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Fodor's Chicago 2014
John Hancock Observatory
John Hancock Observatory Review
Designed by the same team (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) that designed the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, this multiuse skyscraper is distinguished by its tapering shape and enormous X braces, which help stabilize its 100 stories. Soon after it went up in 1970, it earned the nickname "Big John." No wonder: it's 1,127 feet tall, 1,502 feet counting its antennae. Packed with retail space, parking, offices, a restaurant, and residences, it has been likened to a city within a city. It's impressive from any angle and offers mind-boggling views from a 94th-floor observatory, where, like the Willis Tower, you can see to four states on clear days. Those with vertigo might prefer a seat in the Lavazza Espression Café or the bar of the 95th-floor Signature Room. The tab will be steep, but you don't pay the observatory fee and you'll be steady on your feet—maybe.
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Where: Chicago with a friend and her pre-teen daughters
When: Two days in February 2014
Why: After being housebound by what seemed to be a never-ending winter (enough already!), it was time to bundle Read more
In December 2013/January 2014 my wife and I did a three week trip to the USA, with the aim of experiencing a proper North American winter. Read more
We've never been to Chicago other than changing planes.
We'd like to go for a few days but that's a lot of flying to spend 3-4 days in one place.
Any add-ons in the area?
Thanks. Read more
· News & Features
Locally sourced food has never been more local, as chefs have begun growing their own fresh fruits and ... Read more
With more and more bars opening up around the city, Chicago is proving it knows its way around a cocktail... Read more
The Windy City is home to a slew of new restaurants, boutique hotels, and museum exhibits worth checking... Read more