12 Popular Observation Decks with Terrifying Views

These chilling views will leave you in awe.

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Chicago, Illinois
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Willis Tower Skydeck: Chicago, Illinois

The Willis Tower is the second tallest building in the United States, and it has a Skydeck floor made of glass. One layer of glass supports peoples’ weight, and the thinner layer shatters if something hits the glass, Fast Company reports. A recent crack in the protective layer adds another layer of fear while looking out of this observation deck.

Use our list of things to do in Chicago as your guide to the best the Windy City has to offer!

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CN Tower: Toronto

Views from the CN Tower in Toronto is also thanks to lots of glass. The floor-to-ceiling panoramic window walls, glass floor, and glass elevators offer spectacularly chilling views of the area.

Here are nine Toronto attractions every Canadian should visit.

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Shanghai, China

SWFC: Shanghai, China

The SWFC has over 100 floors, and three of them are part of the observation deck, offering terrifying views. On a clear day, you could look down on the top of Jinmao Tower. The bright, hexagonal space also features a restaurant and bar where you can eat and drinking while taking in the views.

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Canton Tower: Guangzhou, China

The star and cloud observation decks are on the 108th and 107th floors of the Canton Tower. One of the really unique views, however, is from one of the 16 glass passenger “pods” that travel along the roof. The ride, which is considered one of the tallest ferris wheels in the world, shows a view like no other.

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The Empire State Building: New York, New York

The Empire State Building Observation Deck is a name you probably recognize—and that’s because the views deserve some eyeballs. The Main Deck, on the 86th floor, wraps around the building offering views of Central Park, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty, among others. People who want to go a few floors up can experience the Top Deck on the 102nd floor, too.

Here are the New York City attractions you need to see at least once.

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Elena Serebryakova/shutterstock

Burj Khalifa: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Burj Khalifa offers both an outdoor observation deck and a sky deck for people brave enough to look out from 1,483 feet and 1,821 feet, respectively. The view isn’t the only fascinating feature of this building. Thrill-seekers can also enjoy a new immersive experience: stepping on a glass-inspired floor that cracks under your feet.

Dubai is also home to one of the most expensive luxury hotels in the world.

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Pearl Tower Observation Deck in Shanghai China
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Shanghai Tower: Shanghai, China

Shanghai has more than one huge tower with great observation decks. The Shanghai Tower, with the Top of Shanghai Observatory, is the world’s highest indoor observation deck. You can see both SWFC and Jinmao Tower, too. The reason this 2,073-foot-tall tower withstands strong winds is thanks to the fact that the exterior twists one degree per floor to offset the wind.

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Grand Canyon National Park, West Rim, Arizona, USA. Layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history. Skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped cantilever bridge with a glass walkway.

Grand Canyon Skywalk: Peach Springs, Arizona

The Skywalk at Eagle Point offers a frighteningly beautiful view of the Grand Canyon West. Long gone are the days of standing at the edge of the canyon. Now, the Skywalk—a horseshoe glass bridge extending 70 feet over the canyon rim—lets you check it out from all different angles.

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Auckland, New Zealand

SkyTower: Aukland, New Zealand

There’s more than one way to enjoy the scary views from the SkyTower in Aukland. Two options for dare-devils include base-jumping or a walk on the edge of the pergola. If you want a chilling view without the risk, head to level 60 to take in the views behind glass.

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Aerial view. Tourist woman enjoying fjord view Aurlandsfjord landscape from Stegastein viewing point. Norway Scandinavia. National tourist route Aurlandsfjellet.

Aurland Lookout: Norway

This 14-foot-wide wooden platform is not for the faint of heart. The Aukland Lookout structure juts out over Norway’s west coast before plunging downwards. Thankfully there’s a glass pane in place for protection, and it doesn’t take away from the breath-taking view. In fact, the dramatic drop is why the deck nicknames are “ski jump” and “diving board.”

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Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
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Clingmans Dome: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Take in the mountain views at Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The observation tower offers panoramic views of the Smokies. Some amazing views might not be around much longer. That’s why you should plan to see these breathtaking places to visit before they disappear.

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Las Vegas, NV, USA

Stratosphere Tower: Las Vegas, Nevada

Viva Las Vegas! Take a break from the Strip and check out the indoor observation deck. For those that want to take things up a notch, opt for one of the thrill rides that will make your eyes pop.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest