What is the highest floor of any New York building that may be reached by the general public for free?

  • 2
    Not free, but some excellent views of Manhattan can often be seen while landing at Newark if the weather is reasonably clear, and it's included in the price of your plane ticket. Jun 12 '16 at 0:48
  • 1
    @ZachLipton there are also approaches to La Guardia from the south that go right over downtown Brooklyn and the west side of Manhattan. Both offer amazing views if the weather and seat assignment cooperate.
    – phoog
    Jun 12 '16 at 3:56
  • Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/68669/…
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 16 '16 at 14:35
  • Does a bar with a dress code count? Or does "the general public" need to include, say, a 17-year-old in jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt? Jun 16 '16 at 19:54
  • Related on Tripadvisor
    – mts
    Jun 20 '16 at 15:53

The best option I've been able to find is Bar SixtyFive, on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center:

The highest outdoor terrace bar in New York City creates an elevated lounge experience 65 stories above the landmark Rockefeller Center. Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room offers playful bistro fare and curated cocktails in a polished vintage gem framed by awe-inspiring urban views.

Bar SixtyFive is open weeknights from 5:00 PM until close for walk-ins, reservations and private events upon request. The kitchen is open until 11:00 PM Monday to Thursday and until close on Friday.

Serving guests 21 and over. Proper attire requested.

The bar can definitely be reached for free, though the staff there may not look kindly upon you if you just want to hang out for a while without buying a $14 glass of rosé. It is also debatable whether the restrictions on age and attire disqualify this as "open to the general public".

EDIT: Note that before 2001, the answer would probably have been Windows on the World. There had apparently been some thought given to putting a restaurant at the top of the new One World Trade Center building, but these plans were cancelled in 2011.

  • Can you do anything to convince me that this is the highest, and not merely high?
    – CMaster
    Jun 21 '16 at 9:23
  • 1
    @CMaster: I wish I could; it's surprisingly hard to find information about this. For all I know, there may well be some secret one-percenter speakeasy on a higher floor of another building somewhere. I mainly posted this answer to see if anyone could (literally) top me; if you want to let the bounty expire so I only get half-credit, I understand completely. Jun 22 '16 at 3:04

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