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redeyechicago.com

Downtown rooftop hop

Nurse a cocktail and soak up the view at River North's rooftop bars

August 1, 2013

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Though most are only a few floors above the packed sidewalks and busy streets of River North, the neighborhood's sun-drenched rooftop bars feel miles away from the daily grind. Whether your drink of choice is a cocktail, beer or wine, order up and declare yourself officially on staycation.

Kick off your high-altitude adventure with cocktails at Zed 451 (739 N. Clark St. 312-266-6691), where groups can claim a couch or snag stools at the bar.

Scoot west to Citizen Bar (364 W. Erie St. 312-640-1156), where post-work crowds let loose on the second-floor deck and street-level patio.

Unwind further at Vertigo Sky Lounge (2 W. Erie St. 312-202-6060), a newly remodeled 26th-floor outdoor lounge with a firepit, sleek L-shaped wood benches and a six-seat "bartender's booth," before heading to the top-floor beer garden at Rock Bottom (1 W. Grand Ave. 312-755-9339) for one of the brewpub's made-on-site beers.

Walk a few blocks to Epic (112 W. Hubbard St. 312-222-4940), where a greenery-covered brick wall and the reflections of nearby skyscrapers frame your view as you sip.

End the marathon rooftopping in style at The Terrace at Trump (5) (401 N. Wabash Ave. 312-588-8600), a 16th-floor stunner with views of the Chicago River, Wrigley Building and Lake Michigan.

Bonus! Retractable roofs let the sun shine in on the second floors of American Junkie (15 W. Illinois St. 312-239-0995) and John Barleycorn River North (149 W. Kinzie St. 312-477-8700).