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Look at the view! Beautiful US skylines

A Travel + Leisure user captured this picture, which frames locals canoeing and paddleboarding with Austin's skyline as a backdrop. Courtesy: JMHamel

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.

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 Travel + Leisure 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.

Slideshow: See the most beautiful U.S. skylines

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.

Which city skyline is your favorite? Tell us about it on Facebook.

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