Some of the most magnificent skylines in the world are located right here in the USA! Drone video footage replayed on the Internet is certainly compelling, but there is nothing that can replace the awe-inspiring views captured from one’s own eyes. From the Grand Canyon to the Big Apple, observation decks across the nation allow tourists to glean firsthand insights into just how magnificent the world around them can be. Below we have detailed our favorite observation decks in America:
Willis Tower (The Ledge) – Chicago, Illinois
Lingering 110 stories above downtown Chicago is the one of the most thrilling observation decks in the world. Four glass boxes make up ‘The Ledge’ located in the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. More than one million people visit these boxes annually, which protrude 4.3 feet out into the air. On a clear sunny day, it is possible to see four different states from one vantage point. Not for the faint hearted, these glass boxes truly make it feel as you are standing in thin air. It’s something you will have to see for yourself!
One Liberty Observation Deck – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
From high atop the 57th floor of Liberty Place, visitors to the One Liberty Observation Deck will bask in 360° landscapes that stretch for miles while also hearing tidbits of Philadelphia’s past and its evolution into a major American city. Operated by Montparnasse 56 (or M56) — a Paris-based company that manages observation decks in the John Hancock Tower in Chicago and the Montparnasse 56 Tower in Paris — the observatory on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia supplies the chance to score panoramic views of the cityscape, interact with innovative technology and explore Philly-centric art installations.
Grand Canyon Skywalk – Peach Springs, Arizona
Sure, the views of the Grand Canyon are spectacular from pretty much any angle, but none are as thrilling as looking through the glass walkway that juts out over the Canyon’s western rim. The horseshoe-shaped path is suspended 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. During the day, tours include a hop-on, hop-off shuttle bus ticket that takes you to the Skywalk as well as viewpoints back on terra firma. Dusk brings a multitude of colors as the setting sun turns the sky into shades of orange and nature comes alive below you.
Space Needle – Seattle, Washington
It takes only 41 seconds to whiz up the elevator to this observation deck located in the Space Needle, located in the heart of Seattle. The deck sits up 520 feet and offers picturesque and panoramic 360-degree views of the city. Visitors will be privy to views of the Mountains including Mt. Rainer, the bustling waterfront and the city streets below. The camera at the top allows each visitor to take the perfect sky high selfie, for free. Just use your ticket, stand back and smile; the picture will be emailed to you later that day. There is an abundance of technology inside the observation deck as well, giving people information on how many visitors have been through, where they came from and more. This interactive experience combined with spectacular views makes this observation deck once of the best in North America.
Stratosphere Tower – Las Vegas, Nevada
Here’s an attraction that will heighten your perspective! The Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas opened in 1996, it has captured the attention of locals, tourists and even celebrities. The tower itself is 1,149 feet tall with an outdoor observation deck that sits at an astonishing 869 feet high. The views are incredible and the deck offers a 360-degree perspective of the entire city. There are plenty of things to do at the top of this tower including thrilling rides, award-winning restaurants and a popular bar.
One World Observatory – New York, New York
Our list would be incomplete without inclusion of One World Observatory, which opened to the public in 2016 on the 101st and 102nd floors of One World Trade Center. Popularly known as Freedom Tower, the observatory delivers breathtaking views and an immersive, interactive experience for attendees. On the 100th floor, take your time exploring expansive, panoramic views in every direction. Discover Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey and the surrounding waters from an entirely new perspective. One World Observatory is open seven days a week and tickets are available for purchase online.