13 Recognizable American Skylines

In the old days, although small, each city had a landmark you could pinpoint it by: a church, a museum, somethin. Nowadays, with the advent of the skyscraper, it’s all about skylines. Major cities have grown upward, creating symbolic profiles of what each city stands for and, unavoidable, Americans started arguing about which one was best. So, let’s make that arguement shorter, shall we? Here are 13 recognizable skylines.

13. Boston


Boston’s famous skyline is especially beautiful when viewed from the Charles River, with the modern-sleek Hancock Place nicely offsetting the Prudential Center and the golden dome of the Statehouse atop Beacon Hill. Add in the Zakim Bridge and Custom House Tower, and there it is, the smaller yeat appealing town of Boston.

12. Detroit


There isn’t much ot say about Detroit these days, not good things anyway. However, its skyline is probably the most underrated in the country. The GM Renaissance Center are seven towers of American industrial might, standing strongly against the Detroit River, boasting the third largest hotel in the world and the world’s largest rooftop restaurant.

11. Denver


Just look at the Rocky Mountains behind Denver’s skyline, then at the skyline, and notice the odd symmetry of the skyline and the Century Link tower in the middle.

10. New York

New York

New York’s skyline is highly overrated. But is it the most recognizable in America? After a century of vertical growth, New York’s skyline has basically become the Empire State and Chrysler buildings surrounded by miles of dense, generic black-and-brown boxes. I guess Hollywood boasted the ratings.

9. Dallas


The Reunion Tower is definitely somethig to look at, and it is the state’s second tallest observation tower; its lights – combined with the green neon of the Bank of America building – make this the prettiest skyline in Texas.

8. San Diego

San Diego

If you’re a fan of San Diego’s skyline, you can get terrifyingly up-close-and-personal with it any time you fly in. That’s because jets commonly fly through downtown on their way to the airport. The lights of the skyscrapers reflect perfectly off Coronado Bay, and it looks beautiful.

7. Pittsburgh


Tthe best small-city skyline in America can be found in Pittsburg, where the Ft. Duquesne and Ft. Pitt bridges flank an impressive cluster of tall buildings, most notably the crown-topped One PPG Place and the spire-topped Fifth Ave. Place.

6.  Philadelphia


Considered the best skyline on the East Coast, where America’s fifth-largest metro shows its size, as well as One and Two Liberty Place, Philadelphia has much to brag about. The City Hall, the tallest in the world from 1901-1908, included.

5. Los Angeles

Los Angeles

The mighty LA skyline still stands tall against the San Gabriel Mountains, with the US Bank Tower heading up an impressive tapering of 50+ story buildings. Just make sure the smog doesn’t stop you from enjoying it.

4. San Francisco

San Francisco

I guess it’s difficult to find a more spectacular manmade sight in the US than the Golden Gate bridge or the TransAmerica pyramid. I guess San Francisco is well worth the 4th place on our list.

3. Las Vegas

Las Vegas

When you combine a pyramid, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, a golden lion, and the ruins of ancient Rome, and cover it all in neon you know you’re gonna get one hell of a skyline. The second-most famous skyline in America can be found in Vegas, as wel las various other attractions.

2. Chicago


Chicago has taken something New York does well and improved on it. This city boasts a skyline with shape and recognizable features, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Stunning, isn’t it?

1. Seattle


Seattle is filled with architecturally unique high rises, such as a space-age national landmark, Mount Rainier behind it and the shores of Puget Sound just close by. And there you have it, #1 on our list.

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