The best way to enjoy Chicago is to take a boat tour. We’ve taken tours on Chicago Line Cruises (chicagoline.com) over the past three years and find them a wonderful way to relax for two hours. Embarking from the historic North Pier Docks, the boat either travels on the Chicago River or onto Lake Michigan. Either way, you can’t go wrong, especially if your tour guide is Pat Kelly.
On the Lakefront tour, Kelly tells the story of Chicago from the time of the Chicago Fire in 1871, in which one third of the population was left homeless, to modern day–all while discussing the buildings that pertain to the historical facts. The boat travels through the locks near Navy Pier to proceed onto the Lake. It travels along the lakefront while Kelly recalls the Century of Progress Exposition–called the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933-34–which stretched from Navy Pier to past The Shedd Aquarium. There’s plenty of time to take photos and ask questions, while sipping a complimentary beverage.
The Chicago River Tour is equally entrancing. On the river, you may encounter water taxis, kayaks, and other boats traveling along the way. The architecture is amazing. You pass the Civic Opera Building, Trump Tower, The Wrigley Building and more. Gothic design is contrasted with Post Modern buildings on which the images of the surrounding sites are cast in reflective light. Chicago becomes magical when seen from this point of view. But you will have to experience all this for yourself. As the official brochure says, “Chicago…will take your breath away on one of our guided Historical or Architectural Cruises”.