Having written a book about fun things to do in the Chicago area with tweens and teens, I get asked ALL THE TIME for recommendations. My first recommendation is usually (and you would think obviously, but not so much!) BUY MY BOOK.
After that all-important recommendation, I usually change it up according to how I’m feeling that day and who is asking. I have a wide variety of favorite things to do in the Chicago area, of course.
One suggestion that is always at the top of my recommendation list (and usually the first thing I do with out-of-town visitors) is an architecture river tour. I have enjoyed lots of them, on boats run by several different companies, and I alwaysalwaysalways learn new things about my city.
When Shoreline Sightseeing contacted me last month and asked if I’d like to join them on an architecture river tour in honor of their 2013 season kicking off, I was all “YES I WOULD, EVEN THOUGH I JUST WENT ON A SHORELINE SIGHTSEEING TOUR TWO WEEKS AGO, BECAUSE I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!” (For real.)
(Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets from Shoreline Sightseeing and no other compensation for this post, which was not a required writing assignment but very much appreciated by the kind folks over there, I’m sure.)
Shoreline Sightseeing has two great locations for catching a boat ride and getting a unique view along with some education that’s presented in a fun way by knowledgable docents. You can start your tour from Gateway Park at Navy Pier OR at the northeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Tour options and ticket information can be found on their website.
They recently started (on May 1) their 2013 season, offering their boat tours and running the water taxis seven days a week. Cruises take place during the day AND in the evening and range in length from thirty to ninety minutes. They also do specialty and private tours. Shoreline Sightseeing was founded in 1939 and operates the city’s largest and most diverse fleet of cruise boats and water taxis (9 major tour vessels and 10 water taxis!). Brothers Chip and Matt Collopy represent the third generation of family ownership.
I love the Shoreline Sightseeing tours because their docents are very fun and engaging. Every one of them that I’ve experienced has a great sense of humor and is wonderful at answering questions on the spot. I think that says much about their training. The views are always spectacular and I can never get enough of the river view of my favorite buildings, some of which are the Sears (not Willis) Tower, Marina City (my dream home), and River City–the latter two designed by architect (and dare I say “Genius!”) Bertrand Goldberg.
I am already thinking about my next architecture river cruise. Wanna go along?