architects. The 2-hour tours cost $15 each for adults and $12 each for seniors and
The CAF also offers mor e than 50 neighborhood tours, visiting the G old Coast,
River North, Grant Park, Old Town, the Jackson Boulevard Historic District, and even
Lincoln Park Zoo. Most cost $10 and last a couple of hours.
Departing from the Chicago ArchiCenter, 224 S. Michigan Ave.; a few tours leave from the John Hancock
Center, 875 N. Michigan Ave. & 312/922-3432, or 312/922-TOUR (922-8687) for recorded information.
www.architecture.org. Tickets f or most walk ing t ours $10-$15. Sub way/El: Br own, Gr een, P urple, or
Orange Line to Adams, or Red Line to Jackson.
LAKE & RIVER CRUISES
Getting out on the lake is a great way to take in Chicago's incredible skyline from a new
vantage point. Don't forget that you're always going to be at the mer cy of the weather if
you book in advance: I've taken sightseeing cruises in the rain—luckily, most boats have
plenty of co vered areas for this r eason. But when the w eather cooperates, the sight of
sunlight glinting off the city's skyscrapers never fails to thrill.
Chicago from the Lake All ages. This company runs 90-minute architectural river
cruises and lake and riv er historical cr uises that explor e the dev elopment of the city .
Complimentary coffee, lemonade, cookies, and muffins ar e ser ved. For tickets, call or
stop by the company's ticket office, located on the lo wer level on the east end of Riv er
East Plaza. Reservations are recommended.
Departing from Ogden Slip adjacent to River East Plaza (f ormerly North Pier) at the end of E. I llinois St.
& 312/527-2002. w ww.chicagoline.com. Tickets $32 adults , $30 seniors , $18 childr en 7-18, fr ee for
children 6 and under. Daily May-Oct.
Mystic Blue Cruises All ages. A more casual alternative to fancy dinner cruises, this
is promoted as a “ fun” ship (that means DJs at night, although y ou'll also be tr eated to
some live entertainment no matter when you sail). Daily lunch and dinner excursions are
available, as well as midnight voyages on weekends.
Departing from Navy Pier. & 877/299-7783. www.mysticbluecruises.com. Lunch cruises $32-$37, din-
ner $60-$80, midday cruise $25, moonlight cruise $30. Cruises run y ear-round.
Shoreline Sightseeing All ages. Shoreline schedules 30-minute lake cr uises called
Skyline Boat Tours, every half-hour, from its three dock locations: the Shedd Aquarium,
Navy Pier, and Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. It's a great way to get a quick primer
about famous landmarks and a panoramic view of the city skyline in a short time. Shore-
line has also gotten in on the popularity of architecture tours by offering its own version,
narrated by an architectural guide (with higher prices than their r egular tours). A water
taxi also r uns every half-hour fr om Navy Pier to both the S ears Tower and the S hedd
Aquarium. One-way tickets for the water taxi cost $3 to $13, depending on how far you
Departing from Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, and Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. & 312/222-9328.
www.shorelinesightseeing.com. Tickets weekdays $14 adults, $13 seniors, $6 children 11 and under ($1
more per ticket on weekends). May-Sept daily. Tours depart hourly 10am-5:00pm Memorial Day to Labor
Day; every 30 min. 10am-4pm May and Sept.
The Spirit of Chic ago Ages 12 & up. This luxury yacht offers a v ariety of wining
and dining harbor cruises, from a lunch buffet to the M oonlight Dance Party. Children
are allowed, with some r estrictions; otherwise, book a sitter and hit one of the cr uises.
This can be a fairly pricey night out if y ou go for the whole dinner package.