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Chicago ranks as one of the biggest cities in the U.S., both physically and commercially. The city’s unique architecture is part of the reasons why international travelers want to have a glimpse of Chicago. Words cannot define how beautiful the skyline on the banks of Michigan Lake is. Only firsthand experience can do.

Chicago is home to some of America’s tallest buildings. The Willis Tower is a thriller every Chicago vacationer needs to visit. Standing approximately 1353 feet high, the tower housing the Chicago Skydeck is the tallest building in the larger Western Hemisphere.


The following is a detailed description to show why the Chicago Skydeck is worth every moment.

What Is So Unique With The Willis Tower Skydeck?

The Willis Tower Skydeck is not just any other skyscraper. Counting using standard methods, it’s a 108-story building rising high on the banks of the legendary Michigan Lake. This deck is an ideal place for entertainment that cuts across all ages. Depending on the time when one visits, the views are different and unique. Vacationers have every reason to be in this Chicago masterpiece.

Related: Here Are Some Dos And Don’ts When Visiting Chicago

One crucial component of the Willis Tower that every vacationer should look out for is the observatory found on the 103rd floor. Popularly known as the Skydeck, this observatory gives vacationers a glimpse of Chicago and its environs with views of up to 50 miles away. The route to the deck is uniquely packed with thrilling experiences, including a ledge and an incredible elevator ride.

  • Height: 1353 Feet

The Ledge

While ledges are not unique to the tower alone, none in the area comes closer to the one at the Chicago Skydeck. Projecting approximately 4.3 feet from the wall, this ledge is not for the faint-hearted. One needs the nerves to dare step on a protruding glass. It gives a different scenic view of this popular city.

The ledge knows no age. If anything, kids tend to have more fun on the ledge than adults. All that matters are views from the top and not the risks involved.

  • Extension: 4.3 Feet

Thrilling Elevators

Elevators have become a common feature in most ultramodern buildings. Even with the popularity, not many elevators can match the experience similar to that of the Chicago Skydeck ride. The ride from the first floor to the 103rd floor hosting the Skydeck is nothing like the ordinary. It takes around one minute to navigate up to the Skydeck. With over 100 floors to be covered, 60 seconds is such a short time to show how a thrilling encounter the ride can be.

  • Ride Time: 60 Seconds

All-Round Transparent Wall Length Windows

One of the reasons why Skydeck continues to dominate headlines is because of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Thanks to these windows, vacationers have a better view of the outside environment from 1353 feet high. From up there, vacationers have great views of neighboring states. Best still, there are pre-installed telescopes that vacationers use to scan through some of their favorite spots.

Related: What To See In Lincoln Park: The Central Park Of Chicago

Incredible Sights From The Chicago Skydeck

Thanks to its height and glass windows, the Chicago Skydeck gives vacationers a unique opportunity to explore the surrounding without moving an inch away. Here are views from either direction that are worth it.

Michigan Lake

One of the must-do things in Chicago is visiting Michigan Lake. It is the standout landmark when exploring the eastern side of the deck. Depending on the prevailing weather patterns, vacationers can see the lake as it bends and its shores. Even though the lake is far from the tower, the height of the deck makes it feel closer.

Beautiful Skyline

There has never been any doubt about Chicago's beautiful skyline. However, the experience from up there brings up another angle that can never be witnessed when standing on ordinary grounds. Being the tallest building in the area, this deck gives vacationers an exclusive view of Chicago’s beautiful skyline. The views of the skyline at night need to be part of the experience.

Costs And Hours Of Operation

This building is not classified among the free public spaces. Vacationers will need to part with some fees before accessing the elevators. The prices vary for kids and adults.

The access ticket does not cater to the exotic dinner provided. Dinner is optional and comes as a different package Menu options are confirmed before payments are made. Having a meal from up there while still watching Chicago’s incredible skyline makes the bill worth it.

The Chicago Skydive’s hours of operation largely depend on the season. During the summer months of April, stretching through September, the facility is open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. 10:00 am to 8:00 pm are the operation times for winter.

  • Kids entrance (3-11 years: $22-36/head
  • Adult entrance (12 years and up): $30-44/head
  • Expedited entry: $55-$64/head
  • Kids below three years: free

Buying tickets in good time is the best favor vacationers will do for themselves. It saves them the hassle of queuing for hours to purchase a gate pass. Also, vacationers are advised to arrive early in the morning when the traffic is low. With low traffic, vacationers will have virtually the whole of Chicago’s skyline to themselves.