Shoreline Architecture Tour of Chicago

by Lauren Griffin
A cruise provides amazing views of the Chicago skyline.

A cruise provides amazing views of the Chicago skyline.

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With its stunning shoreline boasting iconic modern architecture, it is no wonder many tourists, as well as locals, are awestruck by the architecture of Chicago. The best way to see and appreciate the shoreline and the city's architecture is inarguably by boat. Luckily, a number of cruises provide beautiful views and fascinating facts about the Chicago skyline.

Architectural Cruises

Visitors ready to embark on a shoreline tour will find a variety of cruise lines offer tours that focus on the architecture of the city. Chicago's First Lady, paired with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, is the official Chicago architecture river cruise ( Chicago Line Cruises also attracts visitors interested in Chicago's skyline (, as does Shoreline Sightseeing (

Architectural Cruise Details

An architecture shoreline tour of Chicago promises to be a memorable, educational experience for visitors of all ages. For 90 minutes, an expertly trained docent provides fascinating information about the stunning sights and iconic architecture that is seen from the boat. Riders learn about Chicago architects and their notable influence on skyscraper construction and modern architecture, the lakefront and its parks, the flow of the Chicago River, the development of Chicago and the history of some of its best known buildings. See landmarks like the Willis (Sears) Tower, Tribune Tower, Lake Point Tower, the Wrigley Building, Grant Park and Chicago's many movable bridges.

Other Architectural Boat Tours

While a variety of cruises offer shoreline architecture excursions, a handful of other vessels provide architectural tours of Chicago. For visitors looking for a more exciting, fast-paced experience, grab tickets to the Sea Dog ( On its 75-minute river and lake architectural cruise, this speed boat zips around the Chicago River while imparting interesting and fun facts about the city's buildings and landmarks. The Tall Ship Windy provides visitors with the opportunity to sail on a tall ship while learning about Chicago's architecture (

Other Boats

Visitors who want to take in the impressive Chicago skyline and admire the city from a boat without learning specifically about architecture can embark on a number of shoreline sightseeing tours. Cruise boats, such as the Spirit of Chicago and the Odyssey, cruise along the lakefront and serve lunch or dinner, along with live entertainment for a romantic evening out. Mercury Cruiseline sets up a number of different cruises, such as a sunset cruise or lakefront fireworks, which allow guests to appreciate the architecture without a narrated tour.

About the Author

Lauren Griffin began writing professionally in 2010. Her articles appear on various websites, specializing in academics, food and other lifestyle topics. Griffin attended Columbia University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.

Photo Credits

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