Getting There By Public Transportation:
Driving From Downtown:
Parking at the Willis Tower (Sears Tower):
Willis Tower (Sears Tower) Skydeck Hours:
October - March: 10am - 8pm
Willis Tower (Sears Tower) Skydeck Prices:
- Adults (age 12 - 64): $14.95
- Youth (age 3-11): $10.50
- Children under 3: Free
Price as of 07/2009, subject to changeThe best time to avoid crowds is to visit after 4 p.m., which in my opinion is preferred anyway, as you get to see a magnificent sunset and all the lights start to turn on in the city.
About the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) and Skydeck:
Built in 1973 as the Sears Tower (renamed the Willis Tower in 2009 at the dismay of many locals), it held the title of the world's tallest building for 25 years. It lost that designation in 1998, but unless you're taking a little trip to Taipei or Kuala Lampur any time soon, the Willis Tower is certainly the tallest skyscraper you're likely to visit.
But regardless of its architectural stature, there's one thing without a doubt -- the Willis Tower Skydeck offers the best and most amazing views in Chicago. On a crystal clear day, you can see into four states -- Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin -- as the range of view is 40 - 50 miles (65 - 80 kilometers). It's absolutely breathtaking. Do you remember the first time you looked out the window of an airplane, and your mind could hardly process the idea that you were that far up in the sky? The Skydeck is a similar experience.
As if the view weren't enough of an attraction, the Willis Tower Skydeck went through a $4 million renovation, and added the following:
- The Ledge - four glass boxes that let you take in the view straight down
- Interactive Chicago history exhibits
- Multi-language (English, French, German, Japanese, Polish and Spanish) kiosks that guide you through a tour of Chicago landmarks
- Knee-High Chicago, a "kid-level" display that teaches kids about Chicago sports and history
- High-powered telescopes
If you truly want a bird's eye view (actually, I don't even know if birds get up that high!) of the Chicagoland area, then pay a visit to the Willis Tower Skydeck, you won't regret it.
Make sure to visit our Architecture guide for more Willis/Sears Tower architecture facts.