Chicago sunsets: winding down a day in the Windy City
Chicago's a city famous for skyscrapers, sports fans, hot dogs and history. As a landlocked part of the country, Chicago
Best time to view a sunset
Weather and seasonal considerations
Cloudy skies are all but assured during Chicago's rainy autumn and icy winter. Overcast skies from September through March make sunset viewing more difficult, so if you're planning a trip to Chicago during the cooler part of the year, be prepared for gray skies that make the sunset pretty much invisible. Spring and summer are better, with clear skies and the reflections of Lake Michigan setting the stage for a particularly majestic sunset.
Best places to watch the sunset
Bars and restaurants like 360 Chicago and The Signature Lounge at The 96th atop the John Hancock Tower offer the opportunity to view the sunset from the shores of Lake Michigan 95 (or 96!) feet in the air. Although the sun can be quite blinding as it pours through the floor-to-ceiling windows during the afternoon, plan to arrive at least an hour or so before sunset to beat the crowds. Enjoy twilight at the Skydeck with its panoramic views and glass floors that display the city beneath your feet. It's a popular destination (especially with tourists) and is often thronged with visitors, so be sure to get there early, especially on a weekend.
If you'd prefer to do your sunset-watching closer to the ground, Navy Pier, Chicago Botanic Garden and Chicago's beautiful Lakefront Trail can provide a welcome respite from the crush of the city, as well as a pleasant vantage point to watch the sun go down.