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Here Are The Best Places To Watch The Chicago Air & Water Show

By DNAinfo Staff | August 18, 2017 7:21am | Updated on August 19, 2017 8:31am

 You can catch the Air & Water Show from lots of great places all over the city this weekend.
You can catch the Air & Water Show from lots of great places all over the city this weekend.
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Flickr/ Arnie Grever

CHICAGO — Lake Michigan isn't the only place to catch the Chicago Air & Water Show.

We have pulled together the best spots in the city to catch the high-flying excitement before it starts Saturday along the Downtown lakefront. 

Sites to catch the show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, range from the high-profile (360 Chicago at the Hancock Tower) to under-the-radar (Bridgeport's Palmisano Park).

No matter where you live, there's probably a good vantage point near you. Here they are:

North Avenue Beach: The show is centered on the beach at 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive, but organizers recommend anywhere between Oak Street and Fullerton Avenue on the lakefront for viewing. Ohio Street Beach is another good option. 

What About The South Side? The beaches on 31st Street and at Promontory Point in Hyde Park will have great views, too. The hill at Palmisano Park in Bridgeport should be a good spot for South Siders who can't make it to the lake.  

Cindy's: Feeling classy? The rooftop bar atop the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel at 12 S. Michigan Ave. offers great views of the lake. And now you can order drinks outside

360 Chicago: Want to go higher? The 94th-floor observatory at the John Hancock Center will have unmatched views of the show. Admission for adults is $20.50, including tax. The Signature Room, the Hancock's sky-high restaurant and bar, is offering a VIP viewing party. Cost is $175 per person and includes a gourmet buffet and drinks from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Watch It From The Water: Marvel at the planes from your own private sailboat. Salty Dog Sailing Co., which docks out of Burnham Harbor, 1559 S. Lake Shore Drive, offers chartered cruises for couples and small groups. A four-hour cruise on Sunday lasts from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., costs $750 and can be booked online.

Other cruise lines, including Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago and Mystic Blue have shorter cruises with tickets starting at $55.90.

Or Paddle: Paddle boarding company Chicago SUP will rent out stand-up paddle boards at Diversey Harbor during the shows. 

Montrose Point: The top "birding" spot in Illinois could also be one of the more relaxing places to catch the Air & Water Show: removed enough from the big crowds close to Downtown but still offering an unobstructed view of the lake.

Rainbow Pier at Hollywood Beach: Farther north is the Hollywood "Rainbow" Pier at Hollywood Beach in Edgewater. The pier juts out into the lake, offering skyline views and another chance to avoid the masses.

Sake It To Me, Baby: Joy District, 112 W. Hubbard St., in River North has a rooftop and will sell $20 sake flights during the Air & Water Show. 

Picnic In The Sky: Willis Tower's 103rd-floor Skydeck is offering a "picnic in the sky" special, with tickets starting at $100. 

In Lincoln Park: Staff at the J. Parker rooftop at 1816 N. Clark St. said tables have been getting reserved fast, but some seating (and standing) room is still available the days of the Air & Water Show.

In Wicker Park: The rooftop Cabana Club atop the Robey Hall opens at 1 p.m., so you can catch the last couple hours of the show while enjoying cocktails and food. A staffer said the best place to view the action will be the east side of the 160-seat outdoor deck, so get there early to claim your spot. Bonus: Dip your feet and legs into the club's pool.

 

Friday night sights. Come early, stay late. 📸: @cheekyeats

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