First, Portland's 15th floor penthouse above the Nines Hotel is Departure, a Pan-Asian restaurant and cocktail bar with an ultramodern vibe. Views of the city skyline and mountains are only half the bar's appeal, as the creative food and cocktails attract a near-cult following. Handcrafted drinks extend the venue's Asian flair, and popular picks include the "Tasho Macho" (Thai chili vodka and ginger beer) and the "Kato," made with Russell's Reserve bourbon and muddled lychee.
Second, Chicago's Godfrey Hotel is I|O Urban Roofscape, one of the city's most popular rooftop lounges. The 10,000-square-foot space features uninterrupted views of the city skyline, with indoor and outdoor areas, appropriate for the Windy City's notoriously unpredictable weather. Visitors can enjoy drinks in communal booths under a retractable roof, or kick back next to a two-level fire pit during the winter. The Roofscape's handmade cocktails put a modern spin on classic libations; standouts include the “Chef's Margarita” with Don Julio, Cointreau, and salt air foam; and the “Spiked Root Beer Float” with Courvoisier.
Third, step back in time at Stars Restaurant & Rooftop Bar in Charleston, SC. Housed in a restored Arts and Crafts building, the Charleston hot spot features upscale 1930s décor and a rooftop bar with a 360-degree view of the city's historic district. International wines, cocktails, and beers round out the menu, which includes an extensive list of cordials, bourbons, and whiskeys. Don't leave without trying the bar's original cocktails; the “Southern Belle Bathwater” puts an innovative spin on traditional Southern spiked lemonade.