The United States of America is home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes and metropolitan views.
Observation decks across the United States provide tourists with a bird’s-eye view of some of the most popular and scenic destinations across the country.
Several of the tallest skyscrapers in the United States have observatories on the very top floors, which provide 360-degree views of the surrounding landmark cities.
Other natural landmarks often have observation decks built into them so visitors can get the most out of their viewing experience.
If you’re planning a trip around the States, then stopping at a few observation decks is a great way to see the most of what the country has to offer. Here are the top 11 very best observation decks you should try to see!
1. The Sky Deck – Chicago, Illinois
Willis Tower in Chicago houses the highest observation deck in the United States, so if you’re in the city of Chicago this is a must-see attraction.
Hopefully, you aren’t scared of heights, because this observation deck is on the 103rd story of the building! From here, you’ll get breathtaking views over the city and the states that surround Illinois.
When it was first opened in 1973, the Willis Tower held the title of being the highest skyscraper in the world at the time.
The 110-story structure is primarily made up of offices, but it’s also one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions because of its height.
The elevator ride to the observation deck at the top of the tower takes just one minute, and once there, visitors are treated to a panoramic view of Chicago.
On days when there is little or no cloud cover, you may be able to see all the way to Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
The skyboxes are among the most recent additions to the experience. They allow guests to climb into boxes that have glass bottoms so that they can view all the way down to the streets of Chicago. Give it a go if you’re brave enough!
2. Top Of The Rock Observation Deck – New York City
You’ll get a bird’s eye perspective of New York City, often known as the “Big Apple,” from the observation deck at the Top of the Rock.
New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world. Because of its convenient location in the middle of the city, the observation deck offers one of the most impressive panoramic views in all of NYC.
The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is a very popular tourist attraction that can be found on the highest floor of the Comcast Building in Rockefeller Center Plaza.
It is the highest building in the plaza, and it is the 28th tallest building in the entire city. The building is also known as 30 Rock. The building itself has 66 stories, but the viewing deck on the outside extends for an additional three levels.
Even though it’s not the highest observation deck in New York City, many people choose to go to this one because they believe it offers the most impressive views of the city as a whole.
The panoramic views take in many famous landmarks, including Central Park, the Empire State Building, and One World Tower, among others.
3. One World Observatory At World Trade Center – NYC
There’s a lot more to do at the One World Observatory than just taking in the breathtaking scenery. It is also a contemplation of the momentous events that occurred on September 11th, which left an indelible mark on the skyline of New York City.
One World Trade Center was built in remembrance of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed, and it now houses one of the most interesting observation decks in the United States.
The spire that sits atop One World Trade Center is primarily responsible for the skyscraper passing the Willis Tower as the tallest structure in the United States.
Finishing construction in 2015, this observation deck can be found in Downtown Manhattan next to Ground Zero, which is the location of the original Twin Towers.
The One World Observatory can be found on the 102nd floor of the One World Trade Center. It provides visitors with breathtaking views of the New York City skyline from multiple vantage points.
From the observation deck, you can see almost the entire city, and it also provides a lot of information that helps you find and learn about the most renowned towers in the city.
4. Empire State Building Deck – NYC
The Empire State Building is not only one of the most recognizable structures in the entire world but also one of the tallest structures in New York City.
It has many viewing decks, but it doesn’t make you climb to the very top of the structure before it begins to immerse you in the experience.
You will be completely blown away by everything that it has to offer from the minute that you enter the ground level until the time that you ride up to the deck in the glass elevator.
The King Kong movie contributed significantly to the Empire State Building’s meteoric rise to icon status after it was completed in 1931.
You can get the same perspective of the movie from the top of the building, which also provides you with the only view of Manhattan that encompasses 360 degrees.
If the weather is clear, you may be able to see as many as six different states from the outdoor terrace.
You will be 1,224 feet above the ground when you visit the main observation deck, which is located on the 102nd floor. There are also indoor observatories available on levels 80 and 86 of the building.
5. SkyPod At The Strat – Las Vegas, Nevada
Because Las Vegas is notorious for going to extremes in everything it does, it should come as no surprise that one of the tallest observation decks in the country can be found here, and it’s been updated with a unique new feature.
The SkyPod at The Strat is not just for looking out over the city, but also for providing visitors with thrilling activities while they are at the observation deck.
The Strat, formerly known as The Stratosphere, is a multi-building complex. The building includes a combined hotel and casino, as well as a separate observation tower.
With an elevation of nearly 1,150 feet, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States.
At the very top of the tower, there is not one, but two observation decks: one is indoors, while the other is outdoors.
You will be able to see the entire Las Vegas Strip as well as the rest of the Las Vegas Valley because of the tower’s excellent location just to the north of the Strip.
In addition to the sights, guests have access to four amusement park rides that are all built into the complex. These include bungee jumping and a roller coaster, which is among the tallest coasters in the world.
