Here are a few places we have gone to the top of –
New York City
World Trade Center (old one) (opened 1973) – Pinnacle Height 1,727 ft
World Trade Center (new one) also called the Freedom Tower is projected to open in late 2013. Pinnacle Height 1,776 ft with 104 floors (+5 basement floors). Observation floor will be at 1,268 ft.
Empire State Building (opened May 1931) Height 1,454 ft. There are 102 floors. The observation deck (1,224 ft.) is on the 86th floor. They reopened the 102nd floor observation gallery in 2005. It was very crowded when we were there and uncomfortably hot, but the views are amazing. This building was the tallest building in the world for 40 years. The art deco design is to be enjoyed. Take your time and look at all the detail. Interesting side note – 21,000 people work in this building and there are 73 elevators!
Rockefeller Center (opened 1933) – Height 872 ft. The observation deck is called “The Top of the Rock.” Not as tall as the Empire State Building, but usually is less crowded, has a better view of Central Park and has a lot of great places to eat in the lower level. The ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center(open typically from Columbus Day through April) was first opened on Christmas Day 1936. There are tables inside along one side where you can sit, eat lunch and enjoy watching people skate by.
Seattle, Washington – Space Needle (opened April 1962 – built for the 1962 World’s Fair) Height 604 ft., the observation deck is at 520 ft.
Las Vegas, Nevada – Stratosphere Las Vegas (opened April 1996) Height 1,149 ft. One of the unique features it had was a roller coaster at the top – I had watched people on this coaster and there is no way you would get me on it. Well I should not say no way – but it was dismantled in 2005 and was replaced with another ride. There are actually several rides/activities. Three of them are the highest thrill rides in the world.
Beijing, China – China Central Television Tower (opened 1992) – Antenna Spire – 1,329 ft. Observation Deck 781 ft. – Our guide for the day was quit surprised when we reached the observation deck. She said and I quote “everything looks in miniature.” She was so amazed; it was fun to watch the expressions on her face. When we where there about a year before the Olympics where held in Beijing, they were collecting signatures for the Guinness World Records. My younger sister and I were able to sign it and we took each other’s picture when we did. I have looked on the Guinness website and did not see it, so not sure if they ever submitted it. But we where there if they do.
Macau – Macau Tower (opened December 2001) – Antenna Spire – 1,108.9 ft. Top floor 731.6 ft. It is hard for me to believe that the Eifel Tower top floor is higher. I guess between part of the floor being glass and the location it seemed much higher. A must “to do” when you visit Macau. You may think you will never go to Macau, but if you go to Hong Kong it is an easy day trip. You take a ferry and is like another world compared to Hong Kong.
Porstmouth, England – Spinnaker Tower (opened 2005) – Antenna Spire – 560 ft. Top floor 344 ft. This is another tower that has a partial glass floor. It is wonderful to sit and watch people TRY to walk across it. Your mind tells you it is dangerous and sometimes your mind wins. Most of the people end up running across it, kinda like walking on fire??
Paris, France – Eifel Tower (opened March 1889) – Antenna Spire – 1,063 ft. Top floor 896 ft. Amazingly tall. This tower is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. There is no trip to Paris this is complete unless you go to the top of the Eifel Tower.
Prague, Czech Republic – Eifel Tower, bet you probably didn’t know there is one there – (opened 1891) it is also called the Petrin Lookout Tower. Maybe an Eifel Tower look a like would be more appropriate. It is smaller then the Eifel tower, but it is up on a hill above Prague and gives you a great view of the city.
London, England – And this year we are going to the brand new The Shard in London, England. It was competed in July 2012 and opens to the public in February 2013. It stands 1,016 ft. (www.theviewfromtheshard.com)
The Shard is the tallest building in the European Union, and the second-tallest freestanding structure in the United Kingdom. It has 72 usable floors, with the OPEN-AIR observation deck on the top floor. This building has offices, restaurants, hotel and much more. There are residential apartments on the 53rd to 65th floor, which I would love to have! The Shard looks like an amazing building that I can’t wait to see.
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Just back from London. We did get to go to the top of the Shard. It is very much like being in an airplane to view the city. It is expensive, but I am glad I can say that I have done it once.