Photo credit: 360 Chicago
I admit it. I'm guilty and you probably are too. What am I guilty of? Taking Chicago for granted. Having grown accustomed to the beautiful skyline, accessible beaches and other cultural landmarks, I don't really take full advantage of all this city has to offer. Not until someone visits am I reminded how great this city is. I love Chicago, it's where I was born and raised. It's home and I've never imagined living anywhere else in the US. Why would I? From the diverse neighborhoods, world class restaurants, internationally renowned museums, impressive theater scene, picturesque lakefront and down-to-earth people, Chicago has it all. As an homage to the city that I love, I will be introducing an occasional feature on this blog to highlight points of interest that make Chicago special called BGB: Chicago Explorer.
First up is the observation deck at the John Hancock Center at 875 North Michigan Avenue. The building recently loss the use of the John Hancock name and will be known by its address until a new naming-rights deal is made. As with Willis Tower and Marshall Fields before, long-time residents will likely use the iconic names when referencing these landmarks. I recently attended the kickoff of the 360 Chicago Sky series at 360 Chicago (formerly the John Hancock Center Observation Deck). The series features ongoing activities for all ages set against the backdrop of the observation deck. Activities include yoga, Sunday fun-day, trivia, art classes, and much more. Most activities are free with the purchase of a general admission ticket. For activity schedule, pricing, tickets, hours of operations, visit www.360chicago.com.
Photo credit: Trip Advisor
Perched on the 94th floor, the observation deck is 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. Featuring 360 degree views of the city, 360 Chicago is a unique experience high above one of Chicago's iconic buildings. In addition to the views, there are interactive learning experiences throughout the space for everyone about the city's history, architecture and neighborhoods.
Not to be outdone by it's neighbor to the south with the Ledge, Willis (Sears) Tower, 360 Chicago provides a thrilling experience beyond checking out the view. It's called TILT. The attraction, facing south, takes a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows and tilts them downward at a 30 degree angle with views of the street below (if you can open your eyes). It's as if you are leaning out of a window 94 stories up. If you look down, you'll also catch a glimpse of the famous X braces on the building's exterior. The experience is exhilarating. Yes, my legs did tremble a bit from the height but I looked anyway. The TILT experience lasts a few minutes but you'll remember it long after. Check out the video below to get a glimpse of what's in store.
To complete your 360 Chicago visit, stop by the cafe, gift shop or Bar 94 which features beverages from local favorites Revolution Brewing and Koval Distillery. There are even craft cocktails available to enjoy. Chicago residents are eligible for discounted admission, so what are you waiting for? Lastly, 360 Chicago is a relaxed environment so casual attire is perfectly fine. What are some of your favorite chicago spots?
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