There’s something about rooftop bars that you just don’t get at the ground level. The drinks are the same, but the energy is just different. Maybe it’s the altitude? Whatever it is, rooftop bars are a popular place to enjoy nights and weekends, and Santa Monica does them well, so why not checking these rooftop bars in Santa Monica the next time you’re in town?
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
The Best Santa Monica Rooftop Bars
Address: 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
The Bungalow above the Fairmont Miramar Hotel is a hotspot and has been for some years now. Because of this, it tends to be crowded. If you’re an extrovert, you’ll love it. There are two levels, one on the roof and one on the ground. Being a Santa Monica hotspot, it is a bit pricey.
However, it won’t be the most expensive on this list as it goes for an upscale beach vibe, toeing the line of casual and high-priced. Fans of complex, lighter liquors will love the Locals Only. If you’re looking for a darker liquor base, go for the Stay Peachy.
Want to secure a spot at the Bungalow? You can also make a reservation online.
ONYX Rooftop Bar
Address: 1301 Ocean Ave #1019, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Personally, I think ONYX sounds more like a club where I imagine Derek Zoolander showing up to rather than a refined bar. Luckily for the rooftop-inclined, this is actually quite the sleek setup atop the Hotel Shangri-La. In fact, in this Santa Monica rooftop lounge, ocean views are hard to beat, and sunset is the time to show up. It gets some knocks for being crowded, but it’s to be expected when the drinks are this good.
Weekday happy hour from 4:00-6:00 pm is perfect. Grab a drink and catch the sunset. If you like spirit-forward drinks, the Waterloo Sunset is your best pick. You can’t go wrong with a classic Blackberry Smash, either.
Address: 1111 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Located on the roof of the Huntley Hotel is The Penthouse, one of the best rootop bars in Santa Monica. If you’re a cocktail geek and love trying new, innovative drinks, you’ll love the Penthouse.
The panoramic views from the Penthouse may be the best you get in the city. If you’re looking for a fun brunch spot, this is also a great option.
Seaside on the Pier
Address: 250 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
The name is no exaggeration. As the address states, it’s on the Santa Monica Pier itself. This rooftop lounge offers a birds-eye view (second only to the Ferris wheel).
If you want something a bit more laid back than a hotel rooftop, Seaside on the Pier caters towards AM equally as well as it does to PM. Take in the sun’s rays at brunch or come back for the sunset; there’s no wrong answer.
Address: 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Located at the top of the iconic Hotel Casa Del Mar, the Terrazza Lounge makes you feel like a high-profile guest no matter who you are. It’s hard not to drift off into fantastical imaginings when you see the view here.
The drink menu is upscale yet straightforward, with classic drinks made to perfection using high-quality ingredients. Anything from the Casa Classics menu is a safe bet if you aren’t sure what to order.
Check also the smaller and cozier Cabana Lounge, indoor cabanas for small gatherings and celebrations in Santa Monica. You can book them online here.
Address: 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Every meal and drink is made better by a rooftop, but it just seems that Elephante’s Italian cuisine suits a rooftop even more perfectly. In the heart of downtown, you have lots of options for nightlife, but Elephante holds its own in a sea of choices.
The cocktail menu is simple but doesn’t feel too short. You pay one price for shaken cocktails and another for stirred, with classics being the same price as stirred and draft cocktails being the cheapest of all.
Calabra (One of the Top rated rooftop bars in Santa Monica!)
Address: 700 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401- Entrance on 7th St
Above the Santa Monica Proper Hotel is the Calabra Rooftop. Considered among the best rooftop restaurants in Santa Monica, Forbes deems it one of the best outdoor hotel restaurant patios in Southern California. There is a serious amount of competition for that honor, so the distinction holds weight. There is an indoor and outdoor section so you can enjoy your rays or a quiet evening in (or one after the other)!
You’ll be paying around $20 per cocktail (with a few being more expensive), but Calabra uses lots of craft and interesting liquors, so the price isn’t unreasonably steep. Beer comes in around half that price, and basic wine finds itself somewhere in the middle. For the wine connoisseur, you’ll find more expensive and more exclusive options on the menu that may be more to your liking.
The place is really popular, so it can be a good idea to book a spot online before heading to Calabra.
So there you go, plenty of option for you to pick the right rooftop lounge in Santa Monica, either casual and trendy or upscale and refined, this list will surely point you in the right direction when you’re looking the perfect views paired to the best drinks.
More Santa Monica Roof Top Bars
- The Huntley Hotel Santa Monica Beach
- High Rooftop Lounge
- Santa Monica Proper Hotel
Heading To Santa Monica Soon? Check These Other Santa Monica guides To Plan A Flawless Trip!
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Where to stay in Santa Monica
- Ocean View Hotel
- Stunning oceanfront condo
- Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier
- Hotel Shangri-La
- Santa Monica Loews Hotel
When you’re not discovering Santa Monica on your own, we suggest treating yourself to a tour. From private wine tours to kayak and SUP tours, cooking classes classes to tours of celebrity-owned homes, there’s a little something for everyone. Browse all the Santa Monica tours available on Viator by clicking here.
If you want to capture the memories from your trip to Monterey, we recommend hiring a professional photographer. A Flytographer photoshoot is one of our favorite souvenirs from our travels and we want to share them with you!