No matter the time of year, a rooftop hangout spot is the perfect place to soak up some sun or views of the city. Whether you're looking for a mellow spot to meet for drinks and take in the Phoenix skyline need a straight-up banger of a rooftop pool party and food fest, there are more than a few clubs, pool decks, lounges, and bars where you can find some form of that in the Valley. Here are 11 of our favorites.
From the Rooftop at Cambria Hotel222 East Portland Street
There’s a new restaurant and rooftop bar at the also-new Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix. After checking out Poppy, the now-home of Executive Chef Nate Cayer and his globally inspired dishes, head up to From the Rooftop for an after-dinner drink. The rooftop is open daily starting at 2 p.m. And happy hour is from then till 6 p.m., offering half off draft beer and $6 glasses of wine (sparkling and otherwise).
Skydeck at The Clarendon401 West Clarendon Avenue
Set atop the boutique Clarendon Hotel and Spa, the Skydeck is a rooftop hangout with views of downtown Phoenix as well as The Clarendon’s well-known pool area down below. There can often be a party with some very loud DJs at the helm, while other nights are more unplugged, including the rooftop live music series that is both free and open to the public (a.k.a. you don’t have to be a hotel guest). Either way, it's a great way to end a meal at Tranquilo below. The Skydeck bar is open daily from 5 to 10 p.m.
Bar Smith130 East Washington Street
What list of rooftop bars would be complete without downtown's two-story dance club Bar Smith? Located adjacent to the light rail, Bar Smith's open-air rooftop bar is old-school and house music heaven. Nights like Big Fun Fridays and Solstice Saturdays keep Bar Smith's dance floor packed, and on some nights, under the twinkling stars, you can witness dance circles, drink in hand. Heads up: There’s often a $10 cover charge.
Lustre Rooftop Bar at Hotel Palomar2 East Jefferson Street
Sweeping views of South Mountain and the downtown Phoenix skyline make Lustre Rooftop Bar at Hotel Palomar one of the go-to open-air lounges for travelers and Valley locals. Lustre has ample seating space with sofas and tables, a pool, and a full bar featuring local brews like Four Peaks Kilt Lifter and San Tan Brewery's Mr. Pineapple on tap. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. other days. Enjoy discounted food and drink specials during happy hour, which is Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.
Rockbar Inc.4245 North Craftsman Court, Scottsdale
Rockbar Inc. fits the bill if you're looking for a cocktail hour with a view. Housed in the former ACME Roadhouse, this Scottsdale spot has hosted local and national bands at its indoor-outdoor bar for years now. In addition to its first-floor stage, patrons are just a short climb up the stairs from a rooftop bar with televisions, comfortable couches to lounge on, and a pool table. Hours are Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, and noon to 2 a.m. on Sunday.
Floor 13 at Hilton Garden Inn15 East Monroe Street
Soak up the sun and enjoy a cocktail at Floor 13 the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Phoenix. Take in the Sonoran sunsets while lounging on the sundeck of one of downtown's historic buildings. The bar also offers a small bites menu that pairs well with its wide variety of alcoholic beverages. The bar hosts special events throughout the year including live music performances and can also be rented out for private parties. What's extra cool is, Alfred Hitchcock filmed the opening sequences of Psycho right at Hilton Garden Inn, and there's an homage to it on the 13th floor.
The Grapevine4013 North Brown Avenue, Scottsdale
Nestled in between the country-western shops of Old Town is The Grapevine, a two-story bar and restaurant that has been around since 1971. The quaint rooftop bar doesn't have any beer on draft, but does carry several domestic and imported beers in bottles, plus well drinks. (However, you can get draft beer downstairs and bring it up to the roof.) Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Music at the Grapevine is all about karaoke. Here’s hoping you’re a fan of Neil Diamond, Adele, and The B-52s. Karaoke is held nightly.
Wade Poolside Bar at The Camby2401 East Camelback Road
Located in the Biltmore area, The Camby has a rooftop hangout space called Wade Poolside Bar. As the name suggests, there’s a pool and plenty of alcoholic beverages. Wade also offers food, movies, and music that's piped in through the speakers. Cabanas can be rented through a few packages. The vibe is lively, with fantastic views of central Phoenix, Biltmore Fashion Park, and Camelback Mountain — all excellent at sunset.
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Degree 270 at Talking Stick Resort9800 East Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale
Located on the 14th floor of Scottsdale's Talking Stick Resort, Degree 270 offers breathtaking views of the Valley, live entertainment, and dancing. Also available are tableside bottle service, specialty infused cocktails, top-shelf wine, and selected Champagnes amid modern decor. Degree 270 is open Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dress code is enforced here, with a $10 cover for men, complimentary access for women, and no cover on Friday nights.
The Perch Brewery232 South Wall Street, Chandler
There are birds, beers, and live performances held at The Perch Brewery’s rooftop lounge area in the middle of downtown Chandler. Sample some of its unique creations like The Perch Bird Race or The Perch Bird Hands. Enjoy $5 appetizers and drink discounts during happy hour, which is from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Perch's rooftop is open Wednesday through Saturday starting at 6 p.m.
Shade Lounge at W Scottsdale7277 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale
Located near Old Town clubs at the intersection of Camelback and Scottsdale roads, Shade Lounge is a modern, trendy Mediterranean-themed rooftop bar at W Scottsdale. It offers up a full bar with lavish drinks and a pool. Make sure to come dressed to impress – dress code is strictly enforced. The Lounge is open Sunday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to midnight and Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on October 9, 2013. It was updated on December 6, 2019.