Skip to Content

15 Cities with the best skylines in the USA

Find the best skylines in USA from the iconic New York City on the East Coast to Seattle and San Francisco on the West Coast in this epic guide.

America is home to some of the most breathtaking skylines, but which ones are worth seeing?

It’s not only the buildings that make a skyline great.

The atmosphere, the cityscape and even the weather have to be taken into account when determining which cities are worth visiting.

Also Read:
Best Street Art in USA
20 Most Famous Bridges in USA
Famous landmarks on North America
18 Best Art Museums in USA

But there is one thing you can’t deny: America has some of the most incredible skylines in the world.

If you’re looking for a trip that will give you your money’s worth without going too far outside the country, then these are the top ten cities with the best skylines in the USA!

Dotted Globe contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full Disclosure here. Thank you!

Best skylines in the USA

From New York City and Boston on the East Coast to Seattle and San Francisco on the West Coast, the USA is filled with tall structures, recognizable skylines, and amazing architecture.

Here are our favorite and the best skylines in the USA to see at least once in your lifetime!

New York City

New York City is one of those cities that manage to offer much more than just scenery; it offers a feeling of excitement you won’t find anywhere else.

Visitors are often swept up in the energy of this city.  No matter what time or day it is there’s always something going on, and it’s one of those places where there’s never a dull moment! 

The Big Apple has one of the most iconic and recognizable skylines in the world.

It is definitely one of the best skylines in the USA and a favorite with visitors.

The New York skyline is impressive and studded with skyscrapers including the One World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Chrysler building, and the Flatiron building.

The One World Trade Center is the tallest building in America.

The New York City skyline looks even more beautiful at night, when all of the lights come on!  

You can admire the skyline from Brooklyn bridge or from the several observation decks in the city.

Chicago

Chicago is one of the most popular cities in America as well as the largest city in the U.S Midwest.

With a great blend of old and new architecture, the city of Chicago manages to stay both traditional and contemporary.

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, this populous city has several tall buildings and skyscrapers.

Iconic structures in the Windy City include Willis Tower, John Hancock building, Tribune Tower, and Trump Tower.

Another highlight is the Chicago Water Tower, which is a 19th century landmark.

Take a lake cruise to see the iconic Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan or head to the observation deck atop John Hancock or Willis Tower for magnificent views of downtown.

The riverfront area is definitely worth seeing – not only because it’s beautiful, but also because it’s an excellent place for recreation.

The Riverwalk is also a great place to see one of the best skylines in USA and learn about the Windy City’s history on the architectural cruise on the Chicago river.

Seattle

Seattle skyline looks quite a bit different from most other skylines, mostly due to all of the unique building shapes and designs.  

You can best admire view of the Space Needle, downtown skyscrapers, Mount Rainier and the natural beauty of Washington State from a boat on the the Puget Sound.

Seattle also has several public parks and open spaces where you can relax, enjoy the sights, and take in some of the best sights America has to offer.  

There’s also a lot to do in Seattle – from shopping to sightseeing.  

The Seattle skyline is breathtaking at night when all of the lights come on in downtown and the iconic Space Needle is lit up!

Las Vegas

If you’re looking for a city with excitement and fun, then Las Vegas is just what you need.  

With some of the most entertaining sights in America, this city offers a great time for everyone.  

While most visitors come to Sin City for the casinos and shows, make sure you don’t miss the iconic Las Vegas skyline at night.

It is definitely one of the best skylines in the Southwest with its glamorous lights and eccentric shapes.

The Las Vegas skyline is centered around the Las Vegas Blvd and is all glammed up with icons such as the Stratosphere Tower, Eiffel Tower of Paris, New York New York with the Brooklyn Bridge, the 19th century castle of Excalibur, the pyramid of Luxor, and the fountains of Bellagio!

The buildings look stunning when they display a myriad of colors, lights, and animations at night.

Boston

The Boston skyline is studded with tall and recognizable structures such as the John Hancock Tower, Two International Place, the Custom House Tower, and the Millennium Tower.

You’ll find a variety of stores, museums and cultural institutions in this city that have great history.

John Hancock Tower is the tallest high rise in Boston.

Walk along the Boston Common park to see the statue of George Washington or in the city center to admire the architecture views.

San Francisco

San Francisco, California is known for its unique architectural style, as well as for its world famous Golden Gate Bridge.

