Where To Find The Best View Points In Chicago
With it's beautiful lake and river front setting, Chicago is a city with many different views. The skyline is filled with notable buildings and high reaching skyscrapers, some with observation decks that offer breathtaking views of the city below. Other waterfront settings offer a nice view of the skyline or the water. Head to any of these areas to enjoy some of the best views Chicago has to offer.
This planetarium and museum focuses on the study of astronomy and astrophysics. It was established in 1930, making it the first planetarium in the country. It is also part of Chicago's Museum Campus. From outside of the museum you can enjoy a skyline view of the city, and when the weather is calm you might even catch it's reflection in the water.
1300 South Lake Shore Drive, South Loop, Chicago, Illinois, 60605
Ping Tom Memorial Park
Located in Chicago's Chinatown, this park has a pagoda-style pavilion, bamboo gardens, and a playground. The waterfront park spans 17 acres and there are places nearby where you can rent kayaks. The Field House is a recreational area in the park that has a pool with slides and a fitness center. From here you can enjoy great views of the Chicago skyline. Throughout the year there are a number of events held here including Shakespeare in the Park. Runners and walkers will appreciate the trails through the park as well.
300 West 19th Street, Chinatown, Chicago, Illinois, 60616
The Willis Tower, still called the Sears Tower by most locals, is a 110 story skyscraper that was completed in 1973. For 25 years it was the tallest building in the world. The tower's observation deck is famous for its glass boxes, with glass floors, which give visitors a unique view of the city.
233 South Wacker Drive, Loop, Chicago, Illinois, 60606
The Chicago River is an iconic part of the city, and it runs parallel to the lakeshore through the heart of the city. The Riverwalk is along a popular stretch of the river, and it's lined with many great restaurants and some of Chicago's most impressive architecture. You can wander along the Riverwalk, rest at one of the many benches, take in the impressive views or simply people watch.
Loop, Chicago, IL, 60601
The Navy Pier is one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions. It opened in 1916 as an amusement and entertainment area and today it includes about 50 acres of gardens, parks, restaurants, shops, and concert venues. One of the most iconic parts of the Navy Pier is the 150 foot ferris wheel, which offers breathtaking views over the city and lake. There's also a classic historic carousel in Navy Pier Park. Head hear to pick up a boat tour as well.
600 East Grand Avenue, Streeterville, Chicago, IL
Located by the lake, South Shore offers impressive views of the Chicago skyline. The neighborhood is filled with unique architecture and a diversity of culture. If you want to take advantage of the lakefront setting, head to Rainbow Beach Park. The South Shore Cultural Center is a beautiful area for picnics and nature as well as theater and opera. To explore the area's architecture, head to Jackson Park Highlands, which is a residential area with impressive mansions.
This neighborhood and park area offers a beautiful setting with nicely landscaped gardens, a quaint lily pond, and lakefront green space that has nice views of the city. The Lakefront Trail, the Lincoln Park Trail, Lincoln Park Zoo, North Avenue Beach, and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum are all in the area. There is also plenty of shopping in Lincoln Park with many boutique shops spread among the row houses.
Centennial Wheel was built in 1995 and offers a classic Chicago experience along the Navy Pier. It reaches a height of 200 feet and offers 360 degree views of the city and Lake Michigan. The ferris wheel has large enclosed gondolas with very open city views. The enclosed space offers reassurance so even those with a fear of heights can enjoy the experience.
Navy Pier, Streeterville, Chicago, IL, 60611
875 North Michigan
Previously call the John Hancock Center, this building is an iconic symbol in the Chicago skyline. It climbs 1,128 feet high and is almost 1,500 feet to the tip of its antennas. The building is considered to be one of the best examples of structural expressionism in the city.
You can head to the 94th floor to see the Tilt attraction at 360 Chicago. When it's clear, you can see up to 55 miles away.
875 N Michigan Ave, The Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL, 60611
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $30 to $74. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $52. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in Chicago