Chicago Riverwalk

Tour Creator

Wendy Bright is passionate about sharing the beauty and wonder that is Chicago. She has an MA in Art History with an emphasis on architecture. For over 25 years she…Read More Bio »

Chicago

GPS-directed

Remote Tour Included

1hr/2hrs(Extended itinerary)

1km/2km(Extended itinerary)

You probably know that Chicago is world-famous for its architecture.  But perhaps less known is that the Chicago River is one of the best vantage points from which to see it.  And with the new Riverwalk, it’s easy to meander through the middle of this architectural wonderland while enjoying many other pleasures, as well: food, drink, shade trees, flowers, music, art…and the sight of many happy people on boats and walking along the water.

The Riverwalk Tour is intended for any season.  While spring through fall will be the most exhilarating and colorful, Chicago does not shut down in the winter and you will find walking along the wintry river a uniquely peaceful experience.

After experiencing the Chicago Riverwalk tour, you will come away with a new appreciation of our historic urban waterway and a deeper understanding of Chicago itself.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Expert-created Tour

Written by a long-time Chicago tour guide with a Master of Arts

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Centennial Fountain, DuSable Bridge, and the Illinois Veterans Memorial

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home

Itineraries

Chicago Riverwalk – Extended

Chicago Riverwalk – Standard

  1. Just east of Lake Shore Drive bridge - We begin with a look at how Chicago became a city because of its location, how water is central to Chicago’s identity as well as discussing Navy Pier and the Chicago Lock.
  2. Riverwalk Gateway Murals - We journey under Lake Shore Drive through a history and art-filled walkway.
  3. Riverwalk introduction - We begin the Riverwalk, discussing its origins, design, and phases.
  4. Vista and Jeanne Gang - We explore the tallest building in the world designed by a woman.
  5. Centennial Fountain, Reversal of the River - We discuss Centennial Fountain and what it commemorates: the reversal of the Chicago River.
  6. In Island Party Hut area, east of Columbus Drive bridge -River as a place of recreation: We discuss how the river has become a place of fun and enjoyment.
  7. Just east of Columbus Drive bridge - We look at Chicago’s bridges history, usage, and design.
  8. Near Chicago Architecture Center dock - Chicago boat tours are big business; we look at their origins.
  9. The DuSable (Michigan Avenue) Bridge - We explore this historic spot, from DuSable’s home site to the Magnificent Mile.
  10. Bridgehouse Museum, Wacker Drive, Trump Tower - We explore the Riverwalk’s beginning section, its little museum, Wacker Drive, and Trump Tower.
  11. Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial - This original section of the Riverwalk features the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  12. Dearborn Street Bridge, Carbon & Carbide, Aqua, The Loop - We look back at two important skyscrapers, the Carbide & Carbon and Aqua.
  13. The Cove and Riverwalk’s Success - We discuss the popularity of the Riverwalk, its benefits and its downsides.
  14. River Theater - We look at this sculptural staircase and talk accessibility.
  15. Water Plaza and Chicago’s Green Initiatives - We continue our exploration of how the Riverwalk connects people to water and nature and discuss Chicago’s green environmental initiatives.
  16. The El - We talk briefly about Chicago’s El system.
  17. Wolf Point – Junction of the River - We explore the historic importance of this spot where the three branches of the river meet.
  18. Site of Lincoln’s Nomination - We explore the historic significance of this site, once home to the city’s first hotel and later where Lincoln was nominated for President.
  19. 333 Wacker - We get a good look at a favorite Chicago building and discuss how it fits its site.
  1. The DuSable (Michigan Avenue) Bridge - We explore this historic spot, from DuSable’s home site to the Magnificent Mile.
  2. Bridgehouse Museum, Wacker Drive, Trump Tower - We explore the Riverwalk’s beginning section, its little museum, Wacker Drive, and Trump Tower.
  3. Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial - This original section of the Riverwalk features the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  4. Dearborn Street Bridge, Carbon & Carbide, Aqua, The Loop - We look back at two important skyscrapers, the Carbide & Carbon and Aqua.
  5. The Cove and Riverwalk’s Success - We discuss the popularity of the Riverwalk, its benefits and its downsides.
  6. River Theater - We look at this sculptural staircase and talk accessibility.
  7. Water Plaza and Chicago’s Green Initiatives - We continue our exploration of how the Riverwalk connects people to water and nature and discuss Chicago’s green environmental initiatives.
  8. The El - We talk briefly about Chicago’s El system.
  9. Wolf Point – Junction of the River - We explore the historic importance of this spot where the three branches of the river meet.
  10. Site of Lincoln’s Nomination - We explore the historic significance of this site, once home to the city’s first hotel and later where Lincoln was nominated for President.
  11. 333 Wacker - We get a good look at a favorite Chicago building and discuss how it fits its site.

Check out a free sample of this tour!

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