The San Francisco skyline appeals to both the tourists and the locals with high rise structures such as Transamerica Pyramid, the Bank of America building, Salesforce Tower, Millennium Tower, and more.

If you’re looking for a little adventure, head out to the San Francisco bay and admire the high rises from a cruise.

Or head up to Mission Peak or Coit Tower for a birds eye view of the San Francisco skyline.  

You can also see sweeping views of Marin Headlands and the California coast from here.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California or the City of Angels is a hip and happening place.

It is more famous for its vibe and glamor than the skyline.

The Los Angeles skyline might not look like much from the ground, but from the sky it’s a completely different story.  

This is especially true at night – when all of Los Angeles’ buildings work together to give you one of the best skylines in America.

For the most stunning view of the LA skyline, skyscrapers, California coast, and the Pacific ocean, head up to the Griffith Observatory.

Miami

The Miami skyline is a mix of modern and classic architectural styles.  

You can see the city’s most famous landmarks such as the Art Deco District buildings from South Beach.

The Bayside marketplace also has amazing views of Miami skyline.

Or visit one of the many restaurants in this lively city, all with great views of the Miami skyline!

Charleston

Charleston is one of the oldest cities in America.

The city’s skyline is pretty, colorful, and unlike most others.

On a visit, you will find pre-Civil war era historic buildings and structures, carefully laid out park and gardens, modern towers and buildings, and public art in the city.

This unique skyline is best admired by taking a horse drawn carriage ride around the historic downtown.

Atlanta

Atlanta is a vibrant, pulsing metropolitan city — a great place to live and visit.  

It’s definitely one of those cities where you can have fun day or night!

The Atlanta skyline is quite impressive thanks to the many modern buildings shimmering in the sunlight.  

The city has two different skylines – downtown and Midtown!

You can see all of Georgia’s famous landmarks including its tallest building – the Bank of America Plaza in Downtown.

The Midtown skyline has several interesting landmarks worth seeing in Atlanta – the famous One Atlantic Center, Promenade Two, and 1180 Peachtree aka the Batman Building!

You can enjoy the views from a boat on Lake Lanier or take an evening stroll and see the skyline at night….just make sure your camera is ready!  

St Louis

St Louis, located on the banks of the Mississippi River, is home to the Gateway Arch National Park.

This iconic landmark in U.S. looks spectacular and makes the St. Louis skyline one to remember.

See the skyline of this populous city from parks along the riverfront, on a Mississippi river cruise, or from a ride to the top of the Gateway Arch!

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities on the West Coast.  

It’s also one of the largest cities in the United States.

If you’re looking for a great view, there are several places to admire the Philadelphia skyline from – including Fairmont Water Works and Penn Treaty Park.  

You should also take a ride on the Carousel which offers an excellent view of downtown Philly.  

Houston

Houston, the largest and most populous city in Texas, is home to several impressive buildings and skyscrapers.

It has a large sprawling skyline boasting of high rise skyscrapers such as J P Morgan Chase Tower, Williams Tower, and more.

The tallest structure in Houston is the JP Morgan Chase Tower with a height of 75 stories.

William Tower is home to Gerald Hines waterfall, one of the most beautiful artificial waterfalls in Texas.

Visitors can admire the amazing views of the city skyline from the Buffalo Bayou Park.

If you visit Houston, you should check out the Discovery Green, the downtown area and also take a ride on Houston’s light rail.

Dallas

Dallas, Texas skyline is one of the youngest on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth seeing.

This city is quite beautiful, with several parks and tall buildings.

The Bank of America Plaza, which is the tallest building in Dallas, is an iconic structure.

An equally famous skyline landmark is the Reunion Tower with its LED lighting.

The Dallas skyline is especially gorgeous when seen from the top of Reunion Tower.

New Orleans

The city of New Orleans is one the oldest in America.  

It’s known for its cast-iron architecture, which is still present in some of New Orleans neighborhoods such as French Quarter and the Garden district.

The city skyline is as unique as it is beautiful – a true classic!

There are several other iconic skylines in the country such as San Antonio, Portland, and Denver but the ones listed above are the absolute best skylines in the USA and definitely worth the trip.

Bonus: Best skylines in the world!

Now that we have seen at the best skylines in USA, let us look at some of the famous skylines around the world.

The best skylines in the world all have gorgeous architecture, great photo opportunities, and a lot to offer.

