Chicago Skyline and Belmont Harbor Aerial View

What Are The Best Views Of The Chicago Skyline

by Luke K on July 19, 2020

There are Skyline pictures that you see every day, and then there are the Chicago Skyline views that most Chicagoans see, everyday.

Some argue that Chicago Skyline is best seen up close. It is fluid and dynamic. Filled with individuality and innovation. And the best way is to examine it in detail.

The well-known famous spots are great for people that are less familiar with the city, but what if you’re interested in off-the-beaten-path spots?

You get the best views of Chicago skyline from many different regions of the city and in different seasons. We’re here to show you a few prime examples of best views of the Chicago Skyline.

See all Royalty-Free Images of the Chicago Skyline

Built on ambition, Chicago Skyline is the birthplace of the skyscraper we know today.

Year over year, Chicago is reinventing the world-famous skyline with a new additions of tall, eye-catching towers.

Stock photo of Industrial Warehouses near Old Finkl and Sons Lincoln Yards Site With John Hancock and the Skyline in Background.
Stock photo of Industrial Warehouses near Old Finkl and Sons Lincoln Yards Site With John Hancock and the Skyline in Background.

Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States, is home to 1,366 completed high-rises, 48 of which stand taller than 600 feet (183 m). The tallest building in the city is the 110-story Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which rises 1,451 feet (442 m) in the Chicago Loop and was completed in 1974 Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper.

Let’s dive in and examine the best views of the silhouette so many have come to adore.

Chicago Skyline From The East

Arguably, the best way to view the Chicago skyline in all its beauty and glory is from the water. Sailing out onto Lake Michigan and cruising the Chicago River are guaranteed to provide incredible Skyline views. Starting in the close in a ring around the loop, Near North Side, Near West Side, and Near South Side are closest in proximity, and therefore they provide the most dramatic backdrops.

Eastern Exposure:

Chicago Skyline From The West

Some of the best views of the skyline can be seen from the West. Both near and far. The further away you go from the city, the longer the skyline seems to get. From as far back as Austin, you can see the skyline all the way from Edgewater to Hyde Park and South Shore. To the Northwest, along the expressway is what a lot of people see when they come in downtown from O’Hare or up from the Wisconsin border. The junction provides Lanes upon Lanes of traffic. In the distance you can see the skyline from ground level as well as aerial drone imagery. West side provides an outline, a silhouette of a Skyline that we all have come to love, not just here locally but all around the world.

Western Exposure:

Chicago Skyline From The South

This is where Sears Tower, or currently Willis Tower, really comes to shine and stand tall. It is on full display how might it really is. The exposed southern elevation shows the blocks upon which it stands.The southern view is magnificent around high noon, when sun shines right down upon it and it’s face.

Although sunsets and sunrises are also wonderful. The Southwest side also provides a nice view of the skyline. Chicago Sanitary Canal leads towards it as it separates different portions of the industrial landscape of the city. The South Side along with Lake Shore Drive and the Museum parks create a setting worth of travel. 

Far South Side has many lakes and canals that once served as waterways for the industrial transport. Heavy industrial warehouses and steel mills add juxtaposition of new architecture to the skyline.

Southern Exposure:

Chicago Skyline From The North

Possibly among the most photographed Community Areas, the North side is amazing for aerial and street photography. From the lagoon to the park and the transportation. The North side provides views of the skyline that’s packed with style and grace. The north side along with the North Shore is iconic for it’s lagoons along Lincoln Park. Lake Shore Drive in Edgewater makes its way Uptown and Lake View – and pulls your attention as it divides the city and the lake. 

Northern Exposure:

These are some of our suggestions

With all that aid, it is now up to you to get out there and explore each region of the city. And find out for yourself what are the best views of the city. Hopefully, this guide will help!

Stock photo of Aerial View of St. Charles Air Line Bridge Ping Tom Memorial Park Armour Square Chicago.
Stock photo of Aerial View of St. Charles Air Line Bridge Ping Tom Memorial Park Armour Square Chicago.

Crowded boat traveling down the Chicago river with rows of green trees and high rise buildings in the background on a sunny day under blue skies.
Crowded boat traveling down the Chicago river with rows of green trees and high rise buildings in the background on a sunny day under blue skies.

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