How You Can Dine at the Most Scenic Restaurants in the Country
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Let’s be real: Sometimes the view is just as (if not more) important than the food. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find great restaurants with even better views.
This month, the restaurant reservation platform OpenTable released its list of the most scenic restaurants in the US.
While the sunniest states (California, Hawaii, Florida, we’re looking at you) easily occupied the top spots, you can find these stunning restaurants all across the country. There were even a few surprising destinations, like Oklahoma, which had exactly one upscale American joint, Vast, rank on the list.
To determine the top, most scenic restaurants, OpenTable evaluated diners’ online reviews for a year and then factored in categories such as overall diner rating, regional rating and the number of times a restaurant had “scenic views” tagged. If you’re curious about your favorite view, the full list of 104 restaurants is available online.
At TPG, we love OpenTable for a few reasons. First of all, it makes booking restaurant reservations a whole lot easier. (We’d prefer a few clicks over a phone call any day.)
OpenTable also has a rewards program: Members earn Dining Points every time they make and honor a reservation booked with participating restaurants. Users can redeem these points for Dining Rewards, Amazon gift cards and, as of this year, even discounts on hotel stays booked through Kayak. (Unfortunately, most hotel chains don’t award points for reservations booked through online travel agencies such as Kayak, and they rarely allow OTA bookings to count toward elite status qualification. But it never hurts to ask.)
In addition to joining OpenTable’s Dining Points program, you can also maximize your lovely scenic dinner by putting your bill on the right card.
Some noteworthy considerations include the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which earn 3x points and 2x points on dining, respectively. You could also look to a card like the Citi Prestige Card, which offers 5 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants. Since TPG’s latest valuations peg the value of Citi ThankYou points at 1.7 cent each, the Prestige provides an 8.5% return on restaurant spending. The Prestige earns 5x points on dining both in the US and abroad, but it also has a $495 annual fee.
Of course, there’s always the American Express® Gold Card. With this golden (or rose gold) ticket, you earn 4 points per dollar on dining, which is an 8% return based on our valuation of Amex Membership Rewards points. The annual fee is $250 (see rates & fees), but as of June, the Amex Gold has extended the dining benefits to restaurants worldwide.
Gastronomes who plan on checking all 104 restaurants off their culinary to-do list should also consider applying for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. This 4% is the highest cash-back amount currently offered across all credit cards for both dining and entertainment. The Savor has a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.
Still wondering which dining credit card is best for you? We reviewed our favorite credit cards for dining out (and eating in) here — though you don’t have to worry about the latter if you’re in pursuit of a scenic night out. And if you do try one of these restaurants, please take plenty of photos.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold, click here.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees