Recognized as the birthplace of modern architecture, Chicago’s magnificent skyline is only comparable to that of New York City. As a testament, Chicago prides itself in hosting half of the eight tallest buildings in the United States. Yet, aside from the Sears Tower—and the many glitzy buildings that cut through the Chicagoan sky—the “Windy City,” is also famous for its tasty hot dogs, the city’s distinctive deep-dish pizza, its more than 550 individual parks, and a dozen other attractions that include the award-winning Chicago Riverwalk. All these make the glittering city a hot favorite in travel circles.


In this article, we focus on the Riverwalk, Chicago’s famous, if underrated, travel jewel that is just so easy to fall in love with.

What Is The Chicago Riverwalk?

Chicago Riverwalk is just that—a walk by the river. The difference is that this is not just a walk—by the side of just another river. The walk is in the backdrop of a gorgeous architectural display that blends so well with nature’s own handiwork in the form of a river whose water is so blue, it almost looks illusory. This river is the famous Chicago River, and the walk is exactly 1.25 miles (or 2km) long. The area is clean, almost spotless, and dotted with colorful flowers of different shades and tints. Those who want to enjoy this scenic walk from beginning to end should wend their way to the historic Wacker Drive—along which the Riverwalk runs parallel. Of course, there are also various access points. These are found at different street intersections across the whole stretch.

If someone’s on Upper Wacker Drive, walking from Lake Street all way to Lake Front provides an easy, vertical linkage to the waterway. Along the stretch of the Riverwalk are six elegant coves where travelers get to lounge or enjoy many activities on display. At one of these coves—the Jetty Cove—is a beautiful floating garden consisting of planters and containers that are immersed halfway. Inside these planters are wetland grasses hued in a calming, deep-toned green that gives the whole area a cool, relaxed, and serene ambiance. Interestingly, these beautiful plants do not just serve an aesthetic purpose. They also help to clean up the river water. The walk goes under a series of impressive bridges that makes the riverwalk famous for its scenic appeal.

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Things To Do At The Chicago Riverwalk

Of course, the activities to enjoy at the Chicago Riverwalk will depend on the day, the month, and the season—that one comes over. Many people would prefer a weekend visit to Chicago. Also, the best season to visit will have to be summer. There’ll be quite a number of activities on display. Water has its own special charm—not just for children. Just admiring the clear iridescent blue of the Chicago River is an experience of its own. This is especially true when one remembers that the Chicago River was once a dirty, polluted river that nobody would’ve wished to look at, let alone boat on or swim in. This fascinating history, including how the course of the Chicago River was remarkably reversed—can all be learned at the McCormick Bridgehouse &Chicago River Museum, located at the northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Some of the best views of the river and Chicago’s famous skyline can be obtained at the top of this five-floor building.

Then there are boat tours that take off from the waterfront wending their way to the center of the city in a thrilling panorama through shiny, glittering edifices made of glass, steel, and stone. There are several boat tours that visitors can consider. However, according to Tripadvisor, Chicago Architecture River Cruise is the most preferred by travelers. The live commentary on this tour—as one is taken through the city’s iconic landmarks—makes it quite enjoyable.

  • How Long Is The Boat Tour On The Chicago Architecture River Cruise? This tour takes 75 minutes.

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And famous for its deep-dish pizza, Chicago Riverwalk is dotted with many waterfront restaurants where travelers can enjoy the city’s most famous culinary item. And it’s not just the deep-dish pizza. One can enjoy seafood, Italian cuisine, and other tasty dishes served on the seats that overlook the cool, rippling waters of the Chicago River across. There’s also music and many live shows. Sounds of the Riverwalk runs from July 19 through to October and features artists from the Chicago Band Roster. For art lovers, Art on the Mart is the largest digital public art projection in the world—and is on display at the riverwalk.

That’s it. No one has really gone to Chicago if he hasn’t visited her famous riverwalk.