Chicago Architecture Tour

The Chicago Architecture Center is a hub for all things architecture and a launching pad for discovering Chicago’s architectural legacy. Breathtaking exhibits feature supersized scale models of skyscrapers from around the world and the popular scale model of Chicago’s downtown illuminated with a film and light show. Discover the “city of architecture” through 85 world-famous walking, bus, bike and boat tours, including the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady. Get to the Center and discover why design matters.

Chicago Architecture Center—111 E. Wacker

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises—112 E. Wacker, at Riverwalk level

Chicago First Lady cruise

Experience the official Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady, voted the #1 Boat Tour in North America by USA Today readers and the only cruise led by the Chicago Architecture Center’s expertly trained volunteer docents. The 90-minute cruise reveals fascinating stories behind Chicago’s majestic buildings in a way no other tour can. Each boat features open-air upper decks, interior climate-controlled salons and a fully stocked bar.

Cruising daily April – November. Tickets available at dockside box office or in advance at Private evening charters also available for groups of 2-250, please inquire.

112 E. Wacker Drive

Wendella Tours and Cruises

Chicago family-owned and operated since 1935, Wendella is Chicago's Original Architecture Tour®. Located at the start of Chicago's Magnificent Mile and on The Riverwalk at The River Theatre, we have Chicago’s largest variety of tours and cruises including the 45 Minute Architecture Tour From The Riverwalk.

400 N. Michigan Avenue

Chicago Retroboats

The Chicago River is going back in time to the 1950s! Cruise the Chicago River in style – retro style that is. We are pleased to bring you a fleet of refurbished “jet-age” electric boats. Our easy to drive and environmentally friendly retro boats are sure to turn heads as 2-4 passengers soak in the cities beautiful skyline. Walk-ins and reservations are welcome.

155 West Riverwalk South



Downtown Docks

Attention boaters! Hourly dockage on the main branch of the Chicago River is now available at Downtown Docks, making it easier than ever to pause your cruise and enjoy the city from land for a few hours. Our highly trained staff is on site and able to assist boaters at docks available between the State/Dearborn Bridges (in front of City Winery @ the Marina Plaza) and we are excited to announce our new location for 2019- LaSalle/Wells Bridges (in front of Sweet Home Gelato @ the Water Plaza).

27 W. Riverwalk South



Illinois Department of Natural Resources -Fishing License

Are you an angler looking for a downtown spot to cast a line?  Fishing is allowed on the Chicago Riverwalk and licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Please be sure to visit their website to get your license and view current information on fishing rules and regulations in the Illinois Fishing Information guide.  Please make sure your gear and equipment do not obstruct the Riverwalk path for other users.

IDNR Fishing License Web page

Island Party Hut Docks & Charters

Book a charter aboard Island Party Boats and enjoy the City from the water. Our entire Tiki Boat fleet has upper decks and water slides for swimming in the Lake. We also have 75 minute floating Tiki Bar Cruises that will take you on an Island Party through Chicago.  You can also visit us by water and tie up your boat at our transient dock.

355 East Riverwalk South

Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline

See Chicago from the river and lake as our lively tour guides bring Chicago to life with fascinating stories of the city’s rich history. Postcard-worthy views included! Family-friendly tours include our daytime Urban Adventure Cruise, evening CHICAGO BY NIGHT! Cruise, summer 3D Fireworks Cruises on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our beloved Canine Cruise on summer weekends for people and pets!

112 E. Wacker Drive

Chicago Electric Boat Company

The Chicago Electric Boat Company offers hourly electric boat rentals for up to 12 people on the Chicago River starting at $150/hour. Be your own captain! By renting comfortable and easy to drive boats, the Chicago Electric Boat Company gives new boaters a chance to get behind the wheel and see the city from an exceptional point of view. Walk-ins are welcome, reservations recommended.

27 W Riverwalk South



Urban Kayaks

Chicago’s premier kayak outfitter, Urban Kayaks offers kayak tours and rentals on the Chicago River. With products and services catered to every ability level, anyone can enjoy a fun day on the river.  Open on the Riverwalk just east of Columbus 9am-7pm Mon-Sun. 

​435 E. Riverwalk South