Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Chicago River architectural boat cruise

Willis, you will always be Sear’s Tower to me from the Chicago River architectural boat cruise

One of the standard tourist activities in Chicago which is a must is the architectural boat cruise down the Chicago River with Wendella. I live in Chicago and this is one of those items I do every time someone comes from out of town or I suggest for those coming for a visit.

I have toured the downtown area via the river twice through an architectural boat cruise and once by canoe. I would do either tomorrow in a heart beat, so it is as enjoyable for locals as it is for visitors. The first time I did the boat cruise, I listened intently to the narrator and learned the history of all the beautiful buildings and the history of the city and the river. This  time I talked with friends and just watched the scenery.

Whether you want to learn about Chicago history and buildings, or if you want to tune it out, you will enjoy the tour either way. The cruise is also enjoyable rain or shine. The first time I went it was sunny and beautiful, and when I canoed the river it was hot and sunny. This time it was cloudy, rainy, and a little bleak, but the clouds provided interesting photos and did not dampen the spirit of the tour.

Wendella Chicago River

The tour begins down the stairs from the Wrigley Building

The tour meets at the Wrigley Building, which is located at 400 N. Michigan Avenue. Check groupons for frequent awesome deals on the trip. We bought our tickets for $18.00 with a free drink. For a different perspective, try the Chicago River by canoe or kayak (see the video near the top of the article). Boats can be rented via Kayak Chicago or the Chicago River Canoe and Kayak.

Chicago River boat cruise

Chicago River with the Marina Towers to the left

Chicago River boat cruise

Passing another boat along the Chicago River

Chicago River boat cruise

The boat that left just before ours near the Wrigley Building

Chicago River boat cruise

I don’t know the names of these buildings as I was drinking and talking

Willis Tower Chicago

The iconic Willis Tower as seen from the Chicago River

Wendella Architectural Boat Cruise

Interesting apartment building along the Chicago River

Chicago River

Chicago River

Chicago River

The turn around point near the confluence with Lake Michigan

Chicago River

For those who choose to listen, the narrator does a great job with the tour

Stay tuned,


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