September 3rd is National Skyscraper Day, celebrating the different architectural styles, stunning views and one-of-a-kind experiences the tallest buildings in the U.S. have to offer. If you’re booking a trip to the big city for an urban adventure, consider celebrating National Skyscraper Day in one of these five concrete jungles.
The iconic New York City skyline is home to half of the top ten tallest buildings in the U.S. The One World Trade Center reaches the highest at 1,776 feet and 104 floors. For thrill seekers and efficiency lovers, the building offers an elevator ride to the top that climbs 102 stories in 47 seconds. Colloquially known as Freedom Tower, it pairs world class views with seasonally inspired New York plates at the top-rated restaurant One Dine. Reservations are required, so make sure to make one at least 30 days in advance to guarantee a table.
You can also head to The Empire State Building for art deco ceiling murals, modern exhibits, and iconic 360 degree views of New York City, or stop by 432 Park Avenue luxury apartments for the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere, which rises 1,396 feet above Park Avenue between 56th and 57th, overlooking Central Park. It also contains some of the classiest and most expensive New York condominiums on the market. The complex even includes a private restaurant overseen by Australian-born, Michelin-starred chef Shaun Hergatt.
To top off a true New York high-rise experience, grab a ferry and head to Liberty Island. While the Statue of Liberty isn’t a skyscraper, it does offer tons of history and a climb to the top for a chance to see New York from a unique perspective.
Travelling solo or with a smaller group? Stay in this ultra-lux 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath apartment with a gourmet kitchen located at the tip of Manhattan. It comes fully furnished with a kitchen and an observation deck that offers excellent views of the New York Harbor.
If you’re travelling with a larger group, check out this corner two-bedroom luxury apartment that easily sleeps four in lower Manhattan. Both are just a cab ride away from New York’s tallest skyscrapers.
Chicago comes a close second on the list of tallest buildings in the country, with four out of the top ten residing in the Windy City. Formerly known as the Sears Tower, Willis Tower tops the list and reaches 1,450 feet into the sky. Stop by this 110-story urban wonder and gather your courage to experience the Ledge at the Skydeck: a glass balcony that extends 4.3 feet out from the edge of the 103rd floor, offering a spectacular view that spans across four different states. On the way up, you can experience museum-quality exhibits and a theater presentation of Reaching for the Sky; showcasing the construction of this high-stretching wonder.
Willis Tower is within walking distance from historic Union Station, where you can learn about the history of one of the nation’s oldest railroad hubs. You can also get a taste of authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza at Giordano’s right across the street.
If you’re feeling something different, head over to nearby Greektown for authentic Mediterranean cuisine at Avli Taverna, known for their plates of roasted lamb and perfectly textured moussaka, or the Athenian Room, known for their famous chicken Kalamata and flavorful gyros. For another phenomenal skyscraper view, visit the 360 Chicago Observation Deck located 1,000 feet off the ground in the John Hancock Center — now called 875 North Michigan Avenue.
Book a stay at the Printers Penthouse less than half a mile away from Grant Park and in close proximity to easy public transportation options. This three-bedroom, three-bath apartment can sleep up to eight people and offers gorgeous city views.
For a smaller group and cost, check out the Printers Dream apartment located in the same complex, with space to sleep up to six adults.
Los Angeles is home to the Wilshire Grand Center, a 1,100-foot skyscraper that occupies an entire city block. Located in the heart of downtown, the building houses the 889-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel and modern restaurants that help maintain the high standard of culinary excellence found throughout the city. Stop by for a cocktail, small plates, and a picture-worthy view at Spire 73 – the highest rooftop bar in the U.S. – located on the 73rd floor, then visit the courtyard to marvel at a delicately constructed glass “waterfall.” The building also includes over 13,000 linear feet of modular lighting stretching up the outside of the building, allowing it to illuminate the Los Angeles skyline with unique displays of color.
After you’ve soaked in this urban achievement, head a few blocks over to The Broad Art Museum to view some of the most iconic modern art of the 20th century. For tons of dining options that can appease all palettes, walk over to Grand Central Market to visit a downtown landmark that’s been bringing together the different flavors and cultures of LA since 1917.
