The best way to start your trip in Chicago is with a tour down the river, learning about the history and architecture of the buildings. If the weather’s nice, there’s no better way to be introduced to the city!! Another option is to just walk along the river and take in the grandeur of the skyscrapers along its edge – many excellent photo opportunities!!


Architecture cruise down the historic Chicago River Discover all three branches of the Chicago River with your guide, an expert in architecture.

Enjoy the best vantage point to admire the distinct city skyline and admire world-famous architecture.

See more than 40 buildings including the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building and the Aon Center.

Discover the major events that helped shape the architectural history of Chicago.

Seeing Chicago’s architectural beauty from the decks of a river cruiser is a must for both locals and visitors. One of the city’s most unique tours, the CAF River Cruise takes visitors along the north and south shores of the lake. Guests will learn about more than 50 buildings and their significance to Chicago’s architectural landscape as well as general history about Chicago and how it grew from a small back-country outpost to one of the world’s most important crossroads of today. Tours are available late April through mid-November and run about an hour and a half in length. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance as they often sell out.

Take an architecture cruise down the Chicago River and learn about the city’s famed architecture from your knowledgeable guide. Board your tour at Navy Pier for an exciting journey that takes you down all three branches of the historic Chicago River and past impressive architectural landmarks. Learn about how the invention of balloon-frame construction revolutionized how homes were built and hear the dramatic story of Chicago’s rise from the Great Fire of 1871. Both of these milestones led Chicago to become one of the cradles of modern American architecture. This river tour provides the best advantage point to admire the distinct city skyline and marvel at world-famous architecture while learning about Chicago’s fascinating history.

Chicago’s boat tours are one of the most popular attractions during the summertime, and for good reason. The tours are a great way to get to know the history and architecture of the city. Plus the views of the buildings from water-level are just stunning. Let’s Experience one of the world’s most beautiful cities on Chicago River. On this architecture cruise, head down the main branch of the Chicago River, up the north branch to the East Bank Club, and then south past Willis Tower to the old Post Office Building.

Why Our Insiders Chose This Trip:

The water is the best vantage point for appreciating Chicago’s eclectic architecture, but don’t forget a jacket for time on the open water of Lake Michigan. If you want to avoid a flat-rate parking fee or busy lots in the summer, consider grabbing a cab or ride share to the pier.

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