A new view of Chicago
Three years in the making, the renovated Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower has reopened for public tours. The 45,000-square-foot space has undergone a multimillion- dollar renovation that general manager Randy Stancik calls "part Chicago museum, part selfie museum, part architectural river tour and part children's museum." The museum sits on the lower level of the tower, serves as the entrance to Skydeck and features the birth of the city with lighting, sounds and visuals. After the 50-minute museum experience, Willis Tower guests take the elevators to the 103rd floor. The observation deck has been tweaked, allowing visitors to get right up to the line of windows to look down at the city. Advance tickets are strongly recommended, as Skydeck capacity is restricted to 25% (theskydeck.com).
Sun Country map expands
Sun Country Airlines has announced a flurry of new routes from Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well as the Duluth and Rochester international airports. Starting in November and December, the budget carrier will offer nonstop service between MSP and Phoenix, the Cayman Islands and, for the first time ever, Turks and Caicos. Sun Country is also adding MSP flights to two more Florida destinations — St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Punta Gorda — and adding winter service to Bozeman Yellowstone International in Montana as well. Also beginning in December, residents of Duluth and Rochester will be able to fly directly out of their hometown airport nonstop to Fort Myers, Fla., and Phoenix.
Kristen Leigh Painter
Really delayed ID
The deadline for when U.S. travelers will need to present a RealID credential to board a domestic flight is moving from October 2021 to May 2023. Many Minnesotans will need these next two years to catch up. Nearly 22% of Minnesota driver's license and identification card holders now comply with Real ID regulations, according to the DMV. Should the new deadline hold, Minnesotans will need one of three options for domestic flights: a Real ID driver's license/identification card; a passport; or an enhanced driver's license/identification card, which can also be used for travel by land or sea to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and some Caribbean islands.
Bienvenidos a Colombia!
Colombia is rebranding itself as "the most welcoming place on Earth" to reflect the warmth and kindness of the Colombian people, said ProColombia, the country's tourism and marketing arm. "Making travelers feel at home is easy to do in Colombia, as warmth, service and empathy are part of our DNA," said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia. The country is well on its way to becoming a significant tourism destination and was named as one of "52 places to love in 2021" by the New York Times. It is also ideally suited for travelers interested in ecotourism and boasts 10% of the Earth's flora and fauna.