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Must See Chicago Attractions - Sears Tower and Navy Pier

Updated on October 18, 2011

If you are planning to visit Chicago, it's likely that Willis tower (Sears tower) and Navy Pier will be on your list. No doubt there are many things to see in windy city, but your trip would not be complete if you don't visit these two tourist attractions.

Willis Tower (Sears Tower)

The Willis tower (earlier called Sears tower) is the tallest building in the United States. It was constructed in 1973. Nearly 1.3 million tourists visit willis tower annually. We went at 11 am on the morning on Saturday in early October. We spent around 45 minutes in the line to go through the security check.

After the security check we were guided into a room where a video is shown about the Willis tower and Chicago sky scrappers in general. If you don't want to watch the video, you can directly go to the elevator which will take you to the 103 floor, to the observation deck. You can see whole Chicago downtown and all the major streets so clearly. Michigan lake seems like an ocean from the observation deck.

All glass balcony on 103rd floor
All glass balcony on 103rd floor

In 2009, the sky deck on 103rd floor was renovated to include 4 glass balconies extending approximately four feet. The all glass boxes allow visitors to look through the floor to the street below (from 103 floor).

You can take breathtaking photos from all glass balconies. You can stand or sit in the glass balcony and take a picture of you and your loved ones. The cool part is, it feels like as if you are in space.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a unique place. It fulfills the lack of sea shore for Chicago residents and visitors. If you are visiting Navy Pier for the first time, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the crowd and the carnival atmosphere. You can do many things including going on various types of rides, cycling, watching IMAX movies, eating in your favorite restaurant and going on a boat ride. There are several types of boat rides. We went on an architectural tour on a boat.

Photo taken on architectural boat tour at night
Photo taken on architectural boat tour at night

After taking us on a 10 minute speed ride, the boat went into Chicago river through the downtown Chicago. As we pass through each building, the tour guide (on the boat) explained about each sky scrapper and the history of it. It was very interesting, educational and entertaining. The timing was also just perfect. The boat ride started at 6 pm. While going in to the downtown there was some sunlight. While coming back, it was dark, so the lights were on in all the sky scrappers. So we got to see the sky scrappers during day time as well as night time. It was one of the best visits to the Navy Pier.


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    • Sekharg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA


      I do agree. It is frightening to see through the glass floor underneath the feet.

      But if you avoid looking below your feet, you can enjoy the magnificent views of the city.


    • thranax profile image


      7 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      Im normally not afraid of heights but that all glass 103rd floor deal would make me shaky at first - thats a given!



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