Elevate your Miami nightlife experience—quite literally—at these sky-high watering holes.
The city of Miami—like many of its beach bod–ready denizens and visitors—is blessed with impossibly good looks. From sunrise emerging from the Atlantic Ocean to sunset dipping behind Biscayne Bay, Miami is eye-catching all day. The city’s liquid landscape is dotted with islands, crisscrossed by causeways, and carved with meandering waterways. One of the best ways to take in these awe-inspiring views is with an expertly mixed cocktail in hand, perched at a swanky rooftop bar. Here are nine of Miami’s very best:
Sugar at East, Miami
An oasis crowning the 40th floor of the East, Miami hotel in the Brickell City Centre development, Sugar is a sophisticated urban retreat boasting Balinese flair, with its intricately hand-carved wooden bar, tiki-style lounges, and lush landscaping. It’s also the highest rooftop bar in Miami, offering sweeping views of Biscayne Bay and the glittering downtown skyline. Expect a well-heeled crowd after work and late night on weekends when a velvet rope is sometimes implemented. For a buzzy, high-volume venue, its sophisticated cocktail program doesn’t disappoint: Take the Tiger Lily, made with Ron Zacapa 23 rum, hibiscus, passionfruit, ginger beer, and lime—it’s the perfect frothy, tropical drink to complement the balmy atmosphere. You’ll also find a menu of pan-Asian bites with items like steamed prawn and scallion dumplings and beef satay.
Situated on the ninth floor of the 1111 Building on Lincoln Road, and designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architects Herzog + de Meuron, Juvia has become a modern classic for fine dining in South Beach, fusing Japanese and Peruvian flavors with French techniques. The indoor-outdoor restaurant offers 270-degree panoramic views of the ocean and downtown skyline, visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also a buzzy bar and outdoor lounge with a vertical garden, where cocktails can be ordered with the restaurant’s singular dishes. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic date or a power meeting—and we say go for it, glass of champagne in hand.
Watr at the Rooftop at 1 Hotel South Beach
For a city practically surrounded by water, you might be surprised that there aren’t more rooftop bars located right on the beach. This is largely because of the architectural protections in place for many of the historic art deco waterfront properties. Happily, Watr at the Rooftop, on the 17th floor of 1 Hotel South Beach, fills in the gap. Book a poolside cabana for some R&R by day, or mingle with South Beach scenesters by night—either way, the views stretching from the Atlantic Ocean on to South Beach’s art deco rooftops and over Biscayne Bay will remind you why you booked a vacation here. Live out your “rosé all day” dreams while nibbling on creative sushi rolls, like the “sea bacon,” made with warm scallops, smoked salmon, and crispy salmon skin.
No. 3 Social
Miami’s newest rooftop bar (debuted in fall 2017) is nestled in the heart of the mural-splashed Wynwood Arts District, with a spacious terrace atop a newly built warehouse-like development that’s filled in with hip restaurants and retail outlets on the ground floor. Up above at No. 3 Social—an offshoot of legendary Miami chef Norman Van Aken’s ground-floor restaurant Three—you’ll find a music-driven lounge where DJs spin everything from Afro-Caribbean to techno beats. The vibe is decidedly chill even when the music is amped. Snag a table, peruse the menu of craft cocktails, and do your crew a favor by placing an order of the tasty braised chicken nachos.
Area 31 at Kimpton EPIC
For a quintessential Miami view and rooftop bar experience, head to Area 31 on the 16th floor of the Kimpton EPIC hotel in downtown Miami, which is situated at the mouth of the Miami River. 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 alfresco Latin-flavored New American dining. A great way to soak in the entire experience is by booking a spa treatment or yoga or barre class at the on-site Exhale Spa and making a day of it. (Bonus: Spa pass holders can use the rooftop pool, too.)
E11EVEN is not your average mega-club, nor does it tout your typical rooftop bar: This nightclub-meets-cabaret-meets-gentlemen’s club is where you come to get wild and leave your inhibitions at the door. Open 24/7 in the heart of downtown Miami, the multilevel, warehouse-like space has played host to everyone from Cardi B to Drake to Brody Jenner. The sleek indoor-outdoor terrace that crowns the complex is composed of a lounge with table seating that begs you to pop bottles while you take in views of Miami’s surrounding skyscrapers. You can also feast on a steak dinner at the rooftop restaurant, while refueling for the dance party back inside.
The Cape at Townhouse Hotel
An oft-overlooked, yet prime rooftop bar in South Beach is tucked away in the shadow of The Setai (the tallest and, arguably, most luxurious hotel in South Beach), atop the Townhouse Hotel—making it a true hidden gem amid the South Beach madness. While the vibe can feel more Nantucket than Miami with its Adirondack chairs, string lighting, lighthouse motif, and pastel color palette, the inspiration at The Cape is drawn from nearby Key Biscayne. It’s a pleasant, alfresco, fifth-floor escape granting views of Collins Avenue and its parade of nightlife revelers below.
Edge Terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Miami
Set on the seventh floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Miami in the Brickell neighborhood, Edge Terrace offers a lushly landscaped terrace, situated beneath a trellised canopy, and with fire pits to cozy up around. It serves craft cocktails, beer, fine wine, and an impressive selection of whiskeys, and you can also dine on bar bites by long-standing and locally beloved chef Aaron Brooks, from the adjoining Edge Steak & Bar restaurant. It’s a clubby, yet inviting atmosphere, with oysters on special at happy hour and other delectable dishes like spicy lamb meatballs or chorizo and cheddar croquetas.
Situated one block south of Lincoln Road on Collins Avenue, DECK Sixteen at the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami is a sunny, casual, third-floor rooftop bar and restaurant. The lifestyle hotel’s emphasis on experiential travel extends to DECK Sixteen’s philosophy for sourcing ingredients from local farms and purveyors. The Elegant Gin & Tonic, for example, is a refreshingly sophisticated and aromatic rendition made with Plymouth gin, locally sourced pink grapefruit, orange bitters, and a rosemary sprig. You’ll also find more unusual selections, like passionfruit wine from the nearby Schnebly Redland’s Winery.