Lifestyle, Travel

What to Expect When You Go on the Chicago Architecture Tour

Are you going to Chicago? There are a lot of things to do there, including going to sporting events, visiting nice restaurants, and just walking around the city. If you’re a fan of architecture, you can go on the Chicago Architecture Tour.  Here are some things to know about it:


It’s Seasonal

The tour is closed during the winter, but it usually kicks off around St. Patricks Day, which is when the Chicago River water turns green. What a way to start the season. Once it starts in March, it runs through the end of November, which is when the cold Chicago winds start really whipping around. 

Dress for the Weather

While you can dress casually for your trip on the Architecture Tour, you should be sure to check the temperatures, especially during those tricky March days. Just because spring is right around the corner when the tours start doesn’t mean it’s going to be t-shirt weather. Bring a coat – though you can always go inside the boat if you do get nippy. There’s plenty of entertainment. 

Listen to Stories

The cruise, which is partnered with the Chicago Architecture Center, will have people from the Center aboard. These volunteers will tell you everything about all the buildings and architecture that you’re going to see. They will give you a detailed history of the people and workers that were behind the construction of the buildings and how they were entwined with the city of Chicago. 

Look at All Kinds of Buildings

While you’re on the two-hour tour, the boat will go up and down the Chicago River, turning around a couple of times. You’ll see everything from the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to the NBC tower. The buildings will be in so many different architectural styles, and you’ll marvel at the visions of those amazing architects who helped bring them from the drafting table to the construction site to the actual building itself. 

There Are More Tours During the Weekend

You’re going to have more chances to ride on one of the boats on the weekend. Early on, there are usually about four tours on weekdays and seven during the weekend.  Those expand as the calendar turns to April and beyond, with between eight and nine during the week and roughly 13 on the weekend. It’s always good to check the schedule though. 

Expect to Pay Close to $60 Per Ticket

As of this writing, the tickets are $54 for the daytime and $59 for the evening. If you pay $5 more, you can also visit the Chicago Architecture Center, which has a lot of unique items to look at, too. That way, you can make a day of it. 

Whether you visit Chicago in the spring, summer, or fall, this is a great way to see all the different architectural styles of the buildings in the Windy City. By reading up on it, you’ll be able to enjoy it even more. It’s a great addition to your Chicago itinerary.