In my short 3 3/4 days in the beautiful city of Chicago for the 5th annual TBS Con, I managed to experience a ton. I spent a morning in Millennium Park, Strolled along Chicago’s Navy Pier and even went on an architectural boat tour. One of the things I wanted to do was get a bird’s eye view of the city on the famous glass floor ledge.
I headed to Willis Tower fairly early just before Sky Deck (the glass ledge) opened. I was a bit concerned at first because the line was a block long, but it went super quickly. Most of the people had pre-purchased tickets (I didn’t- it was a spur of the moment decision) which made the ticket line almost non-exsistent. The general admission ticket price was a bit steep at $24, which in hindsight probably was not worth it (if I am being honest!).
After buying your tickets you will head to the elevator to the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. The elevators open up to an entire floor of windows with 360 views of Chicago. The clouds were obstructing my view at first, but eventually passed leaving clear blue skies. All around the floor you can find interactive information and pay to use binocular stands (pro-tip bring your own binoculars!) to keep you busy if there is a wait at the ledge.
On one area of the floor are 4 glass ledges. Each ledge extends out over the street 4 feet. I was never afraid of heights until this point. After a moment, I got over it and was able to pose for a few photos.
Each ledge has professional cameras mounted and a service worker to take your photo with your own camera if you wish. You only have about 30 seconds before your turn is up. Since the lines were very short when I visited, I kept getting back in line to do the ledge walk again!
After you are done, you will head down back down closer to street level to check out your professional photos. I decided to buy one (way overpriced) as a souvenir which was not the nest decision but you live and you learn.
Before exiting the Willis Tower you will enter one of the best gift shops I saw in Chicago and where I found an awesome hat, t-shirt and Cloud Gate Ornament (The Bean!).
The Willis Tower (opened in 1973) is slightly younger than the John Hancock Building (opened 1969). The John Hancock was the tallest building in Chicago before the Willis Tower was built and also has an observation area with skyline views called the Tilt (additional charge) where you are tilted out over the city.
I chose to visit the Willis Tower due to it currently being the tallest building in the US and the cheaper ticket than John Hancock.
I hope you enjoy some quick snapshots of my experience on the ledge at Willis Tower Chicago below!