When you live in such a spectacular city like Chicago, there is just so much to see and so much to do. Yet sometimes we find ourselves lost in the mix of things. Other times we see a landmark or statue that we wish we knew more about, or even how it just got there. Curiosity is just one trait of your average Chicagoan, and curious we are. So, how do we satisfy our Chicago curiosity, you might ask? Well, simple. You take a tour of said curiosity. If it's architecture you’re interested in, we got a tour for that. Or maybe it’s the history of a specific park you pass every day you yearn for; well, we got a tour for that to. Here in Chicago we pride ourselves on our history and architecture and provide countless tours to help quench your Chicago curiosity.
Now, the tours we are going to look at today do require a small fee and some require you to book online as well, but trust us, it will be worth it. However, if a free tour is more to your liking, make sure to take a look at our blog on Free Walking Tours in Chicago! We also suggest you bring a bottle of water, sunscreen, keep some cash on hand, and bring an emergency umbrella if they day looks a bit cloudy. You never know what kind of situation you may run into, so it’s best to plan ahead. So, let’s take a look at PPM’s top 5 tours you'd hate to miss this summer.
Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking and Bus Tours
The Chicago Architecture Foundation provides many different architectural walking and bus tours throughout the Chicago area, including Must-See Chicago, Evolution of the Skyscraper, Skyline Vistas by Trolley, Modern Skyscrapers, Frank Lloyd Wright, and an elevated Architecture tour aboard the “L” trains. All tours are led by highly trained and knowledgeable docents. Various dates, times, places, and ticket prices | architecture.org
Learn about art, architecture, history, and more, on a guided walk of the Loop. With a local InstaGreeter volunteer, head out for an hour-long downtown excursion that's fun, informal, and informative. Groups are limited to six people, and both visitors and locals are welcome. Advance registration is not required. Chicago Cultural Center’s Visitor Information Center, 77 E. Randolph St. | Fri. – Sat 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. Departs every 30 minutes | chicagogreeter.com/instagreeter
Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
(April 4 – November 22) Cruise in comfort aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises during this critically acclaimed 90-minute panoramic showcase of Chicago’s world-famous architecture. The Chicago Architecture Foundation features certified docents who provide entertaining, passionate, and fact-filled commentary for more than 50 significant sites and the architects who created them. Chicago’s Riverwalk, Michigan Ave. & Wacker Dr. | Times vary. Check cruisechicago.com for details | $42- $45 | architecture.org/rivercruise
Family Fun aboard Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruise Line
(May 2 – October 12) Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline, offers 90 minutes of lake and river cruising with lively commentary that’s fun for the whole family. Urban Adventure Cruise by day, Chicago by Night in the evening, weekly summer 3D Fireworks cruises, and Chicago’s only Canine Cruise, now summer Saturdays and Sundays. Chicago’s Riverwalk, Michigan Ave. & Wacker Dr. | Times vary |$31 - $32 adults, $11 - $12 kids under 12, free kids under 3 | mercurycruises.com
Chicago Architecture foundation Twilight River Cruise
(Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays, May 29 – October 12) This year, the CAF Twilight River Cruise expands to five departures and offers full bar service with cocktails and local craft beers. Experience spectacular nighttime city views in a different light aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises by joining your coworkers and friends for a 90–minute immersion into Chicago’s architecture. Chicago’s Riverwalk, Michigan Ave. & Waker Dr. | 7:30 p.m.| $45 | architecture.org/riverruise