5 Things to do Along Chicago’s Riverwalk

5 Things to do Along Chicago’s Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk is one of the most iconic parts of the Windy City. Even if you’re busy, you don’t want to miss out on exploring it during your trip to Chicago. Whether you only have an hour or you’ve got days to explore, we’ve broken down five great things to do along the Riverwalk.

Experience a boat ride

There’s an abundance of boat ride options along the Chicago Riverwalk. If you’re looking to move quickly but still have a scenic experience you can travel via a Chicago Water Taxi. An all day pass is only $10 and can take you to various stops along the walkway.

However, for a more in-depth tour, Wendella Boats and the Architecture Foundation Boat Tours are two options to consider. Wendella offers forty-five and ninety minute tours of Chicago’s architecture with expert guides to accompany you. For architecture enthusiasts, the river cruise put on by the Chicago Architecture Foundation will be time well spent. Named the #1 Boat Tour in America by USA Today, you’ll get an incredible overview and history of the city’s architecture.

Explore food and drink options

As you explore the Chicago Riverwalk, check out some of the wonderful food and drink options along the way. Tiny Tapp is a popular cocktail bar that also includes a small food menu. If you are looking for fine cuisine, the City Winery is the place to go. There are live music and comedy events on certain days, and the incredible wine list can be enjoyed while looking out onto the river. Check their website for upcoming shows before you go.

If it’s a hot day, enjoy Sweet Home Gelato. The gelato is hand-crafted and made fresh each day and other specialties are offered as well, from baked goods to a wide array of coffee and espresso drinks.

Go kayaking

If you’re looking to get exercise, kayaking is a wonderful way to explore the Chicago Riverwalk on a nice day. For a memorable experience, consider a moonlight paddle offered by Wateriders. The river is quieter after dark and you can enjoy the lights of the city free of any distractions.

During the day, paddle board and kayak rentals are available through a host companies including Kayak Chicago, which offers formal guided tours in addition to rentals.

Visit the River Museum

For a more detailed look at Chicago’s history, don’t miss out on a visit to the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Welcoming thousands of visitors every summer, this five story bridge house opened in 2006 to tell many stories about the Chicago River. Buy tickets and explore exhibits that will teach you more about the Chicago River and a history of moveable bridges throughout the world.

The museum can be entered at the river level. Be sure to check their website for days where you can view the raising of the bridge. There are guided tours every Friday and Saturday from June to October along with tickets available for the bridge lift viewing.

Walk, run, or bike

If you want exercise but aren’t looking to get on the water, consider walking, biking, or running along the Chicago River. There will be great views to accompany your exercise and bike rentals are available from places such as Wheel Fun, where you can also get information about a self-guided tour. 

Start walking along the River from Michigan Avenue if you’re looking to get some shopping done first. On a warm day, there’s no better place to soak in the sun than in plain sight of Chicago’s most historic river.

Planning your trip

Whether you choose to visit Chicago now or in the future, you’ll have a wonderful time walking along the Chicago River. Consider booking a room in a boutique hotel like Hotel EMC2, which is close to many of Chicago’s most iconic destinations. Now, you’re ready for a trip filled with adventure and spectacular sights!

Need a place to stay when visiting Chicago? Book your reservation here.