A Thousand Feet Up in Chicago.

It was a hot summer day walking along Lake Shore Drive, downing multiple waters and Gatorades taking photos of Lake Michigan, the shoreline and the nearby parks. I was thinking I need to get scenic shots of the entire area. By this time some air conditioning was appealing too. I decided to make the trip a thousand feet up to the John Hancock Observatory, up top the John Hancock Center building, one of the most recognized buildings around.

John Hancock Center - Chicago

I cut over from the Lake Shore along the Chicago River, walking past where people get on the river ferries and onto the Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue. All the various shops had their doors wide open with the AC blasting, using that I’m sure as a gimmick to get people to come in for a cool down and hopefully buy something.

Arriving at the John Hancock Center I walked into a plaza with a waterfall, multiple cafes and highlighted by the Cheesecake Factory. I should have made a stop there but I proceeded to the elevators inside to go up to the 94th floor.

The elevator ride up to the Observatory is 40 seconds, the fastest in North America. It was cool and kinda a scary at the same time, but once up there you’re in awe at the views that surround you.

So many shots of Lake Michigan to be had including this one of Navy Pier. It it said that on a clear day, the other side of the lake and the state of Michigan can be seen.

JHO Chicago - Lookout to Lake Michigan, Navy Pier

Miles and miles can be seen off in the instance looking out to the west.

JHO Chicago - Lookout Westward

Looking almost straight down and right outside the building to the north is Oak Street Beach along Lake Michigan. Everyone looks so small and look at how blue the water is!

JHO Chicago - Lookout Oak Street Beach on Lake Michigan

Looking north checking out the north side and following Lake Shore Drive and the beaches up the coast. Evanston is straight ahead and Wisconsin can be seen on a good day.

JHO Chicago - Lookout north, Lake Shore Drive

Countless breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline.

JHO Chicago - Lookout Downtown, skyline, Chicago Loop

Along with Wisconsin and Michigan, nearby Indiana can be seen when looking south.

While your on the 94th floor you can go outside into the open air doing the Skywalk. Also be sure to checkout the gift shop, get a multi-media tour narrated by David Schwimmer, hangout at the Lavazza Expression cafe and even learn about how Chicago got to where it is today with an eighty foot long history wall. Above the observatory on the 95th and 96th floors is The Signature Room and Lounge. Drinks, dining and 360 degree views of Chicago, what could be better?

JHO Chicago - 94th Floor, Gift Shop

This was the tallest building I’ve ever been to the top in. For more information checkout the John Hancock Observatory website. Checkout some of my other photos taken from a thousand feet up. At the top of which skyscraper or other location is your favorite spot for getting great views of a big city and surrounding area?

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