Do you want to visit the Willis Tower Skydeck like a true Chicagoan? Then by all means, follow these do's and don'ts!
I went to the Willis Tower Skydeck once when I was around the age of 4. I remember the elevator and that's about it. I certainly haven't been there since it was renamed the Willis Tower or since they added the Ledges which are glass boxes you can walk onto for the perfect view.
I had plans to go this summer and take the kids, but my friend is in from out of town and we decided to take a ladies adventure to Willis Tower. Don't feel too bad for my kids. We'll be making the trip again later this summer.
Here's my advice on having the best Willis Tower Skydeck experience:
Do take public transportation. Chicago has a vast public transportation system. Whether you take the elevated trains (commonly known as the "L"), a bus, or the Metra, you'll save yourself some time and money spent from public parking which can be quite expensive. Check out the CTA website by clicking here or Metra, here. This leads me to my next tip...
Don't go when there are parades or other Chicago celebrations. The Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup Champions. Woo-hoo! Their celebratory parade is the same day I'm going to the Willis Tower. That's not so great. We went the day after. Chicagoans love to celebrate and we have a lot of parades and other popular downtown events. St. Patrick's Day parade, Chicago Marathon and the Magnificent Mile Lights Parade to name just a few that draw huge crowds.
Do refer to the Willis Tower as the Sears Tower at least once. Chicagoans are still very concerned about the name change and will say things like this: "Wow, the views from the Sears Tower are awesome! Oh, I mean, the Willis Tower. To me it will always be the Sears Tower!"
Do head to one of Chicago's great restaurants after you witness the beautiful views and take your wobbly legged turn on the Ledge. There are numerous restaurants within walking distance or a short cab ride away from the Willis Tower. Try Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, Giordano's or a more formal experience at Blackbird or Everest. You can find more dining options by clicking here.
When you visit the Willis Tower Skydeck, you're still a tourist whether you live in Chicago or you're an out of towner. My best advice is to have fun and try the Ledge at least once. Then you can reward your brave self with a slice of pizza, like a true Chicagoan.