John Hancock Observatory
- Type: Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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If you're looking for the bird's-eye view of Chicago, skip the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower) altogether. Sitting along the Magnificent Mile just north of the Loop, the John Hancock Center and Observatory is the third-tallest building in the city. Easily recognized by its tapered shape, the Hancock Observatory offers impressive panoramic views of Lake Michigan and Chicago's skyline. While it may not be as famous as its counterpart, the Sears Tower (also on our list of top Chicago attractions), travel writers and recent visitors agree it's a must-do attraction. One TripAdvisor user writes: "The view is just spectacular, you owe it to yourself to get up there. More so if, like us, you didn't fancy the ridiculous 2hr wait for the Skydeck [at] Willis Tower." For a different perspective, check out the John Hancock Center and Observatory from the water on a Chicago Architecture Foundation river cruise.
The John Hancock Center and Observatory is open daily between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. Admission costs $17.50 for adults and $11.50 for kids between the ages of 3 and 11.