1 - 2 Hours
One Per Person
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Chicago Walking Tour
Welcome to Chicago’s scenic Riverwalk. It spans from Lake Michigan west to Franklin Street. Called the city’s ‘Second Lakefront,’ the Riverwalk contains restaurants during the summer months, relaxing seating areas, boat rentals, and theater-style seating for various performances. Other attractions on the Chicago Walking Tour include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza and the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum and if you are lucky enough, see a bridge lift from inside the bridge house.
About the Tour
Your tour begins with the historic DuSable Bridge. Here, you’ll learn about this picturesque bridge (built on the site of a pitched battle between America and Great Britain in 1812) and the iconic terra cotta Wrigley Building.
From there, you’ll head west, past Wabash Bridge, once voted America’s Most Beautiful Bridge. You’ll want to snap a photo or two here! After that, you’ll arrive at the Chicago Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a moving tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.
It’ll be hard to miss the next stop–the 600-foot-tall Marina Towers. Learn how these towers function as a “city within a city,” then continue to the Dearborn Street Bridge, where an angry mob once gathered with axes! Hear the full story of why they were so unhappy with the bridge’s predecessor, then continue your stroll.
As you walk, you’ll hear the tale of one of the strangest and deadliest shipwrecks in American history, which happened right on the Chicago River. How does a devastating shipwreck happen on a river only 20 feet deep? Well, a lot more easily than you’d think!
Continuing toward the Merchandise Mart, a gorgeous example of the art deco style popular in the 1920s and ’30s, you’ll learn the surprising history of the Chicago River and how it helped this city go from a small settlement to a bustling hub of culture and commerce.
Next, you’ll arrive at Wolf Point, where Chicago’s very first hotel stood almost 200 years ago. Dig into the era when this place was little more than a wild frontier, then head back the way you came for the final section of the tour.
Your next stop on the Chicago walking tour will be the Tribune Tower, the new home of the Chicago Tribune. But this skyscraper isn’t just about reporting the news–it also contains pieces of historic buildings from across the world, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Berlin Wall!
Up next, you might think you’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up in New York City because you’ll come face to face with NBC’s Chicago headquarters, which were modeled after the famous skyscraper at 30 Rockefeller Center.
Finally, you’ll arrive at the last bridge separating the Chicago River from Lake Michigan. It’s a perfect place to take in the soothing scenery and an even better place to snap a few photos for your Instagram. The tour concludes here.
Starting Point Address: 65 Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
What You'll See
Wrigley Building and Hotel Intercontinental
Michigan Avenue Bridge
Wabash Street Bridge
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
State Street Bridge
Marina City Towers
Dearborn Street Bridge
Reid Murdoch Building
McCormick Bridgehouse and Museum
Columbus Drive Bridge
Lake Michigan and Lock
Preview the Tour
Welcome Audio Story
Wrigley Building and Hotel Intercontinental Audio Story
Michigan Avenue Bridge Audio Story
Merchandise Mart Audio Story
The Chicago tour through Millennium Park begins at the park’s north end.
The “Secret Garden” in Millennium Park offers beautiful green spaces, a peaceful boardwalk, and fantastic skyline views.
Yes, the Chicago Loop is highly walkable, with many attractions, shops, and restaurants within easy walking distance.
Yes, Chicago is a very tourist-friendly city, offering a wide range of attractions, tours, and activities to cater to visitors.
The best months to visit Chicago are during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October), when the weather is pleasant, and there are various events and festivals.
The best way to tour Chicago is by taking guided walking tours, boat tours on the Chicago River, or hop-on-hop-off buses to explore the city’s main attractions.
Yes, history enthusiasts will enjoy the tour, as it includes stories about shipwrecks on the Chicago River, the Merchandise Mart’s art deco design, and the city’s first hotel at Wolf Point.
Yes, you are encouraged to take photos during the tour, especially at scenic spots like Wolf Point and the last bridge overlooking the Chicago River.
The duration of the Riverwalk tour may vary, but it typically takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete.
Yes, the Riverwalk tour is family-friendly and suitable for people of all ages.
It’s recommended to book the Riverwalk tour in advance to secure your spot, especially during peak tourist seasons.
The cost of the Riverwalk tour will depend on the tour provider. Some tours may have a fee, while others could be free with optional tips.
The Riverwalk tour offers a different perspective of the city, focusing on the scenic riverside and the stories behind its impressive architecture, providing a fresh and enriching experience for visitors.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.