Friday, January 16, 2015

John Hancock Center Observatory

When tourists plan to visit Chicago, they often want to visit the Willis Tower since it's the tallest building in Chicago. Sadly it lost its tallest building in the world title back in 1998. And really I have a hard time calling it the Willis Tower. Just like I sometimes still slip and say Comisky Park when referring to the ball park where the White Sox play.

Anyway, being the tallest in the city, the Willis Tower gets all the attention, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret...there's another that's just as spectacular. The views are probably even a little better. I admit I have not yet tried out the Ledge  at Willis Tower and maybe that experience will make me sing its praises, but on our first visit to the John Hancock Observatory, I thought to myself "Why have I been going to the Sears Tower all these years when this place is so awesome?"

The observation deck is on floor 94 and allows for spectacular views of the city and the shoreline and the lake. You can see the city in all directions and on a clear day you can see four different states from 1,000 feet above. Being one who loves heights, I could sit up there all day and glance out at the world below. They've also added a new attraction called "The Tilt" that kind of one-ups the Ledge. It also gives a view from a little outside the walls of the structure, but with hydraulic lifts, it slowly tilts you toward while facing foreward for a unique view of the city that you can't quite get anywhere else. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Tickets for the Tilt are in addition to General Admission tickets. For more information on the observation deck and The Tilt, visit

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