If there’s one thing that all travelers can agree on: nothing beats a gorgeous view. It’s the reason we flock to rooftop bars, observation decks, and even glass elevators—and chances are, that panorama you admire will feature a city skyline.
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With dozens of buildings twisting and stretching up to the clouds, skylines dazzle and inspire us, especially when stacked against contrasting natural elements like waterfronts or mountains. They’re symbols of our cities and aspirations—and they really get those cameras clicking. So when we took to the database of thousands of photos submitted by T+L community members, it was no surprise to find myriad skyline images, from classic head-on views to detail shots of buildings and perspectives we bet you haven’t seen before.
New York City is arguably the most iconic U.S. skyline, and a popular pop culture choice. Even if you’ve never visited, you’ve likely seen those skyscrapers in movies and TV shows, from Manhattan to Gossip Girl. While the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building are time-tested favorite photo-ops, T+L user emrecan chose to capture a scene of uptown Manhattan from a building just south of the park.
Other images may make you question whether you’re actually looking at a city since the focus is on green spaces, the kind that allow us to retreat from the urban bustle. T+L user alamoman submitted a photo of a peaceful river, both sides of it lined with trees. A single tall building is seen towering above the trees and reveals that you are, in fact, still in a city: San Antonio.
Over in Austin, a photo delightfully captures the summer fun you can have without leaving the city. JMHamel framed locals canoeing and paddleboarding with Austin’s skyline as a backdrop—and reflected in the rippling water.
Any discussion of U.S. skylines wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging Chicago’s architecture, shown off dramatically in a photo timed to sunset. Take a tour of all these photos of beautiful skylines across America, and let us know: which skyline is your favorite?
Make your opinion heard by voting in our annual America’s Favorite Cities survey, which rates cities in categories from architecture to coffee to stylish locals. Vote now, and you can enter for a chance to win a $25,000 dream vacation to Costa Rica!