Results 11-20of 21 Reviews
July 20, 2006
From journal The Windy City in One Day!
July 7, 2006
From journal Long Windy Weekend in Chicago
Buffalo, New York
January 19, 2006
From journal Highlights of Chicago
July 10, 2005
From journal Chicago, IL
December 18, 2004
After paying for your tickets ($9/person), you are then directed to a small movie theater, which shows an odd little movie of aerial views of Illinois and Chicago. It is a nice movie to look at, but it has very little to do with the Sears Tower itself.
From there you get on the elevator that takes you to the Observation Deck. The deck also has a photo history display of the tower and Chicago, which was interesting.
After taking numerous photos, we rode back down the elevator and exited into the gift shop, where there are five, count them, five coin-smashing machine: four for pennies and one for quarters. Being a collector, I spent $8 getting all 16 pennies, plus another $1.50 getting two quarters. I'd have gotten all four quarters, but I ran out of change. Strange hobby, I know, but I love it!
From journal Weekend in Chicago
July 8, 2004
Both the Sears Tower and the Hancock Center observation decks underwent revamps in the past few years. The new Sears exhibits are at times a bit cheesy, although informative. But you don't really come to the Sears Tower for exhibits - you come for the view. And what a view - at least on a clear day - taking in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.
To visit the Skydeck, you enter the building through a seperate entrance on West Jackson street, between S. Wacker and S. Franklin, which is located in the southwest area of the downtown Loop. (If you get lost, just look up!). I have found that unlike the Hancock, there is always a queue to wait in at the Sears Tower, which can average anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, although apparently if you go late in the day, after 4pm, there is less of a wait. Due to post-9/11 security measures, expect to spend some time going through a security checkpoint. The Skydeck opens at 10am and is open until 10pm during the summer, 8pm the rest of the year. Plus, in the evening you can see some really great sunset views of the city and surroundings.
I personally like the Hancock's views of the lake better, but from the Sears Tower you can really see a lot of Chicago's major landmarks, such as Grant Park, the Museum Campus, the newly remodelled Soldiers Field, and more. On a clear day it really is quite impressive and worth a visit. On overcast days, your time is better spent elsewhere, as the extreme height of the building means that the top is in clouds when much else of the city is not.
As mentioned, the new exhibits can at times be a little cheesy, but they're very kid-friendly and give interesting insight into the building of what was formerly the world's tallest tower, as well as city history.
Adult admission $9.95, children $6.95. Look for discount coupons in tourism magazines or visit the Visitor's Center at the Water Tower for a Chicago coupon book.
From journal Playing Tourist at Home in Chicago
June 18, 2004
The city that invented skyscrapers hosts the second tallest building in the world, 1,450 feet high (443 meters), 110 stories . . . it's also a place of business with a lot of offices. For tourists like you and I, the sky deck is all that we're going to see: it's at 1,353 feet (412 meters), at the top floor. If the sky is clear, you'll be able to see four states! The sky deck also has a museum about the Tower's past. It's quite impressive when you look down and see cars not much bigger than ants!
Although the view from the Sears Tower is great, you'll know that the most beautiful cityscape is seen from the other "big girl": The Hancock Center Tower.
From journal Chicago-My Kind of Town
March 17, 2003
Completed in 1973 and renovated in 1993, the Sears Tower was designed and engineered by Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan of the architecture firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the same esteemed team that brought the John Hancock Center to Chicago's skyline. Conceptually, the plan of the Sears Tower consists of nine square structural tubes, the two tallest ones forming the observatory. Its aesthetic design value for the average person is fairly minimal except for its sheer mass and height, which is enough to make it an essential member of the Chicago skyline. In engineering circles it is quite a celebrated structural accomplishment.
The Sears Tower includes dining options like Mrs. Levy's Delicatessen, Dos Hermanos, and Mia Torre. The building contains stores and offices, but no residential levels. Its ground level plaza is usually windswept and barren when not crawling with people rushing to and from work on weekdays.
If you have the time and money to visit only one of the observatories, it is tough to choose one over the other. Queue up at the Sears Tower if you want to tell friends that you have been to the tallest sky deck in North America. Whether the views are either the best or second best in Chicago, they are definitely amazing and should not be missed by any visitor.
From journal Bill at home in CHICAGO - Activities
San Francisco, California
December 20, 2002
From journal Chicago, my home town!
Little Rock,, Arkansas
June 29, 2001
They have a great selection of wines by the glass and every cocktail known to man. Stick people walk by on the street below, with the wind whipping their coats, you can feel the building sway as well.
From journal Chicago, Chicago-da-dada-da-da-dadada da