Chicago Riverwalk: Birthplace of Chicago Guided Tour in Chicago, IL

Walks LLC401 Michigan AveChicago, IL 60611
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Overview

From the Magnificent Mile to the famed Tiffany Dome, the Chicago Riverwalk tour by foot will guide you on an incredible journey as you learn how this refined city was born. Explore hidden gems like a statue by Picasso and more. This guided tour includes behind-the-scenes access to the McCormick Bridgehouse Museum.

up to 2 hrs 1 or more people

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Chicago Travel Experts
  • Tour begins at the south end of the Magnificent Mile and ends at the Chicago Cultural Center.
  • Includes a local, expert guide.
  • See up to 10 Chicago sites and landmarks including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, Jewelers Building, and more.
  • Tour duration is approximately 2 hours.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the tour's scheduled start time.
  • Includes behind-the-scenes access to the five-story McCormick Bridgehouse Museum.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate attire.
  • Bring sunscreen, hat, or an umbrella.
  • Plenty of photo opportunities, so be sure to bring your camera.

Description

from Chicago Riverwalk: Birthplace of Chicago Guided Tour
Chicago was born on the banks of the Riverwalk. On this once-in-a-lifetime experience, meet up with a local guide versed in all things Chicago for one highlight after the other in this essential two-hour walking tour. Today the Riverwalk is a collection of architectural wonders, bars, eateries, and lush green parks and is featured on every must-see list in Chicago.

Meet your expert local tour guide on the south end of the Magnificent Mile, then set out on a casual stroll. You'll be just under the shadows of the iconic Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower - two mammoth architectural designs and a great introduction to what is to come. Walk across the DuSable Bridge - hearing the catalog of achievements by Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, the original settler to Chicago whose namesake adorns the bridge. As you cross the waters beneath, you'll be greeted by the sound of the rushing river paired with the towering skyline of downtown Chicago - what a moment!

Onwards to explore the original site of Fort Dearborn and the battles that played out there while making your way down to the official Riverwalk. With its bevy of buildings, eateries, parks, and iconic views of Chicago, this glorious stretch of the Windy City is a local (and visitor) favorite. Continue with a behind-the-scenes peek into the five-story McCormick Bridgehouse Museum, where you'll venture into the underbelly of the bridge to see the massive amount of engineering feats built to precisely balance this famed trunnion bascule bridge (that's like, a cool bridge type).

As you stroll down the Riverwalk, you will encounter four distinct districts: The Confluence, The Arcade, The Civic, and The Esplanade, each offering its distinct character and offerings. Your expert guide is there to regale you with stories of lore and reality - like at the Jewelers Building - did Al Capone have a super-secret speakeasy tucked in the rafters?

You'll encounter other wonders of Chicago: Heald Square, with its monument to American Revolutionist financiers, the Vietnam Memorial, Marina Towers, the Site of the SS Eastland Disaster, and the Chicago Temple. For one of our last stops, we will visit a statue by Picasso aptly named "Untitled," a 50-foot statue gifted by the artist to this incredible, incomparable city.

For your grand finale, you will visit the famed Tiffany Dome inside the Chicago Cultural Center - explaining the infamous symbol of the city of Chicago - the "Y."

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Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago Riverwalk: Birthplace of Chicago Guided Tour

Where do I meet my tour guide?

The tour will meet at 401 Michigan Ave., in front of the store Apple Store, or as confirmed in your confirmation email. The tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the tour start time. The tour guides will hold a sign with the Walks logo and the words “MEET HERE” on it.

How long is this tour?

Approximately 2 hours.

What if I'm late?

If you are running late, please call them via phone on your e-ticket so they can reach out to your guide. This is not always possible for all tours - their guides are with other clients and are already into the tour (they are asked not to use their phones during their tour). But in some cases, a few-minutes delay can be remedied. Most times, guides leave the meeting point within 5 minutes of the tour start time.

What is included in the tour?

This tour includes a 2-hour guided walking tour of the premier Riverwalk neighborhood with a local, expert guide. The tour is in English. Multi-language tours are not available.

What landmarks will we be visiting?

You will be seeing the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, DuSable Bridge, McCormick Bridgehouse and Museum (behind-the-scenes access), Jewelers Building, Herald Square Vietnam Memorial, Marina Towers, Site of the SS Eastland Disaster, the “Untitled” statue by Picasso, and the Chicago Temple.

Is transportation included?

Transportation is not included in this tour.

Is parking provided?

No, but multiple parking garages and street parking are available near the departure point. The departure point is also near public transportation.

Are there any age/physical/health/etc. restrictions for this tour?

There aren't any age restrictions for this tour. True to their name, most Walks Inc.'s tours involve walking for at least half, if not most of the time. Except for a few of their day trips, driving tours, or boat excursions, you can expect to walk a fair amount. Guests should be able to walk at a moderate pace without difficulty.

Is the tour wheelchair/stroller accessible?

Every tour is different, but for the most part, those with mobility limitations have difficulties on a group tour for various reasons. Their group tours utilize multiple areas that are not accessible, like staircases, narrow passages, and uneven surfaces of archeological sites. Contact them via the website prior to booking the desired tour to confirm if it can accommodate wheelchair users. Strollers are also difficult on a group tour. Some sites won't allow strollers inside, while driving tours and day trips don't have extra storage space within the vehicle. Please contact them via Take Walk's website to arrange something. If strollers are allowed, please be reminded to bring one that's foldable and lightweight.

Can I bring my camera?

Yes! There are a lot of photo opportunities on this tour.

What should I bring?

You may bring water, a hat, sunglasses, parasol, and/or sunscreen, a coat, umbrella, or outer layers for the cooler months), and a photo ID for some of the stop-over sights.

What should I wear?

Guests must wear attire appropriate for the day's weather forecast and comfortable walking shoes so it's easy to navigate along uneven surfaces, dirt paths, cobblestone, etc. Due to the religious nature of holy sites such as churches and catacombs, all individuals, regardless of gender and age, must cover their shoulders and knees. During warmer seasons, you can bring extra covering (scarves, sweaters, sarongs, etc.) to put on just before entering.

What happens if it rains?

The tour will run rain or shine. Walks Inc.'s guides are great at navigating various weather conditions to ensure you're as comfortable as possible. On infrequent occasions, if the weather is particularly dramatic, some sites may close. If that happens and time allows, they will contact you as soon as they find out.

Should I bring the confirmation email?

A physical or digital copy of this confirmation email is not required to join your tour. Your guide (or tour coordinator) will have your name in their database, so as long as you know the name on the booking, you're set!

How many people will be on the tour?

The tour can have up to a maximum of 20 participants.