A 30-foot sailboat floats across Lake Michigan. It churns through water twinkling with reflections of moonlight, stars, and the Chicago skyline. Suddenly, fireworks shoot into the air, painting the sky above Navy Pier in blooms of red and blue. The USCG–licensed and certified captains at 3rd Coast Cruising create moments like these during private charters and sightseeing tours. They also spend their days leading hands-on lessons that let sailors discover keelboarding or tackle more advanced conditions such as heavy-weather sailing. Launching from the giant wine bottles in DuSable Harbor, 3rd Coast Cruising's fleet also beckons potential captains to compete in sailboat races.
On Wednesday, October 3, independent distillers set up shop at the Warehouse at Carmichael's Chicago Steak House to display and sample their small-batch, artisanal wares for the second annual Independent Spirits Expo. The exhibitors come from all over the country, from Breckenridge Distillery in the Rockies to Ravenswood’s own Koval. Koval will showcase their smooth and organic spirits, including single-barrel oat and millet whiskeys, New Holland—taking a break from beer brewing— will also show off their small-batch whiskeys, and Templeton Rye struts its stuff with its eponymous spirit.
The history buffs of Chicago's Finest River Walk Tour lead engaging and dynamic tours of the city's riverfront during summer and subterranean tunnel system during winter. Intimate groups of up to 15 participants saunter along the city's waterways or navigate the underground tunnels originally developed for speedy traversal by Pony Express riders delivering mail between skyscrapers. During each tour, knowledgeable guides engage strollers in a two-way conversation about the heritage and history of Chicago. Tours are conducted rain or shine, though guests may be guided to shelter during thunderstorms or periodic discharges of Willis Tower's rooftop tesla coil, and 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.