The Official Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard the Chicago’s First Lady fleet is a "must" for out-of-towners and Chicagoans alike. Expert volunteer tour guides—called docents—interpret more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River, revealing how the city grew from a small back-country outpost into one of the world’s most important crossroads in less than 100 years.
Our tour provides an overview of historic and modern architectural styles, plus many stories about the people who designed and built our city. The Chicago Architecture Foundation has literally written the book about the Chicago River, so accept no substitutes!
We have done this tour several times. It is our "go-to" thing to do when we have guests in town. The kids like it too but do not pay attention to the architecture that is being pointed out. Nonetheless, they love going out on the boat.