The John Hancock Building at Night
This is Chicago at night, looking south from the 94th floor of the John Hancock Tower. Yes, 94th floor. There are higher floors in other buildings, but I like the 94th just fine. I like how you can see the grid of the city. This was a city destroyed by fire you know, and it’s been very neatly rebuilt. Ah, and that bit of darkness in the upper left of the photo? That’s the lake. Lake Michigan. It’s very large. And it’s freshwater, which is a very odd thing to this east-coast girl.
Now, let me give you a tour from the top of the John Hancock building at night. I’ve labeled the tallest buildings in the photo, along with where they stand on the List of Tallest Buildings IN THE WORLD . The Sears Tower is now called the Willis Tower and I seriously want to say “Whatcha talkin’ about Willis?” every time I see it. The John Hancock Tower, by the way, is the 30th tallest building in the world.
Visit the Observatory on the 94th Floor of the John Hancock Building
If you go to the Observatory on the 94th floor of The Hancock building, you can have yourself a cocktail at the bar. Bar 94 claims to be the highest bar in Chicago and is 1000 feet over Michigan Avenue. On Thursday nights, Bar 94 has drink specials, a live DJ and bar games. The bar specializes in local drinks — beer is from Revolution Brewery and spirits are from Koval. The Observation Deck closes at 11 pm. While you’re at the Observation Deck — but probably before you enjoy a cocktail — check out Chicago Tilt! Enter a glass box with 8 others and be prepared to be dangled over the city of Chicago. (Advance reservations are highly recommended.) Note that lines for the observation deck can be quite long so it’s a good idea to go very early or very late.
I find it funny that Bar 94 bills itself as the highest bar in Chicago because there’s another bar two floors up! If you want to skip the charge for the observation deck, go directly to The Signature Lounge at the top of the John Hancock Building. It’s open until 12:30 am Sunday through Thursday, and 1:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays. After 7 pm, you must be over 21 years old to be in the lounge. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do with out of town guests. After dinner downtown, I always take people to the John Hancock Building at night for drinks at the Signature Lounge. Check out the Signature Room Punch, made with Bacardi Black rum, Cruzan 151, fresh lime sour, pineapple juice, orange juice, grenadine, maraschino cherry, and a pineapple wedge. Sometimes the wait for the Signature Lounge can be quite lengthy, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, so make sure to go early to get the best seats.
The Verdict: Go. Of course. But to save money, try just going to the Signature Lounge! Spend your money on drinks instead of a visit to the Observation Deck!