Chicago, the hub of the United States, is a fabulous destination in itself. The Navy Pier is a Chicago landmark with over 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants and attractions of every kind. There is a Ferris Wheel and Carousel. Visit the Chicago Children’s Museum, Skyline Stage and Joe’s Be-Bop Cafe & Jazz Emporium.
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Since 1974 this soaring structure has been the world’s tallest building. Take one of the 100 elevators to the Skydeck Observatory on the 103rd floor for a spectacular view of the city. Open daily: March-September 9 am-11 pm; October-February 9 am-10 pm. Adults $8, Senior Citizens $6, Children 5-12 $5, Children under 4 free. Family Pass $20.
The John Hancock Observatory (1,127 feet)
875 N. Michigan Ave: This Michigan Avenue giant was built in 1970 with a dramatic cross-bracing, framing system. Although it is 327 feet lower than the Sears Tower, the observation deck provides a stunning view of the lake and city. One floor above the observation deck on the 95th floor, is the Signature Room, a perfect place for a cocktail and a second-to-none view of the sunset. The 94th-floor observatory, more than 1,000 feet above Chicago, features an outside Skywalk, the Midwest’s highest open-air experience; Windows on Chicago, which takes you on a virtual reality tour of more than 80 city sites; Soundscope 3-D “talking” telescopes that speak in four languages and create startling real sound effects; a Chicago history wall; and a theme park- style ticketing area that recreates the construction of the John Hancock Center. Open daily 9 am-midnight.