The history buffs of Chicago's Finest River Walk Tour lead engaging and dynamic tours of two very different parts of the city. During the summer, intimate groups of up to 15 traverse the various walkways of the bustling yet majestic riverfront. In the winter, everyone affixes a giant drill bit to their head to explore the tunnels of the Pedway, Chicago's underground network of stores, hotels, train stations, and other businesses. Regardless of the tour, knowledgeable guides engage strollers in a two-way conversation about the heritage and history of the Windy City, thrilling and entertaining their audience with informative stories and humorous anecdotes. Tours are conducted rain or shine, though guests may be guided to shelter during thunderstorms. Each expedition is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Trundling down the iconic avenues and streets of the Windy City, Chicago Film Tour’s coach glides by local sights featured on the silver screen in movies such as The Dark Knight, The Fugitive, and The Blues Brothers. Each of the 30 locations on the signature tour features an accompanying movie clip played on the bus’s video monitors. Occasional special tours center on sites from one particular film, and passengers can bring their own beverages and snacks on board to re-create their favorite moments in product placement.
Designed by Chicago architects Holabird & Roche, Soldier Field flung open its gates for visitors on October 9, 1924, under the name Grant Park Municipal Stadium. After adopting its current alias in 1925, Soldier Field hosted the 1926 Army-Navy Game, sheltered the famed Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney heavyweight rematch of 1927, and presented the first-ever nu-disco concert in 1928. The venue has gone on to host an impressive array of guests during its nearly 90-year history, from President Franklin Roosevelt and the first Special Olympic Games to the Chicago Bears and The Rolling Stones. Soldier Field Tours' expert guides evoke the stadium's star-studded past as they accompany families, groups, and single patrons on treks through the recently renovated facility. Snaking along the south courtyard's walls, the Grand Concourse is lined with medal-embedded benches commemorating the service of American military personnel. The golden channel of memorial benches finally culminates at a World War I–era Doughboy statue crafted from sheet metal and cast bronze. On the north end, the green granite Memorial Waterfall continuously flows in memory of U.S. armed-service members and to the delight of the wild salmon attempting to flow up its 280-foot-long wall.
Owner Valerie Beck and her team of chocophile tour guides lead guests on walking tours of Chicago’s historical bakeries and chocolatiers, narrating the history of beloved sweets while walking an easy route through vistas of Chicago’s stunning architectural heritage. While snacking on samples of sweets, guests learn about chocolate’s storied history, the cupcake’s rise to prominence, and how to guess the flavor of filling inside Oompa Loompas by sight. Tours convene throughout Chicago’s many neighborhoods, giving guests a sneak peek into Chicago's signature confections, boutique shops, and mobile sweet-vending trucks. The chocolate or cupcake jaunts provide the perfect setting for a girls’ day out or bachelorette party, showing tour-goers the sweeter side of the city without getting caught in construction sites of shoddily built gingerbread houses.
Chicago Electric Boat Company's canopied, comfortable vessels navigate the scenic waters of the Chicago River, stirring up the reflected lights of the Loop's skyline in their wake. Groups lounge in plush seating as their elected driver easily steers the boat, bobbing along at cruising speeds of 4–5 miles per hour. Integrated sound systems pump out sailing music from iPods and other devices, and onboard accommodations create ample space for staging drinks, light refreshments, and Battleship tournaments. The company keeps a roster of certified captains and tour guides on hand and offers catering services from four local eateries, including Pizzeria Uno and Smith & Wollensky.
Chicago Savvy Tours’ knowledgeable guides unearth the Windy City’s gritty and occasionally hilarious history as they lead groups in and out of architectural landmarks during walking tours heralded by CBS Chicago as one of the city’s best. Tours wind past distinctive architectural works such as Adler and Sullivan's Auditorium building, the Mies van der Rohe–designed Federal Plaza, and the John Hancock building, named after the inventor of autographs. Year-round tour dates are available, with the heaviest rotation of times in the summer. Children are welcome, though like politics and prescription-drug ads, most of the content appeals to adults.