Chicago’s skyline needs no introduction. Whether it is snuggling up by rooftop firepits in winter or kicking back at rooftop pools in summer, if you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed life up above Chicago’s soaring cityscape. If you haven’t it is past time you did.
As the birthplace of the skyscraper, it is unsurprising that Chicago is home to one of the most famous skylines on the planet. While its tallest buildings have since been superseded it is still home to the tallest buildings in the world designed by a woman thanks to architect Jeanne Gang and her firm’s stunning 1,191 ft St. Regis Chicago.
When it comes to views, however, not many places can compete with the 360 panoramic vistas over Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago which is why two members of the city’s skyline have recently been placed in the top 10 buildings with the most beautiful views in the United States.
In analyzing the world’s most iconic structures with the most impressive views, building experts at Buildworld scraped TripAdvisor reviews for skyscrapers and popular buildings around the world looking at which were positive about the views they offered.
Coming in at 10th was none other than the 1,451-foot Willis Tower which held the title of the tallest building in the world for 25 years after its completion in 1973 and was the tallest building in the United States until just a decade ago. Today it is the third tallest in the country behind New York City’s One World Trade Center and Central Park Tower.
For a true experience of the views on offer at the top of the Willis Tower, guests can step out onto a glass ledge on the 103rd floor known as “the Skydeck”. Breaching the building’s dimensions the glass box protrudes outside of the Willis Tower at a cloud-piercing height of 1,353 feet.
Narrowly beating the views on offer at Willis Tower’s Skydeck was the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Ranked in 9th place, the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center is home to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck and the TILT, Chicago’s highest thrill ride and the first of its kind in the world.
As its name attests, the observation deck has breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of Chicago and Lake Michigan from 1,000 feet above the famed Magnificent Mile.
For those who think they can muster up the courage, the Chicago TILT is a platform that literally tilts you out of the 94th floor offering a vertigo-inducing experience you won’t find anywhere else.
It was New York’s Empire State Building that was recognized as offering the finest views of any U.S. structure, according to the survey. The building’s 102nd-floor observation deck, accessed by a glass elevator, provides views that extend for 80 miles across six American states.
The Rockefeller Center’s ocean-liner style observatory Top of the Rock made it second for its views of Manhattan while the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona was ranked number three.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France meanwhile was awarded top prize internationally being named the building with the most beautiful views in the world thanks to over five thousand plaudits on TripAdvisor.Read the full survey of the building with the most beautiful views in every country and U.S. State.