6. Clingmans Dome Observation Tower – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
The Clingmans Dome Observation Tower offers a much more unique view compared to the others that can be found in the States. While most decks show breathtaking panoramas of the country’s urban landscapes, at this one you can see the wonders of nature.
Views of the Great Smoky Mountains may be seen from the observation deck, which is sure to wow anyone with a passion for the great outdoors.
Clingmans Dome, which is located in the Great Smoky Mountains, is the highest point in Tennessee and the third highest point in the United States.
Because of its location within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the entire atmosphere of this observation deck is one of pristine nature, complete with mountains and forests.
The observation tower provides a wonderful vantage point from which to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
The Clingmans Dome Observation Tower is a concrete structure that is 45 feet tall and was built in 1959.
Visitors can access the tower through the Clingmans Dome Trail, which connects directly to the structure, and start their trek to the summit on the elevated ramp.
On days when the weather is clear, you will get unobstructed views of the surrounding area in every direction. The circular deck includes multiple information panels around the platform that provide details on the various places of interest that may be observed.
7. The Loupe At The Space Needle – Seattle, Washington
One of the most recognizable structures in all of Seattle is the Space Needle.
Even though it was constructed in 1962 for the World’s Fair, it has become a symbol of the city ever since, and the observation deck that’s located at the very top makes it a major tourist attraction.
On days when the weather is clear, you will be able to see points of interest such as Downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, and the islands of Puget Sound in the distance.
The deck is at a height of 520 feet and offers one of the best views in the Pacific Northwest.
Guests can reach the observation deck at the top of the tower in a little over a minute by using the high-speed elevator.
The recently constructed rotating glass floor is the first of its sort, even though the observation deck is not among the tallest in the United States.
As well as the indoor area, there is an open-air terrace that guests can use to take in the scenery while leaning against the slanted glass window.
8. Eagle Point Skywalk At The Grand Canyon – Arizona
The Grand Canyon is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, but it’s also home to some of the top observation decks in the world.
Although it may seem like an unnecessary addition to the experience of visiting the Canyon, visiting the observation deck adds an extra dose of excitement to the trip.
The most popular activity for visitors to do at Grand Canyon National Park is to take in the stunning scenery.
To enjoy a perspective of the Canyon, the majority of visitors are only able to stand on the edge of the rim; however, a visit to the Eagle Point Skywalk allows visitors to see both over and down into the Canyon.
A pedestrian walkway in the form of a horseshoe that extends out over the brink of the Canyon is what can be found here.
It was opened to the public in 2007, and it features a glass floor that tourists may walk on while looking down into the depths of the Grand Canyon. So if you’re very scared of heights then don’t look down!
9. One Liberty Observation Deck – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Even while the skyline of Philadelphia is stunning in and of itself, nothing can truly prepare you for what you are about to view from the One Liberty Observation Deck in Philadelphia.
The observation deck, which is also known as Philly From The Top, provides breathtaking views of the old city in every direction.
Because it is Philadelphia’s highest skyscraper (the deck is at a height of 883 feet), the One Liberty Building is an ideal candidate for the site of an observation deck.
A contemporary indoor viewing experience may be had at the observation deck, which opened in 2015 on the 57th floor of the structure.
As guests stroll around the deck, which is encircled by windows, they get a view that extends up to 40 miles in either direction.
The ascent in the elevator is accompanied by an audio-visual presentation that teaches passengers about the neighborhood, the structure, and important landmarks that they should keep an eye out for from the observation deck.
There are various other activities available on the deck, such as interactive displays, statues, and even games geared specifically toward children.
10. 360Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
That’s right, we are back in Chicago. The 360 Chicago observation deck offers breathtaking views of Chicago, high above the Magnificent Mile!
Head to the 94th floor, and you can enjoy fantastic views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan from 1,000 feet in the air!
Not only can you enjoy the beautiful views, but there is plenty to do up here. You can enjoy art classes or yoga, or even head to Bar94 and enjoy Happy Hour on a Thursday!
But if you want to take your experience to the next level, you need to try TILT, the thrill ride that tilts you downwards overlooking CHicago. It’s a fantastic way to explore the city!
We recommend booking tickets in advance so you aren’t disappointed!
11. Theme Building Observation Deck – LA International Airport, California
Even if this observation deck is not the tallest in the country, it’s still a pretty cool experience to go see it.
This memorial to the flying saucer, which was built in 1961 and is located at the Los Angeles airport, recently got a $12.3 million refurbishment. It has been improved by installing brand-new safety equipment and making structural improvements.
The layout, which was developed initially by Disney, encourages passengers as well as those who aren’t flying to take advantage of the complimentary telescopes and watch the planes take off and land.
The outdoor viewing platform has a panoramic view in every direction. In addition, this tower features a restaurant with a space theme, which gives guests the impression that they have been transported to the world of “The Jetsons.”
This observation tower is ideal for everyone who has a passion for aviation, especially those who love to fly.
If you want to see the very best of what the United States has to offer, then paying a visit to any one of these observation decks is a great place to state. From city skylines to the wonders of nature, there is an observation deck for you!
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