The Willis Tower, formerly named and still commonly referred to as the Sears Tower, was once the world’s tallest building, and it’s still the tallest in the U.S and western hemisphere. The skyscraper is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago, and more than one million people visit its observation deck each year. A bustling community of business, tourism and culture, it’s also home to large well-known companies. What should you do when visiting the iconic building? Here are a few ideas:
Visit the Skydeck: Ride the elevators to the 103rd floor Skydeck, 1,353 feet above the sidewalks to check out a viewing platform and small museum. On a clear day it’s possible to see as far as Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Don’t miss one of the skyscraper’s biggest highlights, the glass ledges that jut out from the side of the building. You can walk on the glass and peer down at the street, more than 1,000 feet below. It’s a perfect photo opportunity.
Learn about the building’s history: Take the time to walk through the small interactive museum about Chicago on the 103rd floor. There are short videos, a trivia game and photographs of the city’s greatest attractions.
Grab a bite and a drink: Check out one of the many restaurants and amenities in the building. Here are some options the Willis Tower recommends:
• Giordiano’s Pizza, located across the street from Willis Tower, offers guests an authentic taste of Chicago-style pizza.
• Venice Café, located in Willis Tower, offers several boxed lunch options that can be either taken “to go” or eaten on-site in the Skydeck’s lunch room.
• Eats and Treats Café, located on the Skydeck ticketing level, offers two Chicago-style lunch packages for your group.
The Tower also welcomes numerous events throughout the year, including a City of Chicago Farmers Market, outdoor concerts, and the annual SkyRise Chicago stair climb. Click here for a full list of events.
Ready to visit? The building is located on the west side of the Loop, by the Chicago River, a few blocks away from all Loop attractions and restaurants. Allow at least an hour for a trip to the top, a stroll along the Skydeck, and back down to the ground. The Skydeck entrance is off of Jackson Boulevard. Click here for ticket information, hours and directions.
For comprehensive list of hotels in the area at the cheapest price, click here for more information.