Tallest tourist observation towers in North America – UPDATED

CN Tower in Toronto – Source: cntower.ca

The following is a list of the tallest tourist observation towers in North America. A minimum height above ground level of 40 feet was required for inclusion in this list. Not included on this list are lighthouses, office building/skyscraper observation decks, bell towers/carillons, air traffic control towers, permanently closed observation towers, and forest/wild fire observation towers. The list is updated through 5/28/21.

Citrus Tower in Clermont, Fl – Source: citrustower.com

Please note that some and/or all of these towers may not be open or have added restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unless otherwise specified, the height is to the top of the tower, not necessarily the observation level. The authors has been to the observation level of the towers that are shown in bold/italics.

The Vessel in New York City – Source: curbed.com

Any additions, corrections, or suggestions to this list are always welcome. Enjoy!

Astoria Column in Astoria, OR – Source: thedailyastorian.com
  1. CN Tower (1976) – Toronto, ON, Canada = 1,815 feet – visited the top in 1977

2. Stratosphere Tower (1996) – Las Vegas, NV = 1,149 feet

3. Tower of the Americas (1968) – San Antonio, TX = 750 feet – visited the top in 2016

4. Gateway Arch (1965) – St. Louis, MO = 630 feet – visited the top on 6/10/21

5. Calgary Tower (1968) – Calgary, AB, Canada = 626 feet – seen

6. Space Needle (1962) – Seattle, WA = 605 feet – visited the top in 2005

7. San Jacinto Monument (1939) – Houston (LaPorte), TX = 567 feet

8. Reunion Tower (1968) – Dallas, TX = 561 feet – seen

9. Washington Monument (1884) – Washington, DC = 555 feet – seen

10. Eiffel Tower Replica (1999) – Las Vegas, NV = 540 feet

11. Skylon Tower (1965) – Niagara Falls, ON, Canada = 520 feet – seen

12. Top O’ Texas Tower (2013) – Dallas, TX = 500 feet

13. Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory (2006) – Bucksport, ME = 420 feet * Tallest Bridge Observatory in the world! – visited the top in 2017

14. Gatlinburg Space Needle (1970) – Gatlinburg, TN = 407 feet

15.-16.-tie* 1000 Islands Tower (1965) – Lansdowne, ON, Canada and Sky Tower (1974) – Orlando (Sea World), FL = 400 feet

17. La Cité de l’Énergie Tower (1977) – Shawinigan, QC, Canada = 377 feet

18. Torre Escenica – Cancun, Mexico = 361 feet

19. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (1915) – Put-in-Bay, OH = 352 feet – visited the top in 2007

20. Jefferson Davis Monument (1924) – Fairview, KY = 351 feet – seen

21. Sunsphere (1982) – Knoxville, TN = 331 feet

22. Sky Trek Tower (1977) – Chicago (Gurnee/Great America), IL = 330 feet

23. Skytower (1969) – San Diego (Sea World), CA = 320 feet

24-25.- tie* Eiffel Tower Replica (1972) – Cincinnati (Kings Island), OH – visited the top in 1975 and Eiffel Tower Replica (1975) – Richmond (King’s Dominion), VA – seen = 315 feet

26. Bennington Battle Monument (1891) – Bennington, VT = 306 feet

27. Statue of Liberty – New York City (Liberty Island, NJ), NY = 305 feet – seen

28. Oil Derrick (1969) – Dallas-Fort Worth (Arlington), TX = 300 feet

29. Niagara Falls Observation Tower (1961) – Buffalo (Niagara Falls), NY = 282 feet

30. Carolina Skytower (1973) – Charlotte (Fort Mill, SC), NC = 262 feet – seen

31. Pilgrim Monument (1910)- Provincetown, MA = 253 feet

32. Circuit of the Americas Observation Tower (2012) – Austin, TX = 251 feet

33. Kissing Tower (1975) – Harrisburg (Hersheypark), PA = 250 feet

34. Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower (1989) – Springfield (Branson), MO = 230 feet

