Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour
With building highlights like the Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, and Marina City, Shoreline Sightseeing will take passengers past more than 40 landmarks that have defined Chicago as the beautiful and iconic gem that it is today. The cruise will visit all three branches of the Chicago River for breathtaking views of and detailed stories about the citys most famous landmarks.
To book: $35-$48 shorelinesightseeing.com
Best Night Tour: Chicago Fireworks Architecture Cruise
During the summer months on Wednesday and Saturday nights, The Navy Pier puts on an impressive display of fireworks that illuminate the city skyline. Take in the show while learning about the architecture on the Architecture Fireworks Cruise, a 90-minute narrated boat ride on the Chicago River. During the tour, guides will explain the importance of the balloon-frame construction that changed how homes were built, and how the Great Fire shaped history. The boat passes by 40 iconic buildings, such as the Aon Center, the John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower , the Wrigley Building and the IBM Building.
See It All With Shoreline Sightseeing
One of Chicagos classic cruise options, Shoreline Sightseeing covers all the bases. Their ultra-popular Architecture River Tour takes you on all three branches of the historic Chicago River takes you past dozens of landmark buildings.
They also offer skyline lake tours, plus specialty cruises and holiday events. Hop on a boat at Navy Pier or on Michigan Avenue.
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This is my 8th time on a Chicago architectural river cruise and this was by far the most informative and biggest bang for your buck.Operagolf / LaHabra
The best guide on our whole USA trip. We took the Architecture tour where the boat meandered in between all of the incredible buildings of the city with the guide knowing EVERYTHING about each building its style, age, height, architect, cost, purpose, owner .. Quite brilliant!DrCumbrian / TripAdvisor
Ive done several of the architecture cruises since my family moved to Chicago, and this is the best one yet! Allie K / TripAdvisor
If you only have time for one sight-seeing event while in Chicago, do this. We really have no great interest in architecture, but this tour came highly recommended and we did not regret it. Allice I / Oklahoma
My wife and I very much enjoyed the Chicago Line Cruise jazz cruise My spouse said this was one of the favorite things she has done in Chicago since moving here in the past year, and I agree. I am a jazz snob, and I was very pleased with the music offered by the Geordie Kelly group. Hes a fine jazz guitarist, and his band was great. / Yelp
Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip
A forest of skyscrapers looms high overhead as you hop on a modern cruiser and take the waters of the Chicago River. As you gaze skywards, youll be able to make out some of the most iconic landmarks of the Windy City.
Theres the soaring clock tower of the Wrigley Building, oozing elegant Colonial Revival styles. Theres the gleaming glass outline of the Trump International Hotel. And theres the striking duo that makes up Marina City.
Your jaunt is rendered extra relaxing on account of a barcoded ticket. Thats delivered online and lets you skip the box office queues.
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Top Chicago Architecture Bus Tours
One of the best ways to see Chicago is to take a bus tour. There are several services that will drive you around the most architecturally significant areas of the city.
As you travel around Chi-town by bus, a tour guide will point out historically important buildings and tell you the story of their construction.
These architecture tours may be better for anyone visiting during the winter because they wont require you to be outside for very long, if at all.
Due to the fact that great and interesting architecture is everywhere, just about every bus tour in the city is at least partially an architecture tour.
If youre going on a trip with your family, it may be a better idea to consider one of these general excursions over an experience devoted to learning about how this city was built.
Below are some of the more notable.
Be sure to read our post which compares the best Chicago bus tours.
Tall Ship Windy Architecture & Skyline Sailing Chicago Boat Tour
If you want to enjoy one of the most unique boat tours in Chicago, Illinois, then the Tall Ship Windy Architecture & Skyline Sailing Tour is the one you should book!
You will feel like a pirate when you board the iconic tall ship called Windy for this 75-minute cruise!
This is a great family activity in Chicago! Young and old alike will love watching the sails work in the wind atop this 148-foot traditional schooner.
There are sunset and architecture tour options. Each gives you panoramic views of the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan.
Listen to the informative narration and sip a drink from the onboard bar.
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Best Land And Water: Chicago City Tour With Optional River Cruise
If you prefer a smaller group size, the Chicago City Tour combines sightseeing in an air-conditioned bus that holds 12 people or less with a peaceful boat ride . The tour begins with a narrated, two-hour ride around the city with a chance to get out and explore a few stops, including the 1888 skyscraper called The Rookery, which is known for its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed lobby. Next up is a 75-minute cruise on an open-top boat to delve even deeper into the citys famous architecture and to learn about the role the river has played in the citys development. Transportation from most area hotels is provided but is not round-trip.
Chicago Architecture Walking Tours
Whether you want to save some money or youd prefer to get some exercise on your trip, you might want to consider a walking tour of Chicagos architecture.
Stroll by some of the most notable buildings in the city and learn all about the history of their construction.
There are both free and paid walking tours in Chi-town, and most of them are very highly rated.
