Chicago
Viewing Points

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Our most recommended Chicago Viewing Points

Chicago: Navy Pier Centennial Wheel Regular & Express Ticket

1. Chicago: Navy Pier Centennial Wheel Regular & Express Ticket

Located on the Historic Navy Pier, see the Centennial Wheel suspended over Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Chicago River. Enjoy views of the iconic Chicago skyline, the many attractions on Navy Pier, and the famous parks and world-class attractions located along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Choose between two options: With the Regular Barcoded ticket, skip the ticket line and enter the line to board the wheel. The Fastpass Express ticket allows you to skip both lines, and gives you VIP access. Both tickets allow you to visit within 7 days of your scheduled ticket date. Enjoy the Centennial Wheel, which was built in 2016 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Navy Pier opening. Featuring 42 gondolas, each holding 8 people, it operates year-round. They also feature LED lighting, padded seats, TV screens, and speakers, as well as panoramic windows on all 4 sides. A ride on the wheel gives you plenty of time to enjoy these panoramic views of Chicago as they unfold around you, and allows you to visit the top three times. Relax and take in the view, or get your camera out to snap pictures of the ever-changing Chicago landscape.

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360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission: Skip the Ticket Desk

2. 360 Chicago Observation Deck Admission: Skip the Ticket Desk

Soaring 1,000 feet over Chicago’s legendary Michigan Avenue, 360 CHICAGO is one of the city’s most unique attractions. Located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, 360 CHICAGO (formerly John Hancock Observatory) offers breathtaking views of Chicago’s lakefront, magnificent skyline and four neighboring states. After only a 40-second ride in North America's fastest elevators to the observation deck, you can experience what Travel & Leisure Magazine voted one of the best views in America. No other tower gets you closer to the heart of Chicago. Located on the Magnificent Mile and close to Navy Pier, 360 Chicago provides easy access to Chicago’s premier shopping and dining districts.   360 CHICAGO is also the only place where locals and visitors alike can enjoy TILT, Chicago’s tallest and most thrilling attraction. The first of its kind in the world, this one-of-a-kind marvel literally tilts you out and over the Magnificent Mile an Chicago’s famous skyline from the 94th floor observation deck. TILT gives you unique, downward facing views from over 1,000 feet up for up to 8 travelers at a time. Upgrade and include TILT and forever change the way you see Chicago!   360 CHICAGO also offers an interactive exhibit on the Ground Floor highlighting Chicago’s rich history and showcasing nine of the city’s culturally unique neighborhoods. Then, on the 94th floor, audio tours in 5 languages allow you to further explore the history and architecture of the magnificent city stretched out before you.  By pre-purchasing your timed ticket today, you get to skip the ticket desk and present your barcoded voucher to security to be scanned - you may have to wait in a short line at security, then head directly into the Ground Floor Exhibits, and then on to Elevator Line.

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Chicago: Willis Tower Skydeck and The Ledge Ticket

3. Chicago: Willis Tower Skydeck and The Ledge Ticket

Enjoy an unrivaled view over the city of Chicago on a trip up the city's Willis Tower. This famous building, once known as the Sears Tower, is not only home to a Skydeck on the 103rd floor, but it also features The Ledge, a series of 4 glass-paneled boxes that extend out from the building's facade to give visitors a view straight down. As you wind through the ground levels of the Willis Tower, you will be surrounded by museum-quality exhibits highlighting the iconic tower. Learn about Chicago's rich history and culture through these informative visuals. Watch a video presentation, "Reaching for the Sky," where you will be briefed on the history of the building and of architecture in Chicago. Then step into your elevator and you will be amazed at how quickly it ascends. As you travel, your multimedia-equipped elevator will inform you about your vertical progress. Upon reaching the 103rd floor, step out onto the Skydeck, which offers views spanning over 50 miles and across 4 states. Then summon your courage to step out onto The Ledge, a glass balcony that hangs over the edge, for vertigo-inducing views 1,353 feet (about 412 meters) straight down to the city below! Download the Skydeck Mobile App for a free viewfinder which points out many of Chicago’s notable landmarks. Learn more about sights like Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, Grant Park, Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, and Field Museum of Natural History.

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360 Chicago: Observation Deck Entry with a Drink at Bar 94

