Why experience The Windy City on the ground level when you can see all of the breathtaking views from the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building? If you ever find yourself in Chicago, we definitely recommend visiting the 360 Chicago Observation Deck to capture all of the wonderful sites the city has to offer.
The John Hancock Building stands over 1,000 feet tall. With its antenna masts, it’s 1,500 feet tall. It used to be the world’s second tallest building when completed in 1969, but now it is the 33rd. It is home to offices, restaurants and approximately 700 condominiums. The architecture of the building is impressive. As noted on the 360 Chicago website, there is the “distinctive X-shaped external bracing,” which eliminated the need for inner support columns, greatly increasing the amount of available floor space.
Before getting to the very top, on the 94th floor, visitors walk through a lengthy entrance that leads to the elevators. The entrance is made up of many hallways that are filled with murals and HD interactive touch screens that relay interesting facts about Chicago’s history, including its famous people and the neighborhoods that make up the city.
The 94th floor itself has a stunning 360-degree view of the city skyline and Lake Michigan. As well, a bar and café can be found where guests can relax and enjoy the views. There is also a gift shop for trinkets and memorabilia to commemorate your visit.
While strolling around, guests will also find a Skywalk to ‘outside,’ which is enclosed by a net/meshing. Signage embedded on the observation windows encourages visitors to share their photos on social media. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t entirely cooperative on the day of our visit so we hesitated to share many images. However, even from these shots you can get an idea of how vast and beautiful the city is, and the kinds of magnificent views you get with the 360 Chicago experience.
New to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck is the TILT ride. Safely holding up to eight visitors at a time, TILT! is essentially a glass wall that leans out from the building (downward facing) over top of Michigan Ave. It is the first of its kind in the world and is quite an exhilarating experience! When the glass wall begins to tilt, intense music is played. In the middle of the experience, the ride stops for a mere second, then the music starts to speed up and the tilt becomes more extreme while lending a very real sensation that you might fall out of the building. If you’re the type of person that enjoys a thrill, we highly recommend trying the TILT! Take a peek at the experience in our video below.
360 Chicago is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. General admission tickets are free for Children 2 and under, $14USD for youth 3 to 11 and $21USD for adults aged 12 and up. TILT is an additional $7USD. All prices include tax.
Review and Photos by Marisa Filippo