Where is the Highest Bar in the US?

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Ever wondered where you can find the highest bar in the US? Whether you’re an altitude enthusiast or just love unique drinking spots, discovering the highest bar in the country offers an adventure like no other. Nestled in a location that combines breathtaking views with an unforgettable drinking experience, this bar stands out not just for its elevation but for its ambiance and offerings.

Imagine sipping your favorite cocktail while gazing over panoramic vistas that stretch for miles. The highest bar in the US isn’t just about the drinks; it’s about the experience of being on top of the world, quite literally. Ready to elevate your next night out? Let’s explore where you can find this sky-high gem.

Exploring the Highest Bar in the US

Discovering the highest bar in the US promises not just a drink but an unparalleled experience. Situated in a unique location, this bar offers visitors a chance to feel on top of the world.

Location and Overview

Nestled 96 floors up, the Signature Lounge at the 875 North Michigan Avenue Building (formerly the John Hancock Center) in Chicago claims the title of the highest bar in the US. At 1,030 feet above the ground, it stands as a testament to architectural brilliance. The lounge provides a panoramic view of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan, and four neighboring states. This steel structure, completed in 1969, remains a popular attraction.

Unique Features and Attractions

The Signature Lounge boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, giving an unobstructed view of the cityscape. Patrons especially enjoy the women’s restroom, renowned for its stunning view. The ambiance exudes elegance with soft lighting and sophisticated decor, creating a relaxing atmosphere for a night out.

Signature cocktails, such as the Hancock Martini, highlight the menu. Complementing the drinks, a variety of appetizers, like truffle fries and shrimp cocktails, tantalize the taste buds. Evening entertainment often includes live jazz music, enhancing the overall experience.

Above all, the real draw is the feeling of being elevated above the bustling city below. Sipping a drink while watching the sunset over Chicago offers a sense of tranquility that is hard to match elsewhere.

Comparing Altitude: Bars Across America

When comparing altitude among bars in America, some interesting facts arise about where you can enjoy a drink at the highest points. Whether you’re seeking unforgettable views or simply love the thrill of being sky-high, altitude plays a significant role. Let’s break down where the highest bars are in different regions and how altitude impacts their popularity.

Highest Bars in Each Region

Western Region:
In the western US, you have The View Lounge in San Francisco. Located on the 39th floor of the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, it offers stunning vistas of the city skyline and the Bay Area. At an elevation of approximately 400 feet, it’s one of the highest you’ll find on the West Coast.

Southern Region:
Texas boasts Bar 17 Bistro in Austin. Located atop the 17th floor of The Otis Hotel, this bar sits at around 220 feet above ground level. It provides impressive views of downtown Austin and the surrounding world.

Eastern Region:
Manhattan delivers high-altitude enjoyment with Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room. Situated on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, it stands at about 850 feet. The views of the New York City skyline are nothing short of breathtaking.

Altitude vs. Popularity

It’s intriguing how high a bar is doesn’t always determine its popularity. Indeed, some lower-altitude bars attract huge crowds due to their ambiance, unique offerings, or historical significance.

High-altitude bars like the Signature Lounge in Chicago or Bar SixtyFive garner attention because of their panoramic views and the novelty of being lofty. Yet, places like The View Lounge in San Francisco or 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar in New York often see more foot traffic even though being at lower elevations due to their vibrant atmospheres and central locations.

Eventually, while altitude adds a special charm, factors like service quality, drink selection, and overall experience play just as crucial a role in a bar’s popularity.

Visiting the Highest Bar

Planning Your Visit

To visit Chicago’s Signature Lounge, you’re in for a treat. Located on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center, this bar offers stunning views and a sophisticated atmosphere. Opening hours typically range from late afternoon to midnight. But, check in advance for any changes or special events.

  1. Timings: Arrive early, especially on weekends, to avoid long waits. Aim for sunset to catch the most breathtaking views.
  2. Reservations: While not always required, making a reservation can save time and guarantee a spot.
  3. Dress Code: Casual elegance is the norm. Keep it smart but comfortable.
  4. Entrance Fee: Some evenings might require a minimum spend, so be prepared.

Tips for Enjoying High Altitude Venues

High-altitude bars like the Signature Lounge have their unique appeal. Here are some seasoned tips for maximizing your experience:

  1. Hydrate Well: Altitude and alcohol can be a tricky mix. Drink water between cocktails to stay hydrated.
  2. Moderate Consumption: The altitude can amplify the effects of alcohol. Pace yourself to enjoy the evening fully.
  3. Camera Ready: The panoramic views are Instagram-worthy. Keep your camera or smartphone ready for those perfect shots.
  4. Layer Up: Even indoors, temperatures can fluctuate at high altitudes. A light jacket or cardigan can be handy.
  5. Plan for Time: Wind down and savor the moment. The experience is as much about the ambiance as it is about the drinks.

Visiting the highest bars in the US offers more than just a drink—it’s an experience.

Safety Considerations

Safety comes first when visiting high-altitude bars. Elevation impacts your body differently, particularly if you’re not accustomed to it. Understanding these factors enhances your experience while minimizing risks.

Health Precautions at High Altitudes

High altitudes decrease oxygen levels, which can lead to altitude sickness. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, and dizziness. To mitigate these risks, follow key health precautions:

  • Acclimatize Gradually: Spend a few hours adapting before consuming alcohol.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which altitude exacerbates.
  • Limit Physical Activity: Reduce strenuous activity to prevent overexertion.
  • Recognize Symptoms: Be aware of altitude sickness signs and seek medical attention if necessary.

For instance, the Signature Lounge sits at 1,128 feet, where oxygen levels are lower than at sea level. By observing these health measures, your body adapts better, enhancing your enjoyment of the views and ambiance.

Safe Drinking Practices

Alcohol impacts you more at higher altitudes due to lower oxygen levels. Practice safe drinking by:

  • Pace Yourself: Drink slowly to allow your body to adjust.
  • Eat Appropriately: Consume food to help mitigate alcohol’s effects.
  • Avoid Excess: Limit consumption to avoid severe impairment.
  • Stick to One Type: Avoid mixing different alcohol types to reduce adverse reactions.

In high-altitude bars like Bar SixtyFive in Manhattan, you might feel intoxicated quicker. By adhering to these drinking practices, you ensure a safer, more pleasurable experience.


Exploring the highest bars in the US offers a unique blend of stunning views and exceptional experiences. While altitude can enhance the allure of these venues, it’s crucial to consider other factors like service quality and drink selection. By planning ahead and following safety tips, you can make the most of your visit. Remember to acclimate properly, stay hydrated, and drink responsibly to ensure a memorable and safe outing. Whether you’re savoring a cocktail at a sky-high lounge or enjoying a casual drink with friends, the key is to enjoy responsibly and soak in the unparalleled atmosphere.


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