4. 360 Chicago: Observation Deck Entry with a Drink at Bar 94

Take your cocktail hour to a whole different level at Bar 94, 360 Chicago's own inviting bar located 1,000 feet over Chicago’s spectacular Magnificent Mile. Part observation deck, part cocktail and beer destination, Bar 94 combines breathtaking views and taste-tempting cocktail combinations. Featuring locally crafted beers from Revolution Brewing and locally inspired spirits from KOVAL Distillery, Bar 94 combines amazing 360-degree views with premium beer, wine, and spirits to give you a taste of Chicago you can’t find anywhere else. Your admission includes access to 360 Chicago, formerly The John Hancock Observatory, which combines superior lake views with close-ups of Chicago’s monumental landmarks. With views consistently rated as Chicago’s best, no other tower gets you closer to the heart of Chicago. Located on the Magnificent Mile and close to Navy Pier, 360 Chicago also provides easy access to Chicago’s premier shopping and dining districts. Choose from a select drink menu as follows: • Cocktails: Tequila Sunrise: house tequila, orange juice, grenadine, served with a cherry Appleseed: house apple whiskey, lemonade, cranberry juice, a splash of soda, served with a cherry Vodka Spritzer: house citrus vodka, sour mix, soda water, and a splash of cranberry juice, served with a lemon Summer Punch: Rumhaven coconut rum, cranberry juice, orange juice, served with an orange Team Captain: Captain Morgan white rum, orange juice, Sierra Mist, served with a lime • Wine: White (Chardonnay), red (Cabernet Sauvignon), or rosé • Beer: Revolution Cross of Gold, Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft

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Chicago CityPASS®: Save 50% on 5 Top Attractions

5. Chicago CityPASS®: Save 50% on 5 Top Attractions

Take in incredible views, fascinating science, world-class art, and more with Chicago CityPASS® tickets that include premium admission to Chicago’s top attractions and save travelers 50% off the price of the same tickets purchased separately. The CityPASS system is simple. Simply present your mobile (or printed) ticket to be scanned at any 2 of the 5 attractions for entry. What exactly can you experience with the CityPASS ticket? One-stop is the Shedd Aquarium, where you can see otters, lizards, whales, and dolphins – and much, much more. Shedd Aquarium is home to more than 32,000 animals, housed under one octagonal dome. You can also take in breathtaking views at Skydeck, which stands 1,353 feet above the city. The Field Museum is on the list too, home of “Sue” the world’s largest T. Rex. This pass includes prepaid admission to 5 must-see attractions: 1. Shedd Aquarium From angelfish to zebra sharks, meet 32,000 animals from aquatic habitats around the world at Chicago’s “must-sea” destination! See penguins fly through chilly waters, dolphins leap high in the air, monkeys scamper through rainforest trees, and stingrays swim below your feet.  You’ll have all-access priority admission including permanent exhibits, animal presentations, special exhibit, and Stingray Touch (seasonal), plus a 4-D Experience. 2. Field Museum See the world’s wonders! Visit an ancient Egyptian tomb with 23 mummies, explore over 10,000 years of Chinese history and culture, and “Sue” the world’s largest T. Rex dinosaur. You’ll get an All-Access Pass (admission to all permanent and regularly-priced ticketed exhibitions, and your choice of one digital 3D film). Film selection subject to availability. Additional charges may apply for specially ticketed exhibitions outside of the All-Access Pass. 3. Skydeck Chicago (Reopening Spring 2021) Atop the Willis Tower, Skydeck, invites intrepid visitors to step onto The Ledge, four glass boxes jutting out from the observatory. Situated at 1,353 feet (412 meters), the boxes provide a jaw-dropping view of 103 stories above the city. Includes expedited Entry to Willis Tower’s 103rd floor. Your ticket includes expedited entrance to the Skydeck as well as to The Ledge. 4. Your choice of 2 from the following attractions: 4.1 Art Institute of Chicago Travel the globe through galleries featuring the art of ancient Greece, Japan, Africa, and the Americas. The museum also has one of the largest Impressionist collections outside France and features classic artists like Van Gough and Georges Seurat.  You’ll get Fast Pass Admission to the permanent collection and non-ticketed special exhibitions; including an audio tour. 4.2 Museum of Science and Industry Learn about the science of storms, tour a real World War II German submarine, and run on a human-sized hamster wheel. Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry is the largest in the Western hemisphere. Includes museum entry, plus one timed-entry experience. 4.3 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck Experience magnificent views of Chicago’s skyline, beaches, and historic waterfront from 1000 feet up. Includes express entry admission.

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Chicago River: Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner City Cruise

6. Chicago River: Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner City Cruise

Admire the unparalleled riverfront views as you enjoy a fine dining experience on the Chicago River. Arrive early for your 2-hour cruise, dressed to impress. Explore the beautiful Chicago Riverwalk when boarding the boat. The crew will welcome you aboard, and the ship's photographer will record the moment. You'll be escorted to your table in the dining area. With its gorgeous glass-enclosed design, you can enjoy Chicago's incredible architecture from your seat. Savor a delicious meal prepared freshly onboard, and choose to buy a cocktail from the bar.   To add to your enjoyment, the dinner cruise includes music provided by an onboard DJ. During the lunch and brunch cruises, occasional onboard narration will be provided about some of the architectural highlights along the river. On Wednesday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer, you'll have amazing views of the Navy Pier fireworks display. Sample dinner menu Choice of starter: Caesar salad Lobster soup Choice of main course: Jumbo lump crab cakes Maple and mustard glazed chicken breast Braised beef short rib Jumbo forest mushroom ravioli Choice of dessert:  Eli’s original cheesecake Duo seasonal sorbet Chocolate decadent cake Odyssey signature warm butter cake Sample Brunch Menu Choice of starter: Caesar salad Scottish smoked salmon toast Greek yogurt and granola parfait Fresh blueberries and strawberries Choice of main course: Cannellini bean shakshuka Maple and mustard glazed chicken breast Scrambled eggs  Raisin and cinnamon french toast Choice of dessert: Eli's New York style cheesecake Tres con leche flan Triple chocolate mud pie Freshly cut fruit and fresh strawberries Sample Lunch Menu Starter: Caesar Salad Choice of main course: Jumbo forest mushroom ravioli Maple and mustard glazed chicken breast Oven baked Atlantic salmon fillet Braised beef short rib Choice of dessert: Eli's New York style cheesecake Freshly cut fruit and fresh strawberries Duo of Sorbet

