intricately hand-carved wooden bar, tiki-style lounges and lush landscaping. It’s also the highest rooftop bar in all of Miami, offering sweeping views of Biscayne Bay and the glittering Downtown Miami skyline. Expect an after-work crowd as well as late-night revelers on weekends vying for entry behind the velvet ropes. For a buzzy, high-volume venue, the sophisticated cocktail program is up to the task. You’ll also find a menu of pan-Asian bites, from steamed prawn dumplings to Thai beef satay.

Lifehouse Rooftop
Try creative tropical craft cocktails at Terras

Little Havana

Terras at Life House Little Havana

Perched on the lushly landscaped rooftop of the stylish Life House boutique hotel in Little Havana, Terras is a hip gathering place for creative cocktails, Latin-inspired bites and stunning Downtown Miami views. Drinks take center stage, with creative concoctions such as the Guavaloma – a take on the classic Paloma, made with tequila and guava-grapefruit syrup. The food menu includes everything from fried plantain tostones to guacamole, shrimp ceviche and tacos, all of which pair perfectly with the sweet or spicy tropical craft cocktails.

Citadel Interior
Explore a variety of cuisines before checking out the Citadel's rooftop

Little River

The Rooftop at the Citadel

A 60,000-square-foot space designed as part food hall, part marketplace and part workspace in the Little River area near Little Haiti, The Citadel is housed inside a historic MiMo (Miami Modern architecture) building that dates back to the 1950s. Here, you’ll find a dozen culinary concepts ranging from wood-fired Neapolitan pizza at Ash! Pizza Parlor from the owners of Brickell’s popular Stanzione 87, modern Caribbean cuisine from Manjay and – for a sweet treat – artisanal ice cream from Frice. Perhaps best of all, this creative gathering place also boasts a rooftop bar that often hosts live music.

Juvia Rooftop
Don't miss the views from Juvia's rooftop

South Beach

Juvia

Situated on the ninth floor of the 1111 Building on Lincoln Road and designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog + de Meuron, Juvia is a modern classic for fine dining in South Beach. The indoor-outdoor restaurant boasts 270-degree panoramic views from the ocean to the Downtown Miami skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also a buzzy bar and outdoor lounge with a vertical garden for cocktails paired with singular dishes that fuse Japanese and Peruvian flavors with French technique. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic date or power lunch.

Mila

Perched on a sprawling indoor-outdoor rooftop just off Lincoln Road, Mila has become one of South Beach’s go-to spots for a glitzy night out. Whether you’re tucked into a cushy banquette in the dining room or seated at an outdoor cabana-style table for a front row view of the nightly fire dancers, this upscale restaurant with a lively bar scene is high energy. The menu’s focus, as well as the restaurant’s design, blends Mediterranean and Japanese traditions for a cuisine dubbed “MediterrAsian.” The five-course omakase is a great place to start with a sampling of the chef’s selections of sushi, raw bar, and entrees ranging from black cod to short rib.

Serena tostada
Sample upscale Mexican cuisine at Serena

Serena at Moxy Miami South Beach

Situated on a colorful, airy rooftop above Washington Avenue, Serena is an upscale Mexican restaurant at the Moxy South Beach hotel. It features mezcal-forward cocktails and thoughtful, creative cuisine by Chef Scott Linquist of Coyo Taco fame. Grab a table or a lounge chair beneath the cast iron canopy covered with bougainvillea and twinkling lights, and then indulge in everything from verde scallop ceviche to squash blossom quesadillas and the Oaxacan-style short rib “guisado.” The expansive, indoor-outdoor wraparound bar is an excellent spot to sample the menu and make new friends.

Astra Exterior
Experience Astra's Mediterranean dishes while enjoying the views

Wynwood

Astra

Located atop a low-rise warehouse typical of the Wynwood Arts District, Astra’s rooftop opens up to views of the Downtown Miami skyline and boasts a bar, cabana-style lounges and tables where you can enjoy Greek-inflected Mediterranean cuisine. A vertical sky garden adds to the ambiance. Sip an Astra to the Moon vodka cocktail, made with Saint Germain, lychee and butterfly pea syrup, and enjoy a full meal with highlights ranging from a raw bar tower to lobster pasta and an over-the-top 36-ounce tomahawk steak.

Bartender pouring a drink for guests
Plan a night of bites, beats and drinks at No. 3 Social

No. 3 Social

At No. 3 Social in the heart of Wynwood, you’ll find a rooftop lounge where DJs spin everything from Afro-Caribbean to chill techno beats. At sunset, it’s a laidback indoor-outdoor lounge, boasting an excellent happy hour menu with dishes ranging from braised lamb tacos to guacamole and “heirloom” corn nuts for snacking, as well as special prices on a handful of cocktails. As the evening wears on, the vibe decidedly heats up as DJs take the deck or live musicians perform for a crowd that’s ready to dance.

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