Hancock Observatory

The Hancock Observatory is located on level 94 of the Hancock Tower in Chicago, and it boasts of the best 360-degree view in town. Not only can visitors get a bird's eye view of the skyline and of Illinois, but they can also see neighboring Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

Hancock Observatory
Hancock Observatory

The views from the Hancock Observatory Chicago are spectacular during the daytime, and in the evening when the sun is setting and the colors streaking the sky, it is a breathtaking sight. At night, when the stars are twinkling, they seem so close it feels like you can reach out and touch them. Although there is no glass partition enclosing the Skywalk at the Hancock Observatory, there is a durable stainless-steel screen in place as a safety measure.

The John Hancock Observatory has Chicago's only open-air skywalk and the only observation deck of its kind in the city. It is 1,000 feet off the ground, and visitors can look down and see the bustle of the Magnificent Mile below. Once visitors have arrived at the Hancock Observatory level, adults and children can take a narrated sky tour using a hand-held device with headphones that provides interesting information about sixteen stops around the observation area. Also at the John Hancock Observatory, talking Soundscope telescopes give a narrative of the views in multiple languages.

The Hancock Observatory Chicago also houses the History Wall with a pictorial history of the city, as well as Windows on Chicago, which provides a video tour of local attractions.

The observatory, open from 9 am to 11 pm, is located at 875 North Michigan Avenue. There are 750 covered parking spaces, in case you choose to take your rental car rather than public transportation, and disabled access is available. To avoid crowds at the Hancock Observatory, the best times to visit are before 11 am and after 9 pm.

Group tours are available for the John Hancock Observatory multimedia sky tour that come packaged with options for breakfast and lunch or an authentic trolley ride. Admission to the Hancock Observatory requires a general admission ticket, a Fast Pass ticket with express entry, or the Sun & Stars ticket that provides two visits for the price of one, for use during the day or evening. Sun and Stars tickets are valid for 48 hours.

Hancock Observatory Restaurant
Hancock Observatory Restaurant

For a break from sightseeing, relax with a fresh cup of espresso and delicious cuisine at Lavazza, also located on the 94th floor and open from 8 am until 11 pm. At the top of the Hancock Tower in Chicago, have lunch or dinner at the Signature Room on the 95th floor, where stunning views, American food, fine wine, and smooth jazz on the weekends create a perfect way to end the day.

The Hancock Tower in Chicago is within walking distance of many of Chicago's popular attractions, restaurants, and shopping venues. A roughly five-minute stroll will have visitors arriving at the Magnificent Mile where many stores, the Drury Lane Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Chicago Trolley are located. Restaurants and cafes line the way including the luxurious Cape Cod Room at the Drake Hotel and Gibson's Steakhouse, which opened in 1989.

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