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.
You can find more info about visiting on the Grand Canyon West website.
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.
You can find more information about visiting on the Skydeck website.
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.”
You can plan your visit on the Eiffel Tower website.
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.”
More information about booking can be found through travel agencies.
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 the 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.
Unfortunately, this attraction permanently closed after a renovation was announced in May, 2021.
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 look 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 heights aren’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.
Plan your visit on the Hurawalhi Resort website.
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 stories up spanning between two apartment buildings.
You can keep up with construction progress on the Embassy Gardens website.
…But wait, there’s more! Our “Adventures in Glass” blog has become so popular that we have decided to expand on the eight original attractions and add a few more to the list. The additions include museums and national and international attractions. Next up:
9. Museum of Glass
The Museum of Glass (MOG) is located in Tacoma, Washington, where it serves as a creative inspiration since 2002. The contemporary art museum not only displays unique works of art glass, but it also hosts live demonstrations and workshops. MOG has established itself as a creative hub for the community of Tacoma and hosts a variety of events. The Museum of Glass has been featured as a top-ten attraction in Washington State and boasts more than 100,000 visitors each year. It features a café and gift shop with truly unique items. MOG also features the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a 500-foot pedestrian walkway that links MOG to downtown Tacoma. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass helps us “bridge the gap” between attraction number 9 and number 10.
You can find more information on the Museum of Glass website.
10. Chihuly Garden and Glass
The Chihuly Garden and Glass is another decorative glass museum situated in the northwest corner of the United States. The Chihuly Garden and Glass is exactly as the name implies– not only is it a museum full of incredible artistic glass displays; it also extends into an outdoor garden where Chihuly has blended the beauty of nature with the beauty of glass. The museum is located in Seattle, Washington, a short walk from the Seattle Space Needle.
You can find more information on the Chihuly Garden and Glass website.
11. Step into the Void
If you’re a bit more outdoorsy and want to take a trip overseas, then you should Step into the Void. Step into the Void, also known as the Aiguille du Midi Skywalk, is an attraction located in the Monte Blanc massif in France. High up on the Aiguille du Midi mountain, you step out into a glass box about the size of a phone booth, complete with a glass floor. At a height of 3,842 meters, or 12,604 feet, it claims to be the highest attraction in Europe and offers unparalleled views of the surrounding mountain range. The entrance into the glass room is free with a lift pass to Chamonix.
You can find more information on the Chamonix resort website.
12. Columbia Icefield
The Columbia Icefield Skywalk in Jasper, Canada, is reminiscent of number one on our list—the Grand Canyon Skywalk. This semi-circle, glass-bottomed walkway is cantilevered out into thin air. From the skywalk’s birds’-eye view, you can appreciate the enormity of the Sunwapta Valley and the mountains and ice fields in it. The skywalk is situated about 2.5 hours north of Banff and about an hour south of Jasper. It is owned by a company called Pursuit, which collects attraction and hospitality experiences.
You can find more information on Pursuit’s website.
13. Beijing Sightseeing Platform
The Bejing sightseeing platform is one of the most impressive glass skywalk structures that we have seen. Instead of a semi-circle skywalk, the skywalk in Bejing is a full circle suspended in the air. It’s easy to see why it’s been dubbed the “flying disk” or “UFO.” The massive disk is claimed to be the largest sightseeing platform in the world and is cantilevered out over 100 feet from the side of a cliff. Over 1,300 feet below, a river runs through a valley. Needless to say, the views are breathtaking. Sightseers can either make a strenuous hike up to the platform or take a cable car. Even with the cable car, there are additional flights of stairs that must be climbed. It’s unclear whether there are any accommodations for disabled visitors.
More information can be found on various travel and tour websites.
14. Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass dates back to 1951 when the glass manufacturer, Corning, celebrated its 100-year anniversary. The company offered the museum as a gift to the nation—its contribution to the continued exploration of glass as a material. It’s a not-for-profit museum that sees over half a million visitors every year. It offers everything from history to exhibits to glassblowing classes, research studies, and more. The museum is located in Corning, NY. It’s an excellent destination for east coast glass enthusiasts!
More information can be found on the Corning Museum of Glass website.
Visit any of these venues, and you are sure to impress others at that next party. Safe travels.