Chicago Architecture Foundation

Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise

Boat or Ferry · The Loop
112 E Wacker Dr (at Michigan Ave), Chicago, IL 60601, United States
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The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a non-profit organization that inspires people to discover why design matters.

  • What you need to know
    Billy T.
    "Excellent 90 minute docent led tour"(4 Tips)
    InterContinental Chicago
    "Chicago Architecture Foundation’s boat tour"(3 Tips)
    Lorraine S.
    "Amazing tour of Chicago's unique architecture!"(11 Tips)
    Brian S.
    "great views."(5 Tips)
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  • Molly S.

    Amazing tour, fun and educational. A great way to see the city.

    Molly Stoddart · October 18
  • Travis I.

    Buy your tickets at the riverside kiosk, NOT ONLINE. You will pay about $20 extra in fees buying tickets online.

    Travis Ince · September 28
  • Gustavo M. H.

    When of the best tours I've ever made.

    Gustavo M. Hüning · September 9
  • Caroline R.

    Love this tour. Learn so much about the city every time. Prefer it during the day, but they also offer one ride at 7:30pm.

    Caroline Rubin · September 2
  • Pablo D.

    Excellent tour, sit in the front as audio is quite bad

    Pablo DD · August 18
  • Theresa R.

    Loved having such an enthusiastic tour guide! Made the tour that much more exciting.

    Theresa Roldan · August 10
  • Laurea d.

    Really fun way to see the historical buildings on the Chicago River. Docents are volunteers from the Chicago Architecture foundation.

  • Jose A.

    I'm not an architecture buff; however, I found this 90 min. tour to be very interesting and a great way to learn about the history of Chicago. The docent was a volunteer professor from Northwestern.

    Jose Alfaro, Jr. · June 13
  • Paul F.

    Great tour. Even the most cynical will be engaged by this. Really knowledgable and entertaining

    Paul Farrell · April 13
  • Clark S.

    Wonderfully informative! Sit on top and enjoy!

    Clark Scrandis · September 20, 2014
  • Valerie

    Really great tour. Very informational and a wonderful way to see the city.

    Valerie · September 16, 2014
  • Michael P.

    This is a great way to see Chicago. Better to see building than street level

    Michael Peppler · September 14, 2014
  • Anil W.

    Informative 90min boat cruise that showcases the highlights of Chicago's beautiful architecture

    Anil Wijesooriya · September 14, 2014
  • Sean R.

    We had visitors in from out of town and decided to take the river tour. Weather was great for it and so was the experience on the First Lady. Very informative with all the history and facts!

    Sean Reed · August 31, 2014
  • Linda F.

    Best boat tour in the city if you're looking for a knowledgeable guide who really knows architecture!

    Linda Felter · August 22, 2014
  • Chicagoist

    Highlights along the tour cover more than a century of architectural innovation from classic buildings like the Civic Opera House to mid-century experiment Marina City to modern buildings like Aqua. Read more

    Chicagoist · August 1, 2014
  • Thomas N.

    They use a few different boats so sit were you like. The front on the boat is a fine place to sit. Also the bartenders are not jerks, they are people just like you and I. Be respectful and have fun!

    Thomas Newton · June 13, 2014
  • Henry G.

    Don't go on hot days. You'll roast. Come when it's not too hot.

    Henry Gray · May 11, 2014
  • Merili B.

    If in Chicago don't miss out on this tour. Whether you like architecture or not it's a great experience. Try time it with good weather so you don't freeze on the upper deck

    Merili Baralic Padilla · November 26, 2013
  • Catriona H.

    Really interesting, although best views are from on the deck, so try to pick a dry day!

    Catriona Hunter · November 21, 2013
  • Idara U.

    Hot chocolate and Bailey's is awesome for this cold day

    Idara Udo · November 3, 2013
  • Sarah

    Bartender is a total jerk

    Sarah · October 24, 2013
  • Jeremy W.

    There are a ton of river boat tours stretching from Navy Pier down the river, but this is the best. Super enthusiastic (and knowledgeable) guide. 90 minutes. Do this day 1 of your trip!

