Eight Must-See Adventures in Glass


Walk on the wild side at the glass skywalk at the Grand Canyon

 

If you want to combine a love of adventure with a love of glass, there are some must-see spots that tourists everywhere have added to their itinerary. There are a few rules, however. No fear of heights. And you can’t be afraid of being suspended on glass—yes glass. Oh, and the claustrophobic should avoid numbers 7 and 8. For those ready to take the challenge there are several must-see attractions to add to your future travel plans.

1. Grand Canyon Skywalk, Peach Springs, Arizona, USA

Visitors have flocked here since it opened in 2007. The Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona is a horseshoe-shaped cantilever bridge with a glass walkway. The bridge extends over the west side of the Grand Canyon in a curved U-shape, providing spectacular views of the canyon below. Don’t worry: The glass floor can handle extreme loads–120 people, and extreme winds–up to 100 miles per hour.

The glass extends 70 feet out past the canyon’s edge, placing visitors 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The Skywalk has 46 custom-built glass panels that are almost 3 inches thick and weigh a total of 83,000 pounds. The glass walls surrounding the walkway stand 5- to 7-feet high to protect visitors while also providing unobstructed views. The two-inch thick glass decking is approximately 10 feet wide, and is made of a multilayer glass construction.

2. The Ledge at Willis Tower, Chicago, USA

The website for the Ledge challenges visitors to step outside at 1,353 feet in the air. The Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck providing magnificent views of the city.

Visitors are suspended high above the city (110 stories), in the eighth-tallest building in the world. The Ledge’s 1,500 pound glass panels are comprised of three layers of half-inch thick glass laminated into one seamless unit.

This glass “attraction” has been open since 2010.

3. Eiffel Tower, Glass Floor, Paris, France

One article about the Eifel Tower’s glass floor said it transformed the City of Light into the City of Fright. That all depends on your perspective—and daredevil threshold. Offering dramatic views of the 57-meter (187-foot) drop from the landmark’s first level, the transparent walkway has been popular since it opened in 2014. Visitors line up and then even lie down on the floor to take in the view.

The attraction’s website tells would-be visitors to have no fear of falling: “a non-slip treatment has been applied, with a transparency effect that increases gradually from the interior towards the central space and covering 1.85m at its largest.”

4. Glass Bottom Bridge, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in Hunan Province, China

This attraction in China opened in 2016, and gives the Grand Canyon’s glass walkway a run for its money when it comes to the daredevil level. Dubbed as the world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge it had to close shortly after its opening due to an overwhelming amount of visitors. If you are looking to take a walk on the wild side, the crowds should have died down a bit by now.

The 6-meter-wide bridge stretches 430 meters over a 300-meter-deep valley between two cliffs in the stunning Zhangjiajie Park, said to have inspired the scenery for the sci-fi movie “Avatar.”

5. Skyslide, Los Angeles, USA

If you are too afraid to stand up and take in the glass attractions above, then lie down and ride the glass slide in Los Angeles, which also opened in 2016. The fixed slide was built up the outside of a skyscraper and spans 45 feet from the 70th to the 69th floor of the US Bank Tower. The slide is suspended 1,000 feet above the ground.

The Skyslide is an outdoor glass chute, made of 1-1/4-inch thick glass, and positioned 1,000 feet above downtown Los Angeles where thrill-seekers can experience sliding off the side of a skyscraper. Guests sit on a rug that’s wrapped around their knees to reduce friction and gain incredible speed as they travel from the 70th to 69th floor.

Despite being made of glass just one inch thick, it is built to withstand hurricane-force winds and earthquakes, so no reason to be afraid.

6. “Cracked” Glass Path, Heibei China

It wasn’t enough to build a path 3,871 feet above sea level along the eastern face of the Taihang Mountain in Hebei, China. Designers created a unique feature making the path looked cracked, creating an extra layer of fright for visitors. When walking on particular panels the glass appears to shatter under your feet, and you can even hear the sound of glass breaking as you walk. That certainly ups the thrill factor of this attraction that debuted in July 2017.

7. Underwater Glass Restaurant, Hurawalhi, Maldives

If height isn’t what you crave then travel to Maldives to dine at 5.8—a luxury undersea restaurant. The world’s largest all-glass underwater restaurant, its name comes from the depth at which it resides–5.8 meters (about 19 feet) below the surface. This huge construction weighs 400 metric tons and is 90 square meters. To gain access, diners walk across a pier towards the resort’s over-water Aquarium Restaurant and head down a separate path to a long, winding staircase.

Each of the 10 tables offers views of the outside action including a coral landscape and sea life that comes right up to the glass.

8. Glass Bottom Swimming Pool, London, United Kingdom

If numbers one to seven, aren’t enough for you, or if you have visited them all, then follow the progress of the under construction transparent swimming pool, 10 story’s up spanning between two apartment buildings. https://www.eocengineers.com/project/embassy-gardens-sky-pool-246

Visit any of these venues, and you are sure to impress others at that next party. Safe travels.

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