The Hancock Observatory at The John Hancock Building
At 100 stories and more than 1,000 feet high, the John Hancock Building is the 12th-tallest building in the world (for now, anyway). Stacked X’s characterize the steel structure and provide the building with additional strength for those extremely windy moments. On a clear day, ride the elevator to the Hancock’s 94th floor; traveling at 20 miles an hour, it only takes 40 seconds to reach the top. Then take in the 360-degree views of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Tip: Vertigo sufferers can step into the skywalk; the open-air viewing area is enclosed year round, but you can still feel the wind and temperature and hear the traffic below.
Admission: $12 adults; $10 seniors; $8 children (ages 5-12); free for children 4 and under
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.