35. Citrus Tower (1956)- Orlando (Clermont), FL = 226 feet – seen

36. Bunker Hill Monument (1843) – Boston, MA = 221 feet – seen

37. High Point Tower (1930) – High Point State Park, NJ = 220 feet

38. Liberty Memorial Tower (1921) – Kansas City, MO = 217 feet

39. Hot Springs Mountain Tower (1983) – Hot Springs, AR = 216 feet

40.-42.- tie* Coit Tower (1933) – San Francisco, CA; Tower of History (1968) – Sault Ste. Marie, MI – seen; and Kemah Boardwalk Observation Tower (2004) – Houston (Kemah), TX = 210 feet

43.-45.- tie* Star Tower (1979) – San Jose (Santa Clara/Great America), CA; Sombrero Tower – Dillon, SC; and Heights Tower (1968) – Peoria (Peoria Heights), IL = 200 feet – visited the top on July 2, 2021

46. Tejas Observation Tower – San Marcos, TX = 190 feet

47. Bicentennial Tower (1996) – Erie, PA = 187 feet

48. Aloha Tower (1926) – Honolulu, Hawaii = 184 feet

49. Vulcan Tower and Statue (1939) – Birmingham, AL = 182 feet

50. Sky Cabin (1974) – Los Angeles (Knott’s Berry Farm), CA = 180 feet

51. Heublein Tower (1914) – Talcott Mountain State Park, CT = 165 feet

52.-53. – tie* Summit Park Observation Tower (2018) – Cincinnati (Blue Ash), OH and Lawson Tower (1902) – Boston (Scituate), MA (former water tower) = 153 feet

54.-56.-tie* Vessel (2019) – New York City, NY; Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower (2010) – St. Louis (Hartford, IL) – visited the top on June 11, 2021; and Main Station Observation Tower (2020) – Dallas-Fort Worth (Grapevine), TX = 150 feet

57. Sailor’s Memorial Clock Tower (1922) – Montreal, QC = 148 feet

58. Manaca Iznaga Tower (1816) – Trinidad, Cuba = 147 feet

59. Rastin Observation Tower – Mt. Vernon, OH = 140 feet (total tower height is 280 feet)

60. Highland Park Tower (1928) – Twin Cities (St. Paul), MN = 134 feet (former water tower)

61. The Water Tower (1926) – Nassau, Bahamas = 126 feet

62. Astoria Column (1926) – Astoria, OR = 125 feet – visited the top in 2003

63. Kalberer Emergent Tower (201?) – Cleveland (Kirtland), OH = 120 feet

64. Cruceta del Vigía (1984) – Ponce, Puerto Rico = 110 feet

65. Prospect Park/Witch’s Hat Water Tower (1913) – Twin Cities (Minneapolis), MN – 107 feet (open one day/year)

66. Cordova Observation Tower (1998) – Otley, IA = 106 feet (former water tower) – visited the top on July 1, 2021

67. Golden Spike Tower (2008) – North Platte, NE = 104 feet – visited the top on June 30, 2021

68-69. – tie* Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun (1935) – Colorado Springs, CO and Prayer Tower (1967) – Tulsa. OK = 100 feet (total height 200 feet) – seen

70.-71.– tie* High Rock Tower (1905) – Boston (Lynn), MA = 85 feet and Platte River State Park Observation Tower – Omaha (Gretna), NE = 85 feet

72.-75.– tie* Abenaki Tower (1978) – Tuftonboro, NH; Gottschalk Tower – Kearny NE – visited the top on June 30, 2021; Sheboygan Marsh Observation Tower (2009) – Sheboygan, WI; and Enger Tower (1939) – Duluth, MN = 80 feet

76.-81. tie* WW II Lookout Tower #7 (The Observatory) (1940s) – Lewes, DE; Jackson Ferry Shot Tower (1807) – Max Meadows, VA; Nicollet Observation Tower – Sisseton, SD; Lake Walk Observation Tower (2017) – Bryan, TX; Potawatomi State Park Tower (1932) – Sturgeon Bay, WI; and Rockford Tower (1901) – Wilmington, DE = 75 feet

82. Myakka Canopy Walkway Tower – Sarasota, FL = 74 feet

83. Pulpit Rock Watchtower (1944) – Portsmouth (Rye), NH = 73 feet – only open occasionally

84.-86.- tie* Desert View Watchtower (1932) – Grand Canyon National Park, AZ – visited the top in 2019 and 2020; Lambert Tower (1896) – New York City (Paterson, NJ); and Pembina State Museum Observation Tower – Pembina, ND = 70 feet

