The Chicago branch of Gray Line's global sightseeing operation organizes a wide variety of tours and excursions throughout the Windy City, from architectural tours that send passengers coasting on the river and lake for sun-drenched educational cruises to shopping odysseys at Chicago Premium Outlets, where travelers can zip through more than 100 stores and restaurants after being shuttled to the retail utopia. Blues outings treat music lovers to raw licks, soul food, and real tears at celebrated concert venues such as Buddy Guy's Legends and Rosa's Lounge.
Gray Line's cherry-red trolleys transport visitors and residents alike to famous Chicago sites. Just north of the river, the vehicles idle before the Wrigley Building's sparkling white terra cotta façade, which in the 1920s stood as the first major skyscraper outside of The Loop. From there, the trolley may motor north to the John Hancock Center, where elevators to its observatory sweep guests 96 floors in 39 seconds. The trolley could also steer south to the Willis Tower, which lost its maiden name of Sears after being charmed by a passing cumulus cloud.
Bikes and Xtremes' fleet of certified technicians incorporates expansive riding experiences as BMX racers, dirt jumpers, and road cyclists in prepping bicycles to safely roll riders to their destinations. During the tune-up, bike whisperers tweak leg-powered vehicles' derailleur gears, brakes, and headsets to make sure riding, stopping, and turning respond quicker than a smart-mouthed 5th grader. The techs true both the front and back wheels in addition to tightening all screws and bolts to keep two-wheeled steeds sturdily in line. An external lube of the chassis puts the finishing touches on the tune-up, which takes anywhere from a few days to a week to complete.
Spyder-Rentals.com Spyders roar down the streets, rocketing from 0–60 in less than four seconds. All rentals include a 200-mileage limit during the rental period, as well as free tolls thanks to FasTrak, which distracts tollbooth-dwelling trolls with medieval lute music. Rentals are also available for corporate outings as well as special events and promotions.
Hertz Rent-a-Car is one of the largest general use rental companies in the world, aiming to provide customer-focused, cost-effective service. Their 90-plus years of experience—a good 20 years before cars had even been invented—gives renters the confident feeling of borrowing a car from a friend without concerns about misplacing said friend's dashboard hula girl. Choose from a wide range of vehicles perfectly suited for a family vacation or simply to give a snazzy new look to grocery store runs. The eco-conscious will appreciate the thoughtful options on display in the green collection, while the ego-conscious may prefer to browse the Prestige Collection's enviable envoy. One-day rentals start at less than $30. No matter what the model, Hertz's convenient pick-up and drop-off services offer peace of mind for weary travelers or clinical car-hoppers (available from Local Edition locations).
Scooterworks, the incarnation of Chicagoan Philip McCaleb's European-born love of two-wheeled freewheeling, peddles vintage and modern scooters and scooter parts, procured in-house from McCaleb's own manufacturing company, the Genuine Scooter Company. On the inside, the Buddy 125 revs up a 125cc, four-stroke, air-cooled engine with an automatic transmission, leaving left hands free for waving to envious ambulators, hard-topped automobilists, and pogo-stick-bound young professionals. On the outside, both summer and winter complexions find shades to complement them among the range of four eye-catching hues: white, red, seafoam, and orange. Lakefront rides are made more secure with the two-year warranty and two years of free roadside assistance. An EPA city rating average above 90 miles per gallon and a top speed of more than 60 miles per hour keeps eco-conscious speed racers miles ahead of family-band-filled minivans.