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Chicago: 45-Minute Private Helicopter Flight for 1-3 People

7. Chicago: 45-Minute Private Helicopter Flight for 1-3 People

Enjoy spectacular views of Chicago from an MD500 helicopter. This 45-minute helicopter flight over Chicago covers all the important highlights of the city from McCormick Place and Soldiers Field in the South to Wrigley Field in the North. Depart from Schaumburg Regional Airport and see some of Chicago's highlights including the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Building, Navy Pier, and Lake Michigan with its beaches and picturesque shoreline. Also see the Chicago River, Grant Park, Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, and Museum Campus. Make sure you also look out for Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs, and the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks both play. This is a private helicopter experience for 1 to 3 passengers. Travel in complete safety with a professional pilot who will provide you with live commentary through noise-canceling headphones. In the summertime, have the added thrill of the doors being able to be off during the flight.

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Chicago Food Tasting: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

8. Chicago Food Tasting: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Combine an enjoyable walk around Chicago's downtown to see some of the city’s top sites with stops to sample some of the city’s famous tastes. On this 2.5-hour guided walk, you'll get to taste the foods Chicago is best known for doing right. Enjoy deep-dish pizza, the original Italian pastries, Chicago-style hot dog, and a classic Italian beef sandwich. Enjoy a VIP craft beer sample for an additional fee. Along the way, you’ll see some of Chicago's most iconic spots including Millennium Park, the Chicago Riverwalk, the Art Institute, and the famous Bean. By the end of the tour, your stomach will be full of delicious food and your head will be full of fascinating knowledge about Chicago. During the colder months, the tour makes use of the unique underground Pedway system that connects much of downtown and keeps you warm and cozy. On warmer days, you’ll walk at street level to enjoy the large promenades of the loop. The leisurely walking pace is suitable for people of all fitness levels.

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Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

9. Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

Experience an architecture cruise along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, a family tradition since 1935. Admire Chicago’s historic and ever-changing skyline with a local expert guide as you cruise through the city. Choose between the open-air decks or the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during the cruise. Start the cruise at Michigan Avenue (DuSable) bridge and go up the main branch of the Chicago River to Wolf Point before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan. Learn about historic skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century skyscrapers like the Mies Van der Rohe AMA Building, the circular Marina City Towers, the AON Center, and modernist structures like Aqua, Trump Tower, Nuveen, and the Vista Tower. After passing through the Chicago Lock and cruising past Navy Pier, admire the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Here you can also see the twin super-skyscrapers, the famous Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, and the John Hancock Building. See the majesty of Grant Park with its famous Buckingham Fountain, and iconic Chicago venues such as Soldier’s Field, Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. Enjoy several vantage points for memorable pictures throughout, and finally arrive back at Du Sable Bridge on Michigan Avenue.

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Chicago Seadog Speedboat Fireworks Cruise on Lake Michigan

10. Chicago Seadog Speedboat Fireworks Cruise on Lake Michigan

Enjoy a summer or autumn evening on this Chicago Seadog Speedboat Fireworks Cruise on Lake Michigan. This popular 60-minute narrated tour ensures you have the best views of this magnificent fireworks display. Every seat on the Seadog Speedboat Fireworks Cruise has amazing panoramic views of Chicago's historical skyline. Whether you are looking for a romantic evening, a night out with friends, or simply appreciate the art of pyrotechnics, this tour will have everyone of all ages leaving with a smile. Come and visit all of the possibilities that Chicago has to offer by enjoying a magical Fireworks Cruise on Lake Michigan. These memories are made to last a lifetime!

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Other Sightseeing Options in Chicago

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What people are saying about Chicago

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 579 reviews

We ended up going at dusk and enjoyed amazing views as the lighting changed the three times the wheel spun before we exited. My family had a gondola too ourselves so we were more comfortable with covid.

Awesome we bought tickets online so we skipped the ticket both. We went right before dark & got beautiful pictures. The car is heated & you get beautiful pictures out it.

Ask for Alicia -- best Segway tour guide in Chicago! She also provided an excellent tutorial on use of the Segway before we began our tour. Highly recommend!

Views is amazing it’s worth to see anytime of the year

Very short ride for the amount of money. Nice view.