    Jeremy Wilcox · September 23, 2013
  • Billy T.

    Excellent 90 minute docent led tour full of Chicago history and spectacular views. Highly recommended.

    Billy Terrell · September 10, 2013
  • Jennie

    Very informative tour, next time I come I will go on the evening tour to see the city lights. :)

    Jennie · August 28, 2013
  • Ting T.

    Pretty impressive bar selection for an architecture tour.

    Ting Tsai · August 4, 2013
  • Kelly .

    Look for the blue awning. Don't get fooled by the "fake tours" that have a lot of promoters. This is the real deal

    Kelly 🍰 · July 14, 2013
  • Greg S.

    The tour is excellent! Make sure you get there early if you want a good seat on the deck however. Also, bonus points for the on-board bar!

    Greg Smith · July 8, 2013
  • Juan S.

    They have good local beers on board. Try a few!

    Juan Solano R · June 22, 2013
  • Lynnster

    Don't miss the boat :(

    Lynnster · May 19, 2013
  • Maggie H.

    Fascinating tour - definitely a must! Make sure you sit on the left ;)

    Maggie Hart · October 28, 2012

    Best tour AND most popular in the city so show up early

    SNOCRU · October 21, 2012
  • Mad

    Front of the boat is just fine. dress warmly!

    Mad · October 12, 2012
  • Julie A.

    To support a great cause and go on a great tour, look no further.

    Julie Arrison · October 12, 2012
  • Margot B.

    Make sure you sit on the open top deck--sacrifice warmth for the view.

    Margot Bloomstein · October 8, 2012
  • Kyle P.

    Cross your fingers that you get Lindy as your tour guide. She is so punny

    Kyle Peters · September 11, 2012
  • Jeffrey Z.

    Learn about great buildings during wonderful, docent-led 90 minute cruise along the Chicago River.

    Jeffrey Zeldman · August 24, 2012
  • Lisa

    Great way to see Chicago.

    Lisa · August 7, 2012
  • Helena N.

    Unmissable if you are touring Chicago.

    Helena Nacinovic · May 17, 2012
  • InterContinental Chicago

    The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s boat tour might be the best in the city. The docents are all volunteers, but you'll marvel at the depth of their knowledge.

    InterContinental Chicago · September 8, 2011
  • Lorraine S.

    Amazing tour of Chicago's unique architecture! Arrive earlier to get a good seat upstairs. Drinks are decent - try the margarita ;)

    Lorraine S · September 7, 2011
  • L H.

    This was a great tour — totally worth it. Not just for tourists, either; it's genuinely interesting and lovely.

    L Hess · August 16, 2011
  • Kristin

    Book EARLY! Best architecture tour in the city!

    Kristin · August 13, 2011
  • Simon S.

    Very interesting if you like architecture, but listening to 90 minutes of facts might be a bit too much for the average tourist. Despite that, you get a very good view of the city from the river.

    Simon Smidt · July 26, 2011
  • Thompson Hotels

    Our concierge Catherine at Sax Chicago says this is one "touristy" attraction that's actually a fascinating experience. The tour starts only 2 blocks from the Sax.

    Thompson Hotels · June 20, 2011
  • Diego R.

    Take this amazing 90 minutes tour!! Even if it looks like a touristic thing it's really worth it! Read more

    Diego Rufo · March 28, 2011
  • Brian S.

    Don't sit in the front of the boat. Excellent place to learn the unique history behind Chicago and great views.

    Brian Searl · October 25, 2010
  • S

    Food and drinks sold on board but u're welcome to bring you own (non-alcoholic)

    S · October 18, 2010
  • Daniella R.

    This is a must do if you're visiting

    Daniella R · September 7, 2010
  • Randy S.

    Do NOT sit in the front of the boat. The guide talks after you pass the building. If you figure that out then all the seats are taken upstairs. VERY disappointing. They should not put chairs there.

    Randy Smith · July 17, 2010

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