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Seadog Cruises Architecture River And Lake Tour
On the Seadog Chicago Architecture Boat Tour, passengers will board a sleek open-air speedboat and spend 75 minutes cruising around the Chicago Locks and then right up the Chicago River for sweeping views of the citys impressive skyline. On the Chicago River boat tour, youll also cruise past iconic locations like Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain. Theres live, guided narration with bits and bobs about Chicago’s history and stories about notable architecture, like the Willis Tower and Lyric Opera, so guests are sure to come away with plenty of historical and architectural information about the storied Windy City. And for some extra fun: this cruise is BYOB!
To book: $45 seadogcruises.com
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Best Short Tour: Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise
If youre strapped on time and want a quick taste of some of Chicagos attractions, as well as an overview of the architecture, the Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise is an excellent, budget-friendly option. The 40-minute cruise gives you some fantastic photo opportunities of the city skyline as you listen to commentary about the history of Chicago and major skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower. A bar is available on board for adult beverages, but it is suggested to bring your own lunch. The cruise leaves every hour from the Navy Pier’s Dock Street but does not operate in the winter. Viator members felt that although a short cruise, it was a good value overall.
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Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch Lunch Or Dinner Boat Tours In Chicago
The 2-hour Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise is another of the best Lake Michigan cruises in Chicago that feature a meal.
Hop aboard the Spirit of Chicago and enjoy a buffet-style meal with a view of the city. The food for this lunch cruise in Chicago is freshly prepared and tasty.
There are three decks with climate-controlled rooms and outdoor observation decks.
When you are done eating, there are games to play! Try your hand at giant Jenga and shuffleboard.
You can also dance to the music put on by a live DJ! This is one of the most entertaining Chicago boat rides!
Chicago River Boat Tour
Whisking you from the DuSable Bridge to the Willis Tower, under the gaze of the Wrigley Building and out beneath the 100-storey John Hancock Center, this short, sweet, but informative Chicago River Boat Tour usually ticks all the boxes. The on-board narration will tell tales of how this city led the way in the construction of huge skyscrapers. And youll learn intriguing titbits about the towns industrial growth and waterways. In all, it lasts around 75 minutes, with a central meeting point on Michigan Avenue.
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The 7 Best Chicago Architecture Boat Tours Of 2020
- The 7 Best Chicago Architecture Boat Tours of 2020. Best Year-Round: Chicago River Architecture Cruise. Viator. Buy tickets with Viator. For a fantastic tour at an affordable price that runs year Best Night Tour: Chicago Fireworks Architecture Cruise. Best Boat Combo: Architecture Cruise and
How Much Does The Chicago Architecture Boat Tour Cost
Since the tours are seasonal, you can sit outside on the boats upper deck, or in the enclosed areas on cold or rainy days. Regardless of the weather, its important to buy tickets in advance. This is a popular tour that sells out quickly. Tickets are $47 for daytime cruises, and $51 for the 7:30 p.m. twilight cruises. Add $5 more to buy the combination ticket that includes admission to the Chicago Architecture Center, which showcases the history and future of the citys architecture.
A post shared by Cindy Richards on Oct 13, 2018 at 4:48pm PDT
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Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour
This tour happenswithin a loop created by elevated train lines and their station platforms.
The Loop containsthe largest concentration of skyscrapers in Chicago, including the secondtallest building in the United States Wills Tower.
On the 2-hourwalking tour, you get to understand the architecture of Chicago from bothinside and outside.
You also get to share iPads with never-seen-before drawings, maps, photos, and video clips of Chicagos buildings.
Adult ticket : 28 USDChild ticket : 18 USDInfant ticket : Free entry
Chicago Seadog Speedboat Fireworks Cruise On Lake Michigan
Another cool way to see the fireworks from the water is aboard a speedboat!
The Chicago Seadog Speedboat Fireworks Cruise on Lake Michigan is a 60-minute boat ride popular among tourists.
Whether you are traveling with family or friends, this is a fun experience you will not soon forget!
As you speed through the lake in the open-air boat, you will have one of the best views of the Navy Pier fireworks show.
Be prepared for the possibility of getting wet from the spray as the boat zooms through the water.
The tour is also narrated by a lively guide that will make the citys history interesting.
This is truly one of the best things to do in the summer in Chicago!
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The 7 Best Chicago Architecture Boat Tours Of 2021
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
- Best Year-Round: Chicago River Architecture Cruise Buy Tickets at ViatorLearn about world-famous architects, including Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn and the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill firm.
- Best Night Tour: Chicago Fireworks Architecture Cruise Buy Tickets at ViatorTake in the magical fireworks show while learning about the architecture from the perfect vantage point..
- Best Boat Combo: Architecture Cruise and Speedboat Tour Buy Tickets at ViatorThe tour departs from the Navy Pier, so allow some time to explore the shops and sights.
