Bodies of water are frequent metaphors in poetry because of their unfathomable depths, unknowable sprawl, and unattainable porpoises. Set sail into the enigma with today's Groupon: for $7, you get a public cruise for two aboard the St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats, departing from Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles (up to a $15 value).
The St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats navigate the calm waters of the Fox River, entertaining eager sightseers with local history and breathtaking river views. The 50- to 60-minute public cruises (a $7.50 value for adults, a $6 value for children ages 15 and younger) shove off daily until September, and on weekends until mid-October, affording enthusiasts plenty of opportunities to climb aboard a riverboat in the style of the Mark Twain era and practice their Sacajawea impersonations. The Anderson family, local river-tour guides since 1945, has embarked upon thousands of trips up the Fox River, and are well-versed in the history of the several local parks and forest preserves scattered along the banks. While guests position themselves about the spacious upper and lower decks and enjoy the afternoon sun or scenic views, second-generation captain Rich Anderson narrates while steering, a talent similar to rubbing one's belly and reciting the Emancipation Proclamation backward.
St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats
Through St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats, Rich Anderson shares the rich history of the Fox River with tour groups, a history that his 68-year-old business is very much apart of. Rich’s father, Chet, purchased the Honeymoon Queen for $200 in 1945, hoping to offer rides to picnickers in neighboring Pottawatomie Park. Though the boat required exhaustive repairs, it would soon become a regular sight as it ferried school groups, dinner parties, and lazy ducks along the waters. Both Chet and the Honeymoon Queen retired from the waters by the 1980s, turning over the operations to Rich and the current fleet of paddleboats, which feature open upper decks and spacious enclosed lower decks. Today, as the St. Charles Belle II and Fox River Queen churn the serene waters, guests take in scenic views and learn about the Pottawatomie tribe that lived along the river’s banks almost 200 years ago.
2 North Ave.
St. Charles, Illinois 60174Get Directions