Chicago Riverwalk: Birthplace of Chicago

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Full details

Chicago's Riverwalk is popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Lined with cafes, wineries, and bars, it's a social hub, but it's so much more than that. This is one of the finest vantage points from which to take in the city's incredible architecture.

Our guide to Chicago Riverwalk: Birthplace of Chicago

Meet your expert local guide at Pioneer Court, in the shadow of the iconic Wrigley Building on the North Side of the Dusable Bridge. We’ll begin our journey with a tribute to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, the original settler to Chicago whose namesake adorns the bridge. As you cross the bridge you’ll feel the water rushing beneath you. Take it in. It is the River and Lake Michigan that created Chicago. As you stand atop the movable bridge, with boats effortlessly sailing beneath you, your eyes will be drawn skyward toward the towering downtown Chicago skyline.

Cross to the southern side of the bridge and discover the original site of Fort Dearborn and the battles that played out there. Then make your way down the steps to the Riverwalk. Lined with outdoor restaurants, bars, public art, and memorials, this glorious stretch of Chicago is a local's favorite.

We continue our journey with a special access visit to the five-story McCormick Bridgehouse Museum where you’ll go into the underbelly of the bridge. Chicago's bridges are famous for their unique engineering (known as Trunnion Bascule bridges) which makes them raise like see-saws on their axis. See close-up how precise their balance is.

As we work our way down the Riverwalk you’ll encounter four distinct districts: The Confluence, The Arcade, The Civic, and The Esplanade. Your expert guide will regale you with captivating stories along the way such as the tale of the Jewelers Building. Was it really home to an Al Capone speakeasy? What are those two buildings that look like giant cobs of corn? Reflect and learn about the tragedy of the 1915 SS Eastland Disaster which took more lives than the Titanic over the course of 30 minutes.

You’ll exit the Riverwalk at LaSalle but you're not done yet! Our guide will then take you to see “Untitled” by Picasso, a 50-foot tall statue the famous artist gifted the city. You’ll end your tour in the famous Tiffany Dome room of Chicago Cultural Center where your guide will bring it all together with a discussion of the “Y”; the famous symbol of the city of Chicago.

Start times



2 hours.

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for Chicago Riverwalk: Birthplace of Chicago

  • You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
  • Itinerary subject to change.
  • Gratuities to guides are appreciated but never obligatory. 
  • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
  • Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no-shows after tour commencement or departure.
  • This tour has a maximum capacity of 20 guests.
  • Only small backpacks and regular-size handbags are allowed on this tour.
  • Unfortunately, you can not take strollers on this tour. 

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