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Where to Find the Best Views in Chicago

Where to Find the Best Views in Chicago

Chicago is one good-looking town. The Windy City’s skyscrapers are architectural icons, and its streets are filled with public art, all set against the beautifully serene backdrop of Lake Michigan. Bring your camera along, and get ready to take in some truly impressive vistas. Here’s where to find the very best views in Chicago.

Skydeck Chicago

Located 1,353 feet (412 meters) above ground level at the Willis Tower, Skydeck is the highest observation deck in the city. Perched on the 103rd floor of what was once the world’s tallest building, the viewing platform offers extraordinary panormas of the Windy City—particularly from its vertigo-inducing glass ledge.

360 Chicago

A near rival to the lofty Willis Tower, the John Hancock Building—which overlooks the Magnificent Mile—offers a different, but similarly vertiginous, perspective on the city. Ascend to its 94th-floor 360 Chicago observation deck for top-notch views, and, if you’re brave, try Tilt: the building’s moving-platform ride that tilts you out over Michigan Avenue. 

Lake Michigan Cruises

Enjoy a tranquil way to sightsee in Chicago—and kick back and relax as you admire pristine skyline views—when you book a cruise along Lake Michigan. Travel by day to see the sun glinting off the skyscrapers, or head out at sunset to watch the neon-lit city come to life as darkness descends. 

Helicopter Tours

For truly memorable views of the Windy City, and to soar above even its highest spires, book a helicopter tour. In the space of just a short trip, you can drink in aerial perspectives of the city’s many parks, neighborhoods, and architectural icons—and even spy highlights such as Navy Pier and the Shedd Aquarium from the air.

Adler Planetarium

Part of the city’s Museum Campus, Adler Planetarium has a lakeside location that lends it a striking perspective on the Chicago skyline. But that’s not the only viewing it offers. The planetarium’s Doane Observatory, home to Chicagoland’s largest-aperture telescope, makes it easy to spy the heavenly bodies in Chicago’s skies, too.

Architecture Boat Tours

Chicago is a city with a surfeit of architectural icons, and there are few better ways to see them than by going for a ride in an open-top boat. As you trawl along the Chicago River, keep your eyes peeled and camera at the ready: You’ll discover highlights ranging from the Wrigley Building and Marina City to the Chicago Tribune Tower.

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5 Tours and Activities | All Chicago Tours

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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

star-5
Cruise down the Chicago River to see the city's famous architecture on this boat tour. With commentary from your onboard guide, watch the spectacular skyline glide by, including more than 40 notable buildings like Navy Pier, the Wrigley Building, and the John Hancock Building. Cover all three branches of the Chicago River, passing the East Bank Club, the old Post Office Building and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$38.85
From
$38.85
Taking safety measures

360 CHICAGO Observation Deck Admission (Hancock Center)

360 CHICAGO Observation Deck Admission (Hancock Center)

star-4.5
Tower above the Windy City’s world-famous skyline with admission to 360 Chicago (John Hancock Observatory). Ascend 94 stories to the observation deck of one of the tallest buildings in North America aboard its lightning-fast elevator. Then check out bird’s-eye views of landmarks like the famous Willis (Sears) Tower and the lakefront shoreline, and enjoy a variety of educational exhibits on site. Upgrade your ticket to include TILT, a thrill ride that offers visitors unique, downward facing views from 1,030 feet. Or, choose the Sun and Stars package for two visits to the observation deck within 48 hours. With mobile tickets, simply scan your phone for direct entry into 360 Chicago.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.00
From
$25.00
Taking safety measures

Chicago Odyssey Lake Michigan Lunch Cruise

Chicago Odyssey Lake Michigan Lunch Cruise

star-4
Board a luxurious yacht at Navy Pier for a 2-hour lunch cruise along Chicago’s scenic shoreline. Enjoy a three-course gourmet meal as you take in views of the Windy City from a climate-controlled observation deck, then sip coffee or tea while the yacht’s onboard DJ spins a leisurely afternoon playlist.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.26
From
$88.26
Taking safety measures

Private Sunset Sail on Lake Michigan with Breathtaking Views of Chicago

Private Sunset Sail on Lake Michigan with Breathtaking Views of Chicago

star-5
Soak up the views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline with a 2-hour sailing tour. This private charter is completely customizable, giving you the chance to choose your music, route, and up to 5 additional guests. Sail into the sunset with your own drinks and snacks (refrigerator and ice on board) and your family or friends by your side.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$427.28
per group
From
$427.28
per group
Taking safety measures

360 CHICAGO Observation Deck Plus TILT (Hancock Center)

360 CHICAGO Observation Deck Plus TILT (Hancock Center)

star-4.5
Discover Chicago from 1,500 feet (457.2 m) above the ground at the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Open between 9am to 10:30pm, you can visit at a time that fits with your schedule. It’s a great experience for adults and children alike. Your ticket also includes admission to TILT, a thrill ride that gives you a hair-raising view over The Magnificent Mile.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.00
From
$33.00
Taking safety measures