4 Local Favorite Activities Along Chicago’s Riverwalk

4 Local Favorite Activities Along Chicago’s Riverwalk

As the weather warms up, one of Chicago’s most iconic locations begins to come to life. The Chicago Riverwalk is like a scene in movies, the location of proposals and photo shoots, and a must see on any travel bucket list. It offers so much to do and see, so locals and tourists alike can enjoy its beauty year round. We’ve put together 4 local favorite activities along the Chicago Riverwalk for you to enjoy this spring, whether you’re here for a short weekend trip or for a longer vacation


Visit The Wild Mile

A new addition to the riverwalk portfolio is The Wild Mile—a floating garden that features floating platforms and walkways. Located on the East Side of Goose Island, the garden will grow to feature 17 acres of habitat. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful greenery, learn about conservation efforts, and enjoy meditation amongst the floating platforms. 

The first phase of this project was completed in 2022, and this will be the first full summer that it will be open to the public. It’s free to visit, and locals love taking strolls at all times of the day down the winding paths. Come check it out now, and come back later to see the finished project complete with a bird rockery, swimming areas, and fishing dock.


Lounge on river-front patios

The Riverwalk is known for its multitude of great spots to grab a bite on a busy day. Local Chicagoans regularly enjoy the sun and the music at some of their favorite dives, from Beat Kitchen to Chicago Burger Company to Sweet Home Gelato. Most of these delicious venues also offer cold beers on hot days and a cool, shady spot to relax along the riverside. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the springtime flowers along the walkways while filling up on local treats. 


Shop at Community Marketplace

The Community Marketplace is home to a number of rotating small businesses set up along the Chicago River. The high foot traffic makes this a perfect spot for vendors to show off their craft and engage with the community. This marketplace is catered to specifically provide a top tier location to minority and women owned businesses.

The Community Marketplace is open during the late spring, summer, and early fall. Here, locals can find fresh fruits, handmade goods, or even apparel and unique gifts. This is where they can discover new favorite small businesses to frequent and support. Tourists also enjoy this marketplace as an eccentric place to find souvenirs and trinkets to take a bit of the city home with them.  


Experience the river theater

One of the most popular spots for both locals and tourists alike is the Chicago River theater. The concrete steps serve many purposes, making a perfect backdrop for photos, a spot to relax and watch the gorgeous water, and even a workout location. In the mornings, you might find a yoga class being held here, while at night you might find a crowd clapping over a street performer in front of the River. 

The stairs also feature honey locust trees, providing both shade and a stark contrast to the concrete steps. Relaxing locals might enjoy watching the kayaker tours with the current or tourists passing by on the historical bridges.


Local Chicagoans love the spring

Next time you’re visiting Chicago, you might consider visiting some local favorite spots if you want to experience the city from another perspective. Another great way to see new areas of the city you may not have considered before is by taking a tour from a local, where you can ask them your questions and see how they live each day. No matter what sites you choose to visit on your Chicago trip, the natural beauty and exciting attractions are sure to make it a trip you won’t soon forget. 


Hotel EMC2 is a short walk from the Chicago Riverwalk. To book your stay at our unique boutique hotel, click here