Before starting your tour, get a bird's-eye view of the whole city from one of two famous skyscrapers:
- Sears Tower
The country's tallest building makes other skyscrapers look like ankle-biters. Start with the eight-minute video Over Chicago, a perfect intro for first-timers; then zoom up to the 103rd floor for a breathtaking view. Get there early; long lines are common, particularly on weekends and in the summer.
- John Hancock Center
Many Chicagoans prefer Hancock to the taller Sears Tower, because it's closer to the lake -- and it's less crowded. Head to the 94th-floor observation deck. There, computers have replaced old time "viewfinders." Rather than having to stare blankly, you'll find these gizmos tell you what you're actually looking at.
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