Chicago - Sightseeing Tours

Old Jul 11th, 2001, 10:17 PM
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Chicago - Sightseeing Tours

We will be in Chicago in September and are interested in taking some of the Tours of the city that are on offer. Has anyone any experience of these?? Good or bad.
Also any of the evening ones that include dinner somewhere.
I have a pamphlet from ASI but sadly most of theirs are only available in High Season until Sep 11, and we will be there from Sep 13.
Old Jul 12th, 2001, 04:51 AM
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The best tours in Chicago for my money are run by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. You can see their offerings at:

The river cruise is great -- you'll have to check on how far into September they run.
Old Jul 12th, 2001, 12:47 PM
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S. Fowler is right - the river cruise is the best! But if they don't run through September, the Chicago Architecture Foundation also offers walking tours that are quite good (one is modern, one is old buildings - although I'm sure they call it something more sophisticated than that!).

Another idea that you might enjoy is going to the 10:30 River North Gallery Tour - IF you are interested in art. My boyfriend and I discovered this a few weeks ago and thought it was great! Meet at 10:30 at the Starbucks around Chicago and Franklin (I think) and one of the gallery owners takes you on a tour of four galleries. When we did it there were only a few people with us, and the owners spent lots of time discussing artists, etc.

More "touristy" would be the Chicago Mob Tours, not sure who sponsors but they are supposed to be good. There are also boat tours off Navy Pier, but the River Tour is hands down a better experience.

The Chicago Historical Society on North and Wells has a Chicago History tour in its galleries - it takes about 60 minutes and might be a nice rainy day option. Go on Sundays for the best tour guide (my boyfriend - I'm biased, but he knows ALL about Chicago history and loves to talk to people about it).

One last suggestion - impose on a friendly cab driver to take the "scenic route" through the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville and enjoy the scenary.

This is a local's perspective, maybe some other Chicago visitors can tell you what they enjoyed when they came.
Old Jul 12th, 2001, 05:45 PM
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I really enjoyed the Architectural Boat Tour. It was one of the Architectural Foundation tours and our guide was great. We also went out to Oak Park and toured the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio plus a walking tour of Wright homes in Oak Park.
Old Jul 12th, 2001, 06:18 PM
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Several "luxury" boats do dinner cruises. Your cruise would be on Lake Michigan & it's a beautiful way to see the skyline at night. They are a bit pricey though.
Old Jul 12th, 2001, 06:55 PM
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Thank you all so much for your suggestions. Unfortunately, many of the tours seem to finish from September 9, and we arrive on the 13!!! however, you have given me several avenues to work on.
Old Jul 15th, 2001, 07:40 AM
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Hi Prue,
I too am visiting chicago in sept and are interested in the architecture river cruise.I have a print out from the foundation who do the tours all year and are definately running everyday in sept.Please check their web site
Old Jul 15th, 2001, 09:57 PM
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Thanks Angie for your information - will certainly check the web site.
Old Aug 11th, 2001, 07:47 AM
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The architecture tours are the best.We took one and loved it.We also took the Double Decker bus tour but found it not really good value and not half as interesting as the architecture one.

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