In any major city, you will see skyscrapers and lots of tall buildings all around. Most of these tall buildings will have observation decks for tourists to come to experience the towering heights of the city and give you the opportunity to stand above everything else. These impressive buildings were engineered to be a safe and fun experience, and I’ve been lucky enough to see a good amount in my travels. So I decided to list out some of the best ones you’ll see in North America if you are on a hunt to see some observation decks and towers!
Located in Las Vegas where the STRAT Hotel and Casino lies, the SkyPod (formerly known as the Stratosphere) is an observation deck that connects inside the hotel. If you’re looking for entertainment, dining, and drinks, you can find them here, which makes this observation deck a total Vegas experience. There’s a 360-degree revolving dining room. What makes this observation deck even more entertaining are the thrilling rides you can find. Some of those rides include the Big Shot, which shoots up 160 feet up in the air, Insanity, which spins while letting you dangle, and if you want to have a heart-jumping experience what it’s like to leap off an observation deck 829 feet above, then there is the SkyJump.
Located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the CN Tower once held to be the tallest free-standing structure for 32 years until the Burj Khalifa surpassed it. The name derived from the Canadian National Railway (that’s why it’s called CN) that helped build the tower. Standing at 1,815 feet, this engineering marvel has a 360-degree restaurant with a few thrilling attractions like EdgeWalk, glass floors that show you how tall it is from your feet, and its SkyPod.
At 1,451 feet, Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is the iconic tall skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. The Skydeck is such a popular attraction to visit here with about 1.7 million people visiting it yearly. Located downtown Chicago, this tower also became a spot for businesses to have workspaces there to public greenspaces. Inside the building too, you can find a five-level retail area with dining options.
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The shortest out of the bunch listed here, Space Needle is a must-see in The Emerald City, also known as Seattle in Washington. This iconic landmark is seen along different spots when traveling in and around the city and had became one of the world’s photographed structures. It was built in 1962 for the World Fair that year for the theme “Age of Space”. Some attractions to be found here are The Loupe, the world’s first rotating glass floor, The Oculus, a multi-material staircase, and the outdoor observation deck that has glass benches there.
If you have plans to go see the famous powerful Niagara Falls, don’t miss out on also checking out Skylon Tower. Standing at 520 feet, going up to the observation deck will give you epic views of Niagara Falls flowing from the top and a 360-view of the city along with the cities of Buffalo, New York, and Toronto. Skylon Tower also has 2 restaurants on top: the Revolving Dining Room and the Upper Summit Suite Buffet. They also have a 3D/4D movie called the “Legends of Niagara Falls” that you can watch there.
One World Observatory
Located at the One World Trade Center (also known as Freedom Tower), where the Twin Towers once stood until the tragedy occurred, you can see an impressive 360-view of the skyline of New York City at the very top. One World Observatory reaches a height of 1,776 feet and you can find the observatory at the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors using the Skypod elevators that takes you up at about only 47 seconds. After you’re done exploring on the top, you can also check out 9/11 Memorial & Museum right outside as you get back on the bottom of the building to pay homage to those who lost their lives on that tragic day.
Empire State Building Observatory
Empire State Building is one of the most iconic skyscrapers in America and it’s been featured in a lot of movies (such as Sleepless in Seattle, An Affair to Remember, and Elf) and tv shows since it’s been constructed in 1930. Standing at 1,250 feet tall from the top floor, the open-air observation deck can be found at the 86th floor and the 102nd floor. When it’s pretty clear, you might be able to get a glimpse of 6 states as it can go out up to 80 miles.