These Cities Have the Best Skylines in the U.S.

These Cities Have the Best Skylines in the U.S.

What’s your favorite?

Since the world’s first skyscraper went up in Chicago in 1885, architects have continued to race each other to touch the sky. And arguments about the best skylines in the U.S. have been ongoing since that moment in time.

Cities across the U.S. have quickly-changing skylines, some with recognizable landmarks — see Empire State Building in New York City or Mount Rainier in Seattle — and others with beautiful coastal lines. Skylines make a city instantly recognizable.

Let’s go through 15 of the best skylines in the U.S. below and pick your favorite.

Which city has the best skyline in the U.S.?

Below you’ll see a good mix of urban landscapes and natural landmarks that make each skyline unique and one of the best in the country.

15. Denver, CO

denver colorado

Denver‘s skyline can be enjoyed from several spots around the city, including Washington Park. Denver is exactly one mile high, with more than 200 visible peaks sneaking around the skyline for their moment in the limelight. The tallest building in this skyline is the 56-story Republic Plaza.

14. St. Louis, MO

st louis

You can’t think about the St. Louis skyline without the Gateway Arch, the tallest manmade monument in the country. The 630-feet-tall stainless steel monument is genuinely iconic and marks the moment the Louisiana Purchase was signed. Next to it, the Mississippi River flows by and joins the Missouri River north of the city.

13. Atlanta, GA

atlanta ga

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Atlanta is the view of the skyline at the Jackson Street Bridge. It’s both used in “The Walking Dead,” and it’s a prime spot to capture a beautiful Instagram shot for your feed. While the skyscrapers themselves aren’t quite famous, the view is still worth the snapshot.

12. San Francisco, CA

san francisco ca

As the fog rolls in, past the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco‘s skyline looks ethereal. The Bay Area skyline is a good mix of skyscrapers like the Salesforce Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid and smaller buildings, due to the earthquake risk in California.

11. Nashville, TN

nashville tn

Well, Bob Dylan in 1969 named a whole album after the stunning Nashville skyline, and we can’t disagree. The southern city’s first skyscraper was only 12 stories tall back in 1905 — that number has now grown to 144 high-rises. The most identifiable of them all? The AT&T Building, nicknamed the Batman building, for its resemblance to the superhero’s mask.

10. Minneapolis, MN


Minnesota winters are infamous for being brutal, but Minneapolis has it figured it out. They stay mega cozy without going outdoors, thanks to the skyway system’s enclosed bridges that connect buildings throughout the city. It’s the most extensive pedestrian skywalk system in the world, connecting 17 of the tallest buildings in Minneapolis.

9. San Antonio, TX

san antonio tx

The star of the San Antonio skyline is the Tower of the Americas, the 10th tallest skyscraper in the entire state. Right in downtown San Antonio, the 750-foot-tall observation tower offers some of the city’s best views. Initially built for the 1968 World’s Fair, the tower has a spot to grab a bite to eat at the top.

8. Charlotte, NC

charlotte nc

Here’s a fun fact: The majority of Charlotte‘s current skyline was built in the 21st century starting in 2002 with the Hearst Tower. The city is a financial center in the Southeast with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other institutions having a presence at each of the skyline’s buildings.

7. Portland, OR

portland oregon

Downtown Portland‘s skyline is composed of 30 high-rises, with the Wells Fargo Center taking the top spot for tallest building. Most of the city center is nestled in between the Columbia and Willamette rivers. Nearby, the historic Pittock Mansion offers incredible panoramic views of Portland and Mount Hood in the background.

6. Chicago, IL


Right by Lake Michigan, Chicago has built one of the most classic skylines, with height variation, no crowding or funky-looking buildings. It makes sense since the first skyscraper in the world was built in the Windy City. Get to know it during one of the city’s popular architecture-themed boat tours. But you’ll get the best full view of the skyline at the Adler Planetarium.

5. Miami, FL


Welcome to Miami! The Florida city has the country’s third tallest skyline with more than 300 skyscrapers. The Panorama Tower, located in downtown Miami, stands tall at 85 stories, making it the tallest in the state. Nine out of the top 10 of the tallest buildings in Florida can be found in Miami.

4. Los Angeles, CA

los angeles

Did you know that until 2014 Los Angeles buildings were required to have a flat top to allow for a helicopter landing? That’s why the skyline looks almost homogenous aside from a few new additions. On a clear day without smog, the Los Angeles skyline can be seen from several vantage points, but Griffith Observatory and Echo Park Lake are the best ones.

3. Honolulu, HI


Honolulu‘s small, packed skyline isn’t just about buildings. A skyline shot from above shows the vibrant blue Pacific Ocean paired with lush Diamond Head. It just exudes paradise from every perspective. The First Hawaiian Center has remained the tallest building on the island since the mid-90s at 429 feet.

2. Seattle, WA


The Space Needle and Mount Rainier, part of Seattle‘s iconic skyline, take our No. 2 spot for best skyline in the U.S. The best place to see it all from above? Sunset Hill Park provides the best view of the skyline during a sunny day. The Columbia Center takes the prize for the tallest building in the city at 76 stories.

1. New York, NY

new york

The New York City skyline takes the prize as the best skyline in the country. From above, the Big Apple shines with its landmark buildings like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Tower and the One World Trade Center. It has inspired architectural dreams, and it has become the background for many stories and movies.

And while it had a tragic change at the beginning of the century, it remains one of the best city skylines in the United States.

The best city skylines around the country

City skylines are constantly changing with construction cranes slowly transitioning to newly-built skyscrapers. It keeps the city exciting. These are just a small slice of the most beautiful city skylines around the U.S.

Whether buildings have a mountain as their background or they’re by the water, there are so many good ones to choose from across all 50 states. can help you find a home there.

Published at Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:00:53 +0000