We are just about halfway through winter, and if we aren’t mistaken, some of you must be getting cabin fever and needing some ideas for new adventures. Well, good news! We have done some research, and humbly submit you to our picks for the best city views from some of the most famous big-city locations! Plan a trip and see the sights as never before– from above.
- Top of the Hub doubles as a restaurant and lounge, AND it is undoubtedly Beantown’s best view of the city. Serving brunch, lunch, cocktails, and dinner, this place is constantly filled with Boston residents and tourists alike. At an astonishing 52 floors above the ritzy Back Bay neighborhood, Top of the Hub sits at the apex of the famous Prudential Tower. Voted as one of the best restaurants in Boston, the Hub also has live jazz music to add to the ambiance. They even have prix-fixe lunch menus Monday through Friday, and are available to host private events!
- The current Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) building opened in 2006 and was the first art museum built in Boston in over a century. We won’t lie… it’s not necessarily the prettiest-looking building, but it certainly is very unique! The most notable part of the building is the glass section that juts out on top and seems to float above Boston Harbor, giving those visiting a spectacular view! Check out ICA’s website for current information on exhibits and special events. Be sure to keep up-to-date on schedules for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competition, where you can see divers from around the world jump (and by jump, we mean gracefully dive) from the top of the ICA building. Trust us, it’s a wonderful spectacle. One of our staff members attended this past summer, and she swears there is nothing like it! Side note: Is it summer yet?
- Looking for an adventure that takes you a little outside the hustle and bustle? We recommend checking out Blue Hills in Milton! After a hike to the top, you can catch a spectacular view of the city from 635 feet up at Great Blue Hill Observation Tower! Open year-round, this is a great place to hike with your family and pets any time of year. Their easy color-coded trails will help you stay on the right path. We recommend picking up a map (and maple candy, yum!) from the information center if you are less familiar with the trails. You will want to make sure you stay on the loop that brings you to the Observation Tower. You can also visit the Trailside Museum with your kids for a quick educational course on nature in the area– they even have live animal demonstrations.
- Step out onto the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower for a view like no other. At 1353 feet in the air, the specially-designed glass-box platform extends about 4 feet from the building. You’ve got nothing to fear- each viewing platform box has 3 layers of 1/2 inch thick glass, all mushed into 1 tempered piece for maximum safety. Have a fear of heights and want to skip stepping out in to the platform? No problem! Experience it virtually with videos to show you what the view would be like if you stood out there.
- The Signature Room at the 95th is located on top of the John Hancock Center. This restaurant has a fantastic 360 degree view of the city. Be sure to check the dress code for each meal (listed on the restaurant’s web site) for tips on how to dress. Looking to stop by for a quick bite to eat, cocktail, or just to view the city without the full sit-down dining experience? Check out the Signature Lounge. Those under 21 are permitted to attend between the hours of 11am and 7pm with an adult or guardian; after 7pm, the Lounge is 21+ only. Don’t forget to check out its Restaurant Week fixed menu.
- Promontory Point in Burnham Park is right on Chicago’s lakefront. Come here in the warmer months for a nice stroll around the park, to spark up one of their barbecues, or just to sit on its many rocks and take in the gorgeous city view, or swing by in the winter for a brisk stroll. Many events are also held here, including weddings. Here’s some fun facts- this view was featured in the opening credits of 90s television show Family Matters, and the (in)famous Star Wars director George Lucas had his wedding here this past summer.
- The Empire State Building stands at over a quarter mile above The Big Apple. The famous Observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors have been open to the public since 1931, and you are able to visit them 365 days a year! The last elevators to the top go up at 1:15 am, but if you are looking for exercise or are brave enough, you are welcome to climb its 1,872 steps to the top floor. The 37th Annual Empire State Building Run-Up on February 5th features athletes who race to the 86th floor in under 10 minutes! Wow!
- The newly-opened Courtyard-Residence Inn Central Park now holds the title for North America’s tallest hotel! This 68 story building contains two joint hotels: 378 rooms for the Courtyard are located on floors 5 through 33, while the upper levels, 37 through 65, in the Residence Inn are for those staying 5 nights or more. Check out this fabulously edited video for a 1-minute time lapse of the hotel being built.
- The View Restaurant and Lounge is billed as New York City’s only revolving rooftop eatery and lounge. Wine and dine 48 stories above the City that Never Sleeps. The specially-designed signature revolving floor makes a complete turn every hour, ensuring that guests see the most angles of the world-famous city. Open for Dinner seven days a week and brunch on Sundays, their extensive menu is aimed to please. Like other “restaurants with a view,” this spot has many events, including a special Valentine’s Day fixed menu, wine dinners, and their famous Mimosa Brunches. We recommend using OpenTable to make a reservation.
- Head to the P.O.V. Lounge in the W Washington DC for an amazing view of the nation’s capital! Visit the 11th floor for an elegant and fun atmosphere that includes a direct view of the White House! Specializing in tapas, this restaurant is perfect for having a small appetizer, sharing meals with friends, and even sipping on cocktails.
- The Washington National Cathedral sits on one of the highest points in DC and offers a 360-degree view of the city. Visit the Pilgrim Observation Gallery where, on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you can have a traditional English tea after taking a 1-hour Cathedral tour. On the main level of the Cathedral, you can also attend a free organ demonstration on its 10,650-pipe organ every Monday and Wednesday at 12:30pm. Though Cathedral admission is free, there is a suggested donation of $10. The Gallery’s hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 5:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
- The Old Post Office Clock Tower is considered part of the Memorial Parks and National Mall, and is just about halfway between the White House and the Capitol building. Standing at 315 feet, it’s the third-tallest building in DC. Visit the observation deck for fantastic panoramic city views from 270 feet in the air, or check out the Bells of Congress located on the 10th floor.
If you are looking for transportation to these remarkable picturesque cities, remember we are here to help. Book your bus tickets today on GotoBus.com!