To catch a different angle of the city, head to U.S. Bank Tower and visit the 70th floor for OUE Skyspace LA – California’s tallest open-air observation deck. You can ride the Skyslide, an experience that includes a 45-foot, fully enclosed all-glass slide nearly 1,000 feet above Downtown LA, grab a drink at the Skyspace Bar and take in the views of Dodger Stadium and Santa Monica Pier from the observation terrace.
For breathtaking views in downtown LA, book a stay at this 1600 square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath penthouse that sleeps up to six people.
Or if you’re feeling fancy, stay at the VIP Sky Pool Table penthouse that sleeps eight. Both vacation rentals pictured above are custom decorated with modern furniture and classic LA style, offering evening views of the city skyline from either the patio or a private cabana by the poolside.
Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia recently opened in 2018. Standing at 1,121 feet, it is the tallest building in the U.S. outside of New York and Chicago. With 59 floors, it’s home to a growing workforce of over 4,000 Comcast employees and local Philadelphia broadcast stations like NBC10 and Telemundo62. Additionally, it serves as an incubator space for local technology startups, houses the world-class Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, and has an impressive list of restaurants and retail stores.
If you’re heading to Philadelphia in the next few months, you can visit the lobby to explore a three-story-tall mysterious sphere. Inside you’ll find a 360-degree dome theater that features an inspiring cinematic experience that celebrates and explores the power of ideas. Wander the halls of the building for a wide diversity of art on display from dozens of talented artists in the Philadelphia community, then visit The Concourse for some classic local dining options and classy shopping.
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, head to JG SkyHigh where Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has crafted an all-day dining menu, then stick around for cocktail-hour and watch the sun set over the stunning Philadelphia skyline.
Check out this cozy one-bedroom apartment with its own wrap-around balcony in downtown Philadelphia. It’s perfect for lounging and appreciating Philly’s skyline. Another option is Lyric’s beautiful apartment-suite, offering unbeatable access to the city with a bright, studio-like two-bedroom that sleeps up to six.
Located in the South of Market district, the Salesforce Tower is a 61-story, 1,070 foot-tall skyscraper built with cutting-edge sustainability, technology, and engineering. It contains a workspace crafted to promote health and wellness, with innovative outside air intakes on every floor that provide outdoor-fresh air, and 13-foot high ceilings with 10-foot high continuous clear glass to allow for as much sunlight and openness as possible. To get there, you can take a gondola from SalesForce Plaza and explore the latest in how architectural minds are crafting sustainable office spaces. Head to the top story Ohana floor for a tour and one of the best views in the Bay Area.
Once you’ve seen the sights, Salesforce Tower is located next to over 20 restaurants and cafes for you to choose from, and is just a short 5-minute walk to Howard and Beale Bike Share, where you can pick up a bike and tour the city. Travelling with baseball fans? Head over to Oracle Park to catch a Giants game, or ride the San Francisco Cable Car to experience the world’s last manually operated cable car system.
To round out a downtown San Francisco experience, visit The Exploratorium, featuring over 650 interactive exhibits that explore perception, art, and science, including a pitch-black dome and a fog bridge. The hands on museum also offers an “After Dark” experience on Thursday nights for adults ages 18 and over, where you can enjoy the exhibits without any little ones running around. It’s located right along the Embarcadero, where you can catch a stellar light show on the Bay Bridge after dark.
The SOMA (South of Market) district offers a top floor Edwardian flat that sleeps up to six with quick access to nearby attractions, including Salesforce Tower. You can also book a stay with Blueground in a furnished one-bedroom apartment for classic views of the City by the Bay and plenty of natural light to help you get a great start in the morning. Plus, check out the views from this rental’s rooftop!
Next time you visit San Francisco, why not find a vacation rental in SOMA for great views?
Wherever you decide to travel, make sure you do it right with an experience you won’t forget. VacationRenter can help you book a stay and plan the best trip possible.