Is 360 Chicago’s Tilt attraction thrilling or terrifying? That depends on your feelings about extreme heights and the sturdiness of plate glass.
The attraction invites brave souls to step into a glass box (three sheets of glass, each 11⁄4 inches thick). A voice counts down, “3 … 2 … 1 … Tilt!” and, thanks to a set of hefty hydraulic pumps, the box tips forward, pauses, tips forward again, pauses and makes a final outward tilt, eventually suspending folks at a 30-degree angle 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. (Visitors can grip handles or lean against the glass.)
The view changes at each pause, affording views to where Lake Michigan meets the horizon, across the city rooftops and down the crisscrossed girder facade of the John Hancock Center (where Tilt operates). The experience is brief at 1 minute 15 seconds, but the feeling of hovering over the city lasts long after the ride is over. The $7 tickets are in addition to 360 Chicago’s admission fee. (888) 875-8439; 360chicago.com
Dining near Tilt
After hanging 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile, rehash the experience over a meal. Yes, the Mile offers an abundance of touristy eateries, but there are also great local hangouts in the mix. Here are three near the John Hancock Center.
Bar Toma Crisp-crust pizzas and pastas made in-house make this contemporary Italian place a delicious find. It’s also one of the few Mag Mile restaurants with outdoor seating. (312) 266-3110; bartomachicago.com
Heaven on Seven The address says Magnificent Mile, but the entrance to this Mardi Gras-theme restaurant is a nondescript door off Rush Street. Inside, bottles of hot sauce line the walls, and servers wearing strings of beads deliver plates of spicy étouffée, jambalaya, gumbo and catfish. The local chain has three Chicagoland locations. (312) 280-7774; heavenonseven.com
The Purple Pig A vast menu includes dozens of small plates featuring sharable portions of pork. Adventurous eaters might try the JLT (pork jowl served with tomato, frisée and fried duck egg) or crispy pigs’ ears with kale. Traditionalists might favor milk-braised pork shoulder. (312) 464-1744; thepurplepigchicago.com