A woman stands in a rooftop pool at sunset.
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2023's Best Vacation Spots for Rooftop Swimming

Written by:
August 18, 2023
This story was produced by Lawnstarter Inc and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

2023's Best Vacation Spots for Rooftop Swimming

Where can you splash around in a rooftop pool with a great view?

With record-breaking summer temps beating down, Roof Gnome ranked 2023's Best Vacation Spots for Rooftop Swimming.

We compared the 500 biggest U.S. cities based on three categories. We considered access to accommodations with a rooftop pool, consumer ratings, and average sunshine, among eight total metrics. To learn how we ranked the cities, see our methodology at the end of the article.

Dive into our ranking below.

A chart showing the top 10 cities in the U.S. for rooftop swimming.
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Roof Gnome

Top cities for rooftop swimming

Each of these cities features a dynamic skyline, a rich culture, and, yes, a ton of opportunities for taking a rooftop dip. Here's a closer look at how cities stack up on the number of accommodations, level of precipitation, and even the amount of sunshine you can expect during a rooftop swim.


1. Miami Beach, FL

2. Miami, FL

3. Los Angeles, CA

4. Nashville, TN

5. Dallas, TX (TIE)

5. New Orleans, LA (TIE)



1. Salinas, CA (TIE)

1. Mesa, AZ (TIE)

1. Albuquerque, NM (TIE)

1. Aurora, IL (TIE)

1. Fort Collins, CO (TIE)



1. Miami Beach, FL

2. Nashville, TN

3. Miami, FL

4. New Orleans, LA (TIE)

4. Austin, TX (TIE)



1. San Bernardino, CA (TIE)

1. Colorado Springs, CO (TIE) 

1. Jacksonville, FL (TIE)

1. Reno, NV (TIE)

1. Virginia Beach, VA (TIE)


1. Tempe, AZ (TIE)

1. Phoenix, AZ (TIE)

1. Scottsdale, AZ (TIE)

1. Mesa, AZ (TIE)

1. Gilbert, AZ (TIE)


1. Pittsburgh, PA

2. Anchorage, AK

3. Syracuse, NY

4. Seattle, WA (TIE)

4. Bellevue, WA (TIE)


1. Yuma, AZ

2. Las Vegas, NV (TIE)

2. Henderson, NV (TIE)

2. Enterprise, NV

2. Paradise, NV



1. Mobile, AL

2. New Orleans, LA (TIE)

2. Metairie, LA (TIE)

4. West Palm Beach, FL

5. Miami Beach, FL (TIE)

5. Hollywood, FL (TIE)

5. Pompano Beach, FL (TIE)

Note: For presentation purposes, not all ties may be displayed for some metrics above.


The Big Picture

Popular vacation spots and big cities — such as Miami Beach, Florida (No. 1), Los Angeles (No. 2), and Nashville, Tennessee (No. 4) — swim to the top of our ranking with the highest scores. These swimming hotspots offer the best access to rooftop pools at highly rated accommodations.

Many Northern cities — like Akron, Ohio (No. 494), Albany, New York (No. 495), and Pittsburgh (No. 498) — lack access to hotels with rooftop pools, landing alongside Anchorage, Alaska, in last place. Luxurious rooftop pools are less lucrative in these regions where most outdoor pools can stay open only for a brief part of the year. 

Standout Stats:

Florida Floats

  • Sunshine State cities Miami Beach (No. 1) and Miami (No. 3) splash to the top with decent weather and excellent swimming spots. Miami Beach offers the highest number of accommodations with rooftop pools, followed by Miami. Miami Beach also enjoys the most top-rated accommodations, 19, with rooftop pools.

SoCal Sunbathing

  • Los Angeles (No. 2) and San Diego (No. 8) springboard into the top 10 with high access to well-rated accommodations with rooftop pools and plenty of sunshine. LA boasts the third-highest number of accommodations with rooftop pools. 

Pool Parties

  • Popular destinations for vacationers and bachelor and bachelorette bashes like Nashville, Tennessee (No. 4), New Orleans (No. 5), and Las Vegas (No. 10) offer abundant rooftop pools to party in. Nashville claims the second-highest number of top-rated rooftop pools and the sixth-best average consumer rating.

Drowning in Potential 

  • Five California cities with the most ideal swimming climate — Salinas (No. 82), Oxnard, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura (all tied at No. 90) — unfortunately disappoint with no rooftop pool accommodations to keep visitors and residents cool.

Bobbing and Burning

  • Three Texas cities — Dallas (No. 6), Austin (No. 7), and San Antonio (No. 9) — tread easily at the top, with Houston following closely behind at No. 13. While all four cities land in the top 10 for access and quality, the hot climate can be a challenge if the accommodations lack shaded spots to escape from the summer sun.

Polar Plunges

  • Despite chilly climates, cities like Chicago (No. 24) and Minneapolis (No. 75) make a splash in the rooftop pool scene. They each land among the bottom half of the climate rank while standing out in the top 50 of pool access. Minneapolis ties with multiple cities at No. 37 in access, while Chicago cannonballs to No. 11.

Perennial Dips

  • Lounge by the pool all year long in California cities Anaheim (No. 16) and Santa Monica (No. 22). These two cities boast top rooftop pool access and the best swimming climate, allowing pools to stay open throughout the year. 

Behind the Ranking

First, we determined the factors (metrics) that are most relevant to rank the Best Vacation Spots for Rooftop Swimming. We then assigned a weight to each factor based on its importance and grouped those factors into three categories: Access, Quality, and Climate. The categories, factors, and their weights are listed here. For each of the 500 biggest U.S. cities, we gathered data on each factor from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and TripAdvisor.

Finally, we calculated scores (out of 100 points) for each city to determine its rank in each factor, each category, and overall. A city's Overall Score is the average of its scores across all factors and categories. The highest Overall Score ranked "Best" (No. 1) and the lowest "Worst" (No. 500). Note: The "Worst" among individual factors may not be No. 500 due to ties.

Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and TripAdvisor.

This story was produced by Roof Gnome and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

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