87. Yokahú Tower (1963) – El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico = 69 feet

88.-89.– tie* Weston Tower Observatory (1897) – Manchester, NH and La Tour d’Observation de Preissac – Preissac, QC = 66 feet

90.-92.– tie* Shipwreck Museum Lookout Tower – Key West., FL; Tree Tower (2012) – Dayton, OH; Pincon Ridge Tower (1965) – Cedar Rapids, IA = 65 feet

93. WW II Lookout Tower #3 – Dewey Beach, DE = 64 feet (not open yet – being restored)

94.-95. – tie* Washington Tower (1854) – Boston (Watertown), MA and Waterloo Pioneer Memorial Tower (1926) – Kitchener, ON, Canada = 62 feet

96.-98. – tie* War Department Observation Tower (1897) – Hagerstown (Antietam National Battlefield), MD – seen; Parnell Tower – Plymouth, WI; and Rib Mountain Observation Tower (1959) – Wausau, WI = 60 feet

99. Means Observation Tower (2018) – Kansas City (DeSoto), KS = 58 feet

100. Timm’s Hill Observation Tower (1983) – Tomahawk, WI = 55 feet

101. Hubbard Tower (1930) – Montpelier, VT = 54 feet

102.-109.– tie* Palmetto Islands Observation Tower – Charleston (Mt. Pleasant), SC; Manatee Viewing Center – Tampa Bay (Apollo Beach), FL; and Lake Erie Bluffs Observation Tower (2016) – Cleveland (Perry), OH; Cabot Tower (1900) – St. John’s, NL; Falls Park Observation Park (1999); Falls Park Observation Park (1999) – Sioux Falls, SD; Paynes Prairie Observation Tower – Gainesville, FL; and Sooner Park Play Tower (1963) – Bartlesville, OK = 50 feet

110. Height of Land Lookout Tower – Prince Albert National Park, SK = 49 feet

111.-113. tie* Clingmans Dome Observation Tower (1959) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC and Shark Valley Observation Tower (1947) – Everglades National Park; Clapham Peak Observation Tower (1940) – Milwaukee (Delafield), WI = 45 feet

114.-118.– tie* Ethan Allen Tower – Burlington, VT; Hannah Robinson Tower (1938) – Providence (South Kingstown), RI; Nipigon Lookout – Nipigon, ON; Perkins Memorial Tower – Fort Montgomery, NY; and High Cliff Observation Tower – Sherwood, WI = 40 feet = 40 feet

Heights Tower in Peoria Heights, IL – Source: peoria.life

Height unknown:

  • Bear Hill Tower – Stoneham, MA
  • Blackbeard’s Castle Watchtower (1679) – St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Brasstown Bald Viewing Tower – Hiawassee, GA
  • Bunker Tower (1934) – Cheaha Mountain, AL
  • Exploration Tower – Port Canaveral, FL
  • Gathering Place Castle (2018) – Tulsa, OK
  • Grand Isle Observation Tower – Grand Isle, LA
  • La Guancha Observation Tower (1998) – Ponce, Puerto Rico
  • Lake Crabtree Obesrvation Tower – Morrisville, NC
  • Longstreet Observation Tower – Gettysburg, PA
  • Lookout Towers (3) – Samana, Dominican Republic
  • Quabbin Observation Tower (1940) – Ware, MA
  • Sands Observation Tower – Port Royal, SC
  • Sleeping Giant Tower (1936) – Hamden, CT
  • WW II Lookout Tower (1942) – Cape May, NJ
  • Wright’s Tower (1937) – Medford, MA

___________

Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower in Hartford, IL – Source: riversandroutes.com

If you find observation towers to be as fascinating as I do, here are weblink to a couple of books available through Amazon.com* on two very special ones here in the United States.

*A small commission is earned from purchases that are made using these links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tree Tower in Dayton, OH – Source: metro parks.org

SOURCES:

Circuit of the Americas Town in Austin, TX – Source: world-architects.com
This entry was posted in adaptive reuse, architecture, art, Canada, cities, civics, entertainment, fun, geography, historic preservation, history, infrastructure, land use, Mexico, North America, pictures, placemaking, planning, skylines, skyscrapers, spatial design, States, Statistics, third places, tourism, Travel, walking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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