The skylines are spread across all continents and countries.

These cities are known as some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Shanghai

When it comes to impressive skylines in the world, Shanghai immediately comes to mind.

With buildings such as the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Oriental Pearl Tower, this city has a lot to offer.

You can also admire the skyline from some of the observation decks in Pudong, located on top of the Shanghai Tower and Jinmao Building.  

Paris

Paris, France is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The city with its impressive Eiffel Tower also has one of the most recognizable skylines in the world.

The French capital is home to more than a hundred skyscrapers.  

See the city on a river cruise or take one of the many walking tours available in order to see places such as Champs-Elysees and Place de la Concorde.  

London

In terms of population, London is the largest city in the United Kingdom.

It’s a modern place with several high rise buildings and interesting architectural designs.

London is one of those cities where you really feel like time has stood still.  

Prominent London landmarks include Big Ben, The London Eye and of course the historic Tower Bridge.  

Rio de Janeiro

The city skyline of Rio de Janeiro is truly a sight to behold.  

It’s hard to believe that such beautiful cities exist on earth!

Rio is home to famous landmarks such as the Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer statue, which are visible from points in the city center.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the largest city in Malaysia.

The capital of the country has a lot to offer, from stunning buildings and temples to beautiful mosques.  

In terms of skylines, there are quite a few skyscrapers here that make this place look great!

You should definitely visit Kuala Lumpur if you want to see iconic landmarks such as Petronas Towers.

Singapore

Singapore, one of the financial capitals of the world, has a beautiful skyline.

The Singapore skyline is truly unique. In fact, it did not exist 10 years ago!

The Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands are two iconic landmarks of this beautiful city.  

If you’re looking for a prime spot to admire the Singapore skyline, visit Marina Bay Sands.  

Millions of colorful lights are visible along the Marina Bay area at night making this one of the most beautiful skylines in Asia.  

It will be hard to believe that this is just a small island country!

Frankfurt

You will be surprised to learn that Frankfurt, the largest city in Germany, has one of the most impressive skylines in Europe.  

The skyline of this place is truly beautiful and looks amazing at night.

Frankfurt has a lot to offer – gorgeous buildings, charming structures and a pleasant atmosphere.  

Hong Kong

Called the ‘Venice of the East’, Hong Kong has one of best skylines in Asia, if not the world.  

See it for yourself!  

Several buildings are truly eye-catching and some are even unique with interesting designs.  

One of the most famous is the I. M. Pei-designed Bank of China Tower, which boasts a unique architecture with its ‘knife edge’ and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which resembles a pagoda.  

Take an unforgettable ride on Peak Tram for spectacular views!  

Dubai

The Dubai skyline is one of the most impressive in the world!

Ever since the Burj Khalifa became the tallest building in the world, Dubai has become extremely popular.  

The city skyline is growing and changing each year.

From tall buildings to man-made islands, Dubai has it all.  

It’s definitely a place worth visiting if you’re looking for an opportunity to see marvels in architecture and engineering.

Toronto

The city of Toronto is home to more than 2 million people.  

With a population this big, it’s obvious that there are several tall buildings in the downtown area.  

If you’re visiting at night, you’ll be able to see the skyscrapers light up with unique colors and designs that reflect ingenuity.  

There are several amazing buildings to see in the downtown Toronto area including skyscrapers and unique architectural designs such as the One King St West building, which is shaped like a glass box and the Trump Tower that overlooks Lake Ontario.  

The most famous of them all is the CN Tower with its observation deck located on top.

It’s one of the tallest structures in Canada, if not the whole world!

Sydney

Sydney has a beautiful skyline with many interesting landmarks.  

Its view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge is unique to the city, making it one of the most recognizable skylines in the world.

Take a ferry ride across Sydney Harbor from Circular Quay or if you’re feeling adventurous, climb The Harbour Bridge for a truly amazing view.

Tokyo

Tokyo is the most populated city in Japan.  

It’s well-known for being extremely metropolitan and modern, with several skyscrapers and buildings that stand out from the rest of the towers in this area.   

If you’re looking for a place to see some tall buildings, don’t miss Tokyo!  

We hope you liked our article on the best skylines in the USA and around the world.

Do you think your city has an impressive skyline? Let us know in the comments below!

48 Most Famous landmarks of North America
← Read Last Post
18 Best Art Museums in USA to visit now
Read Next Post →