Get your fill of Architecture with Chicago’s Architecture Foundation River Cruise

Love architecture but don’t have enough time to see it all on this trip? Chicago’s Architecture Foundation River Cruise is a great 90 minute tour with a knowledgeable docent full of historic lore and architecture facts.

Lets start with the boat:

The boat, called the First Lady is equipped with a full bar, three restrooms an upper deck, a lower deck, and tons of indoor seating. On a sunny day enjoying the Chicago skyline is best outdoor. Crack open a nice beer and start snapping pictures.

The general admission seating fills up quickly but there’s usually no one inside the boat. They recommend you get there 30 minutes early as they start boarding about 15 minutes before departure.

The docent’s are all volunteers and don’t take tips. They ask that any tips go straight to the foundation, which I thought was great. Who wants to work for free? They do and they do it out of a love for the city and architecture. I’m guessing you love giant buildings that reach the heavens if you’re taking this tour.

The tour:

The tour is 90 minutes long from point to point. You get an up-close-and-personal view of many of the great skyscrapers along with some great information and great stories to go with it. This tour is also a great way to learn lots about the city if you’re only there for a short time, like I was this time around.

This $46 cruise is like a one-stop-shop for those travelers on the go.

My experience:

I enjoyed it a lot. I love architecture and enjoy history, especially if the history involves something creepy, which this city has a lot of. I took so many pictures. To be completely honest, 90 minutes was just enough. It really bothers me when tours are 2 or 3 hours long. I get bored fast, regardless of how interesting the tour may be.

Let me break it down for you:

  • $46 per person
  • 90 minutes long
  • Great information
  • Great history
  • Fast way to learn lots about the city if you’re pressed for time
  • Full bar
  • Picturesque

This tour is said to be one of Chicago’s best. I enjoyed it and I recommend it. Would I do it again? To be fair, once you do it, there’s no need to do it again… However, if you love architecture as much as I do, Id say go for it!

Here is a link to their website for more info: https://www.architecture.org/experience-caf/tours/detail/chicago-architecture-foundation-river-cruise-aboard-chicagos-first-lady-cruises/

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