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Having a spectacular skyline and beautiful lake provides downtown Chicago with many spectacular views. The Willis Tower and Hancock Building both offer amazing views from almost 100 floors above the ground. Both charge over $12, although the Go card or Chicago City Pass offer admission, and wait times can be up to an hour. An alternative is to go to the Signature Room Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building. It does not have a cover charge and the wait time to get on the elevator is usually less than 10 minutes, except on the weekend. It also offers a pleasant atmosphere and a place to sit and enjoy the views. It is one of the best places to go downtown. The Michigan Avenue bridge affords great views of the waterside buildings and of the Mag Mile which is especially nice around Christmas. Navy Pier has amazing views of the skyline from over the lake, especially from the Ferris Wheel. Walk five minutes to a small park just north of the Navy Pier entrance for a pleasant panoramic view of the entire north lakefront skyline from platforms that juts out over the lake. Many people go out to the planetarium, not for the view of the stars, but for the great skyline views.

All of these and many others offer a photographer a lot of great opportunity to take great shots.