What the view looks like from 8 of the tallest buildings in the US

Image
One World Trade Centre, also known as the Freedom Tower, overlooks New York City. CL-Medien/Shutterstock, saraporn/Shutterstock
  • One World Trade Centre in New York City is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Four different states are visible from the Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois.
  • The US Bank Tower in Los Angeles features a glass slide jutting out from the 69th and 70th floors.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Skyscrapers are a memorable fixture of major city skylines across the US. The buildings themselves are impressive sights to behold, and the views they offer at the top are even more breathtaking.

Not all of the tallest buildings in the US have observation decks that are open to the public, and those that do have closed them due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s what it’s like at the top of eight of the tallest buildings in America.


One World Trade Centre is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,776 feet tall.

Image
One World Trade Centre. CL-Medien/Shutterstock

Also known as the Freedom Tower, its 1,776-foot height is a tribute to the year 1776, when the United States was founded.


The 360-degree observatory provides views spanning 50 miles, including other New York landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

Image
One World Observatory. saraporn/Shutterstock

The tower is high enough that the curvature of the Earth is even visible.


Formerly known as Sears Tower, Willis Tower is 1,730 feet tall if you include the twin antennas.

Image
Willis Tower. Reuters/Jason Reed

Located in Chicago, Illinois, the Willis Tower is the second-tallest building in North America.


On a clear day, four states are visible from its viewing area: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Image
Willis Tower Skydeck Ledge. Salvador Maniquiz/Shutterstock

The glass Skydeck ledge sticks out of the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet off the ground.


432 Park Avenue in Manhattan stands at 1,396 tall, making it one of the tallest residential buildings in the Western Hemisphere.

Image
432 Park Avenue. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The building is a residential skyscraper in Manhattan’s Midtown neighbourhood.


All of Central Park can be seen from the 75th floor.

Image
The 75th floor of 432 Park Avenue. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

The 96-story tower has 125 luxurious condominium units.


At 1,296 feet, 30 Hudson Yards in New York City eclipsed the Empire State Building.

Image
30 Hudson Yards (right). rblfmr/Shutterstock

It’s part of the new Hudson Yards neighbourhood on Manhattan’s west side.


It features the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere.

Image
The Edge NYC. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The Edge NYC on 30 Hudson Yards’ 100th floor opened in March 2020, but it had to close shortly after due to the coronavirus pandemic.


The Empire State Building looms large over New York City at 1,250 feet tall.

Image
The Empire State Building. Mihai Simonia/Shutterstock

It was the tallest building in the world from 1931 until 1970, when the first World Trade Centre tower was finished.


Objects up to 80 miles away can be seen from its two observation decks.

Image
The Empire State Building observation deck. andersphoto/Shutterstock

The Empire State Building has observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors.


The 1,127-foot skyscraper at 875 North Michigan Avenue used to be known as the John Hancock Centre.

Image
Chicago, Illinois. Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock

Completed in 1969, the building is recognisable by its X-shaped bracing on the outside.


The observation deck towers 1,000 feet above Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and overlooks Lake Michigan.

Image
The view from 875 North Michigan Avenue. Christian Heinz/Shutterstock

The observation deck also features a tilting thrill ride 1,030 feet above the ground.


Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, California, is the second-tallest building west of the Mississippi River at 1,070 feet.

Image
Salesforce Tower. Lynn Yeh/Shutterstock

The building is located in downtown San Francisco’s SoMa district.


Its observatory on the 61st floor is called the Ohana Floor.

Image
The Salesforce Tower Ohana Floor. Ben Chu

“Ohana” means family in Hawaiian, which means it’s open to all of San Francisco, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff shared in a tweet.


The US Bank Tower in Los Angeles is 1,018 feet tall.

Image
The US Bank Tower. Mike Blake/Reuters

The flat top of the building is a helicopter landing pad.


The Skyslide on the 69th and 70th floors is a thrilling way to enjoy the view.

Image
The Skyslide. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The 45-foot glass slide juts out almost 1,000 feet from the ground.