Biking, walking, driving, even sailing – there are a plethora of awesome ways to get acquainted with a city. Now that Summer is here and vacation season has begun, it’s time to consider which ways you’d like to engage with the cities you plan on visiting. One of our all-time favorite ways to get a great “view” of a city is from way up high!
Yes – we are talking about the tried and true concept of observation decks.
In case you’ve never been on an observation deck, here’s a brief description of what it’s generally like:
An elevated sightseeing platform typically situated on a tall building, such as a skyscraper or tower. Often times they are enclosed with big windows, and offer telescopes for closer viewing.
The question remains where can a person experience an observation deck first hand? Thankfully, plenty of places!
One Liberty Observation Deck – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, within walking distance to popular attractions and public transportation, this observation deck provides panoramic views year-round. Once you step inside that elevator, you won’t be getting out until you’re 883 feet in the sky! You’ll be able to see the city and the suburbs, and get a general feel for what Philly looks like from above.
One World Observatory – New York City, New York
Feel the invincible spirit of New York City as you ascend to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. There are a million things to experience in New York City, but this is one way to take them all in. You’ll be able to see the iconic sights, surrounding waters, and panoramic views of the skyline and beyond. This is also the memorial of 9/11, and offers a sobering yet profound museum on the happenings that day, as well as a memorial for the victims and servicemembers.
Grand Canyon Skywalk – Grand Canyon West, Arizona
This is your chance to walk among the clouds while overlooking one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in America. Located at Eagle Point, named for the natural rock formation that resembles an Eagle. The deck is an open-air, horseshoe-shaped bridge that enables visitors to walk beyond the canyon walls at Grand Canyon West. You will be suspended 4,000 feet above the riverbed. Truly this deck offers unparalleled views of the natural wonder.
OUE Skyspace – Los Angeles, California
Located nearly 1,000 feet above downtown Los Angeles on the 69th and 70th floors of the U.S. Bank Tower, OUE Skyspace LA is the tallest open-air observation deck in California. The deck offers a unique 360-degree view of the city, as well as sights such as the San Gabriel Mountains, Pacific Ocean, and iconic landmarks from Dodger Stadium to Catalina Island. OUE Skyspace LA is a family-friendly attraction, perfect for all ages. There are also interactive and educational components. This June, thrill-seekers will soon have the chance to sail down a glass slide suspended 1,000 feet above ground and attached to the tallest building on the West Coast. This is an observation deck not to be missed.
Top of The Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Plaza – New York City, New York
Few cities are as stunning from above as iconic New York City is. The Rock Observation Deck is such a dramatically wonderful view of the city that you can’t find anywhere else. Three floors of indoor and outdoor decks offer stunning panoramas of the city’s energy, wonder, and beauty. Grab your binoculars and take a closer look at the city’s going-ons. The top floor is open-air and for sure our favorite floor!
Skydeck Chicago Willis Tower – Chicago, Illinois
The Willis Tower is an iconic corporate office building in Chicago, it’s home to more than 100 companies, and is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The Tower encompasses more than 4.5 million square feet, including its Skydeck and 103rd floor glass viewing platform. For your viewing pleasure, you’ll be 1,353 feet up on the Skydeck, with spectacular views spanning up to four states. There’s even a box that extends 4.3 feet from the Skydeck which provides never-before-seen views of the city! This deck is incredible and one of our favorite attractions in Chicago!
The Space Needle – Seattle, Washington
This was once the tallest building West of the Mississippi River, and though it isn’t any longer, it’s still a favorite deck because of it’s super rad architecture and revolving restuarant. Originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Needle lifts you up 520 feet and provides 360 degree views of the Emerald City. You can see mountain ranges covered in Douglas Firs, Elliott Bay’s waterfront, the lights of downtown Seattle, and Mt. Rainer. Just like everything else in Seattle, the Space Needle is simply cool.
Those are our top five observation decks for the Summer and we seriously hope you have the chance to visit one or more! It’s one thing to maneuver your way through a city on foot, bike, or car, but to see the same city from an aerial perspective is truly awesome.
You can visit all the observation decks without breaking the bank, too! For all of your discount ticket needs, check out 365 Tickets USA. From observation decks to dinner cruises to theme parks, we’ve got a price that will make you even more excited for vacation. Bon Voyage!