- Best Short Tour: Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise Buy Tickets at ViatorThe 40-minute cruise gives you some fantastic photo opportunities of the city skyline.
Fireworks Premiere Dinner Cruise On Lake Michigan
The Fireworks Premiere Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan is a 3-hour sunset dinner cruise in Chicago that guarantees a memorable time.
You will cruise along the Chicago shoreline on the luxury Odyssey. Greet the captain as you board and get your photo taken for a cool keepsake.
Your gourmet 3-course meal is prepared fresh onboard and will leave your mouth watering.
There are many options for your appetizer, entree, and dessert.
After your meal, head to one of the observation decks to watch the summer fireworks show over the Navy Pier.
The colors of the fireworks will light up the lake and take your breath away! There is even a live band that will add to the mood.
Keep in mind that the fireworks only occur on Wednesday and Saturday nights from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
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Chicago Urban Adventure River And Lake Cruise
A scenic 90-minute cruise along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan shoreline with views of Chicago landmarks like the Marina City, the Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower and Navy Pier.
Prices start at $42 for adults, $18 for children aged 5 to 15, and free for children under 5.
For more information click here.
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Your Guide To Chicago Lake And River Cruises
One of the best ways to see Chicago is from the water. The city is home to two stunning waterfronts the Chicago River and Lake Michigan and each offers plenty of cruise options. Admire the skyline on a lakefront cruise, learn about the citys iconic architecture on a Chicago River cruise, enjoy dinner and dancing aboard an all-glass vessel, sip cocktails on a tiki-themed boat, paddle your own kayak the options are truly endless. Heres your guide to Chicago lake and river cruises, boat tours, dinner cruises, and beyond.
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Spirit Of Chicago Sunset Dinner Cruise With Buffet
Nothing says romance like dinner on the water. But you can take that one step further, by making that water Lake Michigan, and the backdrop the twinkling lights of the legendary city of Chicago.
Cue this three-hour cruise past the landmarks of Navy Pier and Soldier Field. As you go, youll dine on a sumptuous buffet of all-you-can-eat American favorites.
Then the music starts, with a private DJ spinning tunes as you watch the lights and stars come on over the Midwestern skies. Talk about a night to remember
Lake Michigan Skyline Sightseeing Boat Tour In Chicago
The Lake Michigan Skyline Sightseeing Cruise is one of the Chicago boat tours at Navy Pier.
This 40-minute cruise takes you along the lakefront as you listen to narration about the citys history and architecture.
While the narration is not live like many other tours, the recordings are offered in both English and Spanish.
This is one of the best boat tours in Chicago with kids because it is not so long that they get bored.
Bring a camera to capture memories and photos of the skyline!
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Which Us City Has The Best Architecture
10 American Cities With the Coolest Architecture Detroit, MI. Detroit is in the midst of a renaissance, and its one that pays homage to the citys history . Santa Fe, NM. San Francisco, CA. Washington, DC. New Orleans, LA. Boston, MA. Charleston, SC. New York, NY.
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River & Lake Architectural Cruise
Put yourself in the hands of a bona fide Chicagoan who knows the ins and outs of this awesome metropolis, all by opting for a whirlwind tour of Windy City construction. There is oodles to get through in just 75 minutes. Tales of post-war building booms, Art Deco influences, the erstwhile military locks, and the iconic metalwork of the DuSable Bridge from 1920 all begin to flow. Meanwhile, camera lenses will point to the skies, as symbolic structures like the Willis Tower drift on by. Theres also instant ticket delivery, and you can show your admission on a smartphone.
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Chicago Classic Lake Tour: 40
Skip the ticket booth and get down to sightseeing, all by choosing this straight-to-board package. It offers a chance to get out onto the sloshing surface of Lake Michigan.
Thats where arguably the most dramatic broadside panoramas of this great American city unfold.
See if you can spy out the babbling Buckingham Fountain of Grant Park, or the bulbous dome of the Adler Planetarium, not to mention one skyscraper after another, as you travel.
Theres a bar on board for those hard-earned tipples and refreshments, along with a running commentary that delves into the rich history of the Midwest.
Best Chicago Architecture Boat Tours
This list counts the best Chicago boat tours, offering night-time excursions for extra romance next to adrenaline-pumping speed tours.
Oh, Chicago the Windy City. Theres hardly a more astounding city in America. As if to say, move over New York, this one comes with mighty landmarks galore. Among them, the Willis Tower. Once the tallest on the planet, its now a legendary spire on the skyline. Then comes the John Hancock Center with its gleaming, jet-black exterior. Theyre punctuated by the mirror-like tops of the Two Prudential Plaza, the historic locks with equally as historic bridges, and green spaces like Grant Park where fountains babble by statues.
The upshot of all that is Chicago is a doozy for lovers of all things architecture. Whats more, its a town pierced by riverways and hemmed in by the waters of Lake Michigan. Put the two together and viola: Youve got one darn fine medley of boat tours with views of mighty structures.
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