No one appreciates nice weather more than Chicagoans. To enjoy the nice weather months, people are flocking to a slew of new upscale rooftop bars that have recently opened across the city. The sleek settings, high-end cocktails and gorgeous skyline views will make any Instagram follower envious.
Many of these Chicago rooftop bars are part of new luxury or boutique hotels, but they're not for hotel guests only. Locals go for pre- or post-dinner drinks, too.
While not all technically on the roof, they're all beautiful outdoor terraces with gorgeous city backdrops and twinkling skyline lights.
IO, the rooftop bar at The Godfrey Hotel in Chicago — Photo courtesy of Jamie Bartosch
The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building is Chicago's most famous sky-high bar, with its 360-degree views from the top of the iconic skyscraper.
It's indoors, which means you can go on a clear winter night, too.
But for outdoor happy hours, one of the hottest new rooftop bars is Cindy's, in the gorgeous new Chicago Athletic Association boutique hotel.
The bar's terrace offers sweeping views of Lake Michigan, the skyline, the Art Institute and the unique architecture of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.
A popular see-and-be-seen rooftop spot is ROOF on theWit, located in theWit Hotel, where you can chill at the tableside firepits, lounge on the leather coaches or dance to live DJs.
Other places with beautiful people and excellent cocktails are the stylish IO in The Godfrey Hotel and also the ultramodern Cerise, located at Virgin Hotel.
The prices are steep at The Trump International Hotel's stylish Terrace, but the up-close view of The Wrigley Building's clock tower and the Chicago River make it worth the money.
Deca at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago — Photo courtesy of Jamie Bartosch
Next to Water Tower Place, The Ritz-Carlton Chicago's Deca Rooftop Lounge + Bar is a sleek setting with modern seating. So is Dana Hotel's Vertigo Sky Lounge.
They're more cozy and intimate than some of the large rooftops, like the Hyatt's new 10,000-square-foot bar Aire, located on the 24th floor, which seats about 230 people.
Equally large is Streeterville Social atop the Loews Chicago Hotel, where you can soak in the view while sitting on comfy couches and chairs, or play lawn games while sipping a mojito.
For a late-night rooftop scene, go further north to the Kensington, above the Parliament nightclub.
Or for a view of leafy Lincoln Park as well as the Chicago skyline, a popular spot is J. Parker on the 13th floor of the boutique-y Hotel Lincoln. It can be hard to snag a seat here, but even if you have to stand, you'll see an impressive view and atmosphere.
For a more casual setting, complete with picnic tables and pilsners, check out the rooftop bar at Gene's Sausage Shop & Delicatessen in the far north Lincoln Square neighborhood. Eat some of their European-style dishes, or shop in their large gourmet food market on your way out.
Even on chilly nights, many of these rooftop bars will have firepits or stylish heaters, making it comfortable – even delightful – to sit outside.
So when you're looking for a bar with a view in Chicago, head on upward.