A View To A Thrill: Glass-Bottomed Architecture

Reflection BathroomLast week, the Eiffel Tower unveiled see-through glass floor panels on its first level as part of the popular French attraction’s 125th anniversary. The new glass walkways, which cost $38 million, offer a dramatic view of the 187-foot drop from the first level to the ground (the tower as a whole is 1,063 feet) and have become a mecca for tourists looking for the ultimate selfie.

The Eiffel Tower is picking up on long-time trend: adding glass architecture to give travelers a view that will take their breaths away. Here, our five favorite spots to get a “clear” view.

Chicago’s Willis Tower Skydeck

At 1,353 feet up, “The Ledge” gives 1.5 million annual visitors a chance to see the city of Chicago (and four different states) from 103 floors up.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Located at the Grand Canyon West’s Eagle Point, the Skywalk lets visitors walk on a glass walkway nearly 4,000 feet above the floor of the Grand Canyon.

Santa Catalina Island’s Glass-Bottom Boats 

Catalina is famous for its glass-bottomed boat tours, which offer passengers an underwater perspective of the island’s marine life. Available night and day, tours takes advantage of the island’s crystal clear water to show visitors the colorful swarms of fish, kelp forests and aquatic plants located around Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve and other locales.

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort

Guests at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort offers guest multiple opportunities to see the water below them. The King Water Villa, for example, features a glass desk, which has been set over glass panels, to give the impression that it is “floating over the water below.” But what’s most impressive is the resort’s all-glass undersea restaurant—the only one of its kind in the world.

Celebrity Reflection Shower

Where’s the best view from Celebrity Cruises’ passenger ship Reflection? It’s not where you might think. Reflection’s top suite offers a cantilevered glass shower that juts out from the 14th deck of the vessel, giving its occupant a 360-degree view of the sea.

Reader, where’s your favorite place to see “clearly”?

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