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Map: Where to Watch Chicago's America's Cup World Series

You don't need a friend with a boat to enjoy this weekend's racing

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As the fleet of high-tech racing yachts competing in the Chicago round of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series take to freshwater for the first time in the 165-year history of the storied trophy, Chicagoans have a number of opportunities to watch this weekend's on-water action. While of number of local charter companies and sightseeing cruises are offering America’s Cup specials over the weekend, there are plenty of spots on land to see the world’s fastest sailing machines and best crews locked in fierce competition.

On-water practice takes place today between 1:30 and 3:00 PM with racing on Saturday and Sunday scheduled for the same time each day. The event will also be broadcast Saturday and Sunday on NBC Sports with encore presentations of the regatta slated to air on CSN Chicago the following week.

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1. America's Cup Race Village

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The best place to get the full America’s Cup experience will be the eastern tip of Navy Pier which has been transformed into this weekend’s Alvalle Race Village. While the reserved grandstand sold out, daily $35 general admission tickets are still available. With the start and finish lines just yards away, spectators can experience the speed of the high-tech yachts as well as have a front row seat to pre-race and post-race festivities taking place on terra firma.
America's Cup

2. Navy Pier Centennial Wheel

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600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Roughly 50 feet taller than its predecessor, the pier’s new 196-foot Centennial Wheel started spinning just two weeks ago. The attraction, which can accommodate over 500 people at a time in 42 climate controlled cabins, start at $12 per person. While the ride would make a great spot to watch the yachts practice, timing the attraction’s line to be in the air during the pair of 30-minute races on Saturday and Sunday could prove tricky.
Navy Pier

3. Lake Point Tower

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Lake Point Tower: Considered the inventor of the skyscraper, Chicago contains scores of tall buildings with great views of the America’s Cup World Series racecourse. None, however, are as well-positioned than Chicago’s Lake Point Tower. As the only high-rise located east of Lake Shore Drive, the black 1968 tower will unbeatable of the event. If you know someone living in the building, this weekend is a good time to get extra friendly.

4. John Hancock Center

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875 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 751-3680
Though not as close to the course as Lake Point, the 100-story John Hancock Center makes up for it with its sheer height and public accessibility. While residents of the building can enjoy spectating the regatta from their units or the 44th floor skylobby and private grocery store, members of the public also have an opportunity to catch a bird's eye view of the race be if from the 360 Chicago observation deck or the 95th floor Signature Room restaurant and bar.

5. Monroe Harbor

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100 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 742-7643
While the Chicago Yacht Club will host spectating events for its members, Monroe Harbor will also be home to a unique “Boaters Bash” on a100-foot platform located just yards from the actual racecourse. For $50 a day boaters can raft their vessels to the artificial island and catch all the racing and commentary on a massive on-water LED screens.
America's Cup

6. Chicago Athletic Association

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12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 940-3552
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Located on the roof of the beautifully-restored Venetian gothic Chicago Athletic Club hotel, Cindy’s restaurant and bar offers incredible easterly views from its outdoor terrace. While Navy Pier and the start/finish markers are obscured, the rooftop spot still provides an excellent vantage point to sip a craft cocktail and watch the fleet traverse the course.
Nick Fotchman

7. Adler Planetarium

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1300 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-7827
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While this lakefront vantage point may not be as close to action as Navy Pier, there’s perhaps no better on-land spot for capturing the America’s Cup World Series against the striking backdrop of Chicago’s iconic skyline. Costing nothing, the planetarium's steps should attract plenty of spectators and will reward those with binoculars and telephoto lenses.

1. America's Cup Race Village

Chicago, IL 60611
America's Cup
The best place to get the full America’s Cup experience will be the eastern tip of Navy Pier which has been transformed into this weekend’s Alvalle Race Village. While the reserved grandstand sold out, daily $35 general admission tickets are still available. With the start and finish lines just yards away, spectators can experience the speed of the high-tech yachts as well as have a front row seat to pre-race and post-race festivities taking place on terra firma.

2. Navy Pier Centennial Wheel

600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Navy Pier
Roughly 50 feet taller than its predecessor, the pier’s new 196-foot Centennial Wheel started spinning just two weeks ago. The attraction, which can accommodate over 500 people at a time in 42 climate controlled cabins, start at $12 per person. While the ride would make a great spot to watch the yachts practice, timing the attraction’s line to be in the air during the pair of 30-minute races on Saturday and Sunday could prove tricky.
600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

3. Lake Point Tower

Chicago, IL
Lake Point Tower: Considered the inventor of the skyscraper, Chicago contains scores of tall buildings with great views of the America’s Cup World Series racecourse. None, however, are as well-positioned than Chicago’s Lake Point Tower. As the only high-rise located east of Lake Shore Drive, the black 1968 tower will unbeatable of the event. If you know someone living in the building, this weekend is a good time to get extra friendly.

4. John Hancock Center

875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Though not as close to the course as Lake Point, the 100-story John Hancock Center makes up for it with its sheer height and public accessibility. While residents of the building can enjoy spectating the regatta from their units or the 44th floor skylobby and private grocery store, members of the public also have an opportunity to catch a bird's eye view of the race be if from the 360 Chicago observation deck or the 95th floor Signature Room restaurant and bar.
875 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

5. Monroe Harbor

100 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60603
America's Cup
While the Chicago Yacht Club will host spectating events for its members, Monroe Harbor will also be home to a unique “Boaters Bash” on a100-foot platform located just yards from the actual racecourse. For $50 a day boaters can raft their vessels to the artificial island and catch all the racing and commentary on a massive on-water LED screens.
100 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60603

6. Chicago Athletic Association

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Nick Fotchman
Located on the roof of the beautifully-restored Venetian gothic Chicago Athletic Club hotel, Cindy’s restaurant and bar offers incredible easterly views from its outdoor terrace. While Navy Pier and the start/finish markers are obscured, the rooftop spot still provides an excellent vantage point to sip a craft cocktail and watch the fleet traverse the course.
12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

7. Adler Planetarium

1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
While this lakefront vantage point may not be as close to action as Navy Pier, there’s perhaps no better on-land spot for capturing the America’s Cup World Series against the striking backdrop of Chicago’s iconic skyline. Costing nothing, the planetarium's steps should attract plenty of spectators and will reward those with binoculars and telephoto lenses.
1300 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60605