The Willis Tower, which will always be known as the Sears Tower, is a 108 story skyscraper in Chicago, IL. It is the second tallest building in the United States. Inside the Willis Tower is The SkyDeck located 103 stories up. The SkyDeck offers amazing views and The Ledge. When I got the opportunity to visit I was very excited!
From what I had heard it is best to arrive right when they open, around 8am. Otherwise the lines are long and there are a great deal of people. We didn’t get the chance to arrive so early in the day, but rather mid afternoon. As soon as we arrived there was a line out the door, but it moved quickly. Once inside I realized the line was to go through security and then to get on an elevator.
Once you get off the elevator you can obtain your tickets and/or a fast pass. They also have staff taking pictures in front of green screens. There were long lines to get onto the next set of elevators to go up to the SkyDeck. I would recommend the fast pass, it will help save a lot of time by skipping the long lines.
When we got on the elevator there was a television screen that counted the floors up. It also informed us what was as tall as the height we were at as the elevator kept going up. I also noticed the elevator numbers went up by 10s. Once we got off the elevator there were people everywhere. There were also big windows with some of the most amazing views.
Looking out each window offered another amazing view. We could see the Chicago River, all the amazing skyscrapers, and so much more. There were also telescopes, just make sure you have quarters. As we continued to walk around I noticed a gift shop. There were all kinds of souvenirs as well as water that can be purchased.
As we continued to walk around we saw lines forming. The lines were for the infamous Ledge. This is something you have to do or at least get near. There are 4 ledges. Each ledge is a glass box that extends out 4.3 feet. 3 of the ledges have 3 lines to allow people to walk onto the glass box and take pictures. You can always get back on the line if you didn’t get enough
The last glass box has 1 line. There is a photographer there with a full set up to take pictures for you that you can potentially purchase later. You can also take your own pictures while standing on the ledge. I first waited on one of the lines and shared the ledge with others. I got some nice pictures. It was a little scary, but mostly amazing looking straight down and seeing everything underneath.
I decided I wanted to get some more pictures so I got on the line with the photographer. I saw parents trying to get photos with their kids. They were only able to get so many before there kids were ready to get off the glass. Looking down is really no joke. It certainly gave me a ‘woah’ moment!
I was happy I was able to take my own pictures by myself on The Ledge. Not only did I have the entire ledge to myself to take my personal pictures, but I got a full experience of seeing everything without others. I was also glad I got my own pictures, because I didn’t like the pictures the photographer took. They didn’t come out as nice as others that she worked with to get great photos.
Once I made myself stop taking photos, which was extremely hard to do, we decided to try and head out. The line to leave was extremely long. The same elevators that we used to come up are the same ones that transport people down. Once we were finally able to get downstairs we saw another souvenir shop that had other great items in it. I purchased a couple of items before we headed to the next elevator to leave.
We definitely enjoyed the experience. I loved living life on The Ledge at SkyDeck Chicago. It was a thrill and something I had to do. It was unforgettable. Visiting The SkyDeck is a must when visiting Chicago. Even if you are afraid to step out on The Ledge, getting close to it is an accomplishment in itself.
Have you ever been to the SkyDeck? Did you go out on The Ledge?
Disclaimer: Thank you to SkyDeck Chicago for having us. While receiving complimentary admission all opinions and views are my own.
See more of my time in Chicago and get some ideas for your next visit!