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Sitting high in the Skydeck of Willis Tower.

Sitting high in the Skydeck of Willis Tower.

Let’s talk about getting high in Chicago… 😉 By that I mean, Chicago is known as the birthplace of the skyscraper. Sure, that first skyscraper was only 10 stories high, but Chicago has come a long way in the last 100 plus years. Now, the skyline is filled with buildings so high you need to bend over backwards to see the whole thing. The names of these gigantic buildings may ring a bell… such as Water Tower Place, 900 North Michigan, John Hancock Center, Trump International Hotel and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). Those are just to name a few and some of the tallest. There are many others that are huge compared to normal standards. So, as you can see… you can easily reach the skies in Chicago. However, there are two buildings that make you feel like you can sit still on a cloud. Those would be the 360 Chicago at the John Hancock building and the Skydeck at the Willis Tower.

Cotton candy skies above the John Hancock building.

Cotton candy skies above the John Hancock building.

John Hancock Center – 360 Chicago

360 Chicago sits on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center. You can get excellent views of Lake Michigan as well as the Magnificent Mile and bustling city below. The viewing deck offers plenty of space to appreciate the 360 view it has to offer. I admit, as soon as I ran to a window and looked around, I was in awe. Seems like a weird statement considering I’m not from a small town, but the view is spectacular. Seeing buildings for miles and miles was beautiful. Add that to the fact that I went during sunset and the city lights were twinkling to the colorful sky made for a magical moment for my first skyscraper in Chicago. It was hard to break away from the magic in front of my eyes, but the elevator line to get down was growing quickly, but even a line for 20 minutes was worth it… and trust me, I hate lines, so that is saying something.

The view from 360 Chicago at the John Hancock building.

The view from 360 Chicago at the John Hancock building.

Willis Tower – Skydeck

Now, the Willis Tower is the second tallest building in the United States and the tallest building on the western side of the United States. Standing at 1,451 feet tall the Willis Tower or formerly the Sears Tower was once THE tallest building in the world. Much respect to this monolithic landmark. The Willis Tower is home to my favorite experience Chicago has to offer. That is the Skydeck, which is the highest observation deck in the United States at 1,353 feet above the ground.

Looking down and seeing both the ground and clouds from inside of a glass box.

Looking down and seeing both the ground and clouds from inside of a glass box.

As if being that high wasn’t impressive enough, the Skydeck has the Ledge. It is a glass box that extendes about 4 feet out from the edge of the building. You can enter the box and feel like you are standing on air. On a clear day you have enough visibility to see four states! (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconson.)

Views from the Willis Tower

Views from the Willis Tower

It may take some nerves of steele to step out on to the Ledge but oh my goodness gracious is it 100000% worth it. I have done some pretty thrilling things and just because I’ve been skydiving does not mean I still didn’t love this experience. If you are in Chicago you must do this. No Ifs ands or buts about it!! However, do yourself a favor and get there early. Ideally about 30 minutes prior to it opening. There is a line instantly and arriving early ensures you can be one of the first groups to enter the building. It also means there will be less people up there when you arrives which always makes for better picture! 🙂

Lake Michigan from the Willis Tower

Lake Michigan from the Willis Tower

Now tell me, even though I only described two (albeit AMAZING buildings) do you want to get high in Chicago? I know you do!

Greetings from the ledge!

Greetings from the ledge!

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