- 673 Ratings
Chicago Architectural History Kayaking Tour
Explore the history of downtown Chicago on a kayaking tour that gives you a duck's-eye view of the city landscape. Cruise past architectural marvels as you paddle your way down central waterways for a scenic adventure.
What You Will Do
- Learn about the architectural history of Chicago while weaving your kayak through the city's rivers and canals
- Get a crash-course in kayaking from a knowledgeable guide to learn basic skills, strokes, and safety rules
- Put your newfound skills into action by launching your kayak into waters surrounded by towers of glass and steel
- 3-hour guided kayaking tour
- Brief kayaking lesson
Choose single or double boats upon arrival. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to departure. Bring sunglasses, sunblock, a hat, and a waterproof bag to protect your camera Dress for the weather. Lightweight, synthetic clothing is best.
- 673 Ratings
Great tour, but it was further north up the Chicago River than I expected. It was quite an upper body workout & the trip back was brutal. 3 miles of non-stop kayaking! Other than that it was pretty good. Architectural tour was nice on the kayaks!
Gave the team a 5 for care, caution, instructions, guidance- we had a group of over 20 & the guys did a terrific job of keeping everyone safe. Tour itself was a 3..... very light for an architectural tour....the city has waaay too much to offer about the architecture, most got missed
Great tour guides! Very funny.
Eric, the tour guide was the best. Everyone was well thought out, and organized.
Loved getting some exercise in while learning more about Chicago's architecture! I enjoyed the humor and jokes that our guide added in throughout, including some stories that I wonder if the boat tours would also include (ex. Dave Matthews and the poop incident; the submarine that was found at the bottom of the river when they were reversing the water flow). Would definitely recommend the kayak tour over a boat tour to anyone visiting Chicago!
Instructers need to be more pantience
Great afternoon! We loved looking up at the buildings from the river and being out with the boats. Going under the bridges was cool! The guide was great and we learned things wed never known. This was a fun experience!
very scenic and informative. Took a few breaks in paddling to learn about the buildings and there history. Just the right amount of stops.
Great guides! Good value, enjoyed the 3 hours on the river.
Great staff, nice commentary, and a good workout!
My friend and I were looking for something to do that did not involve using our legs too much as we were to run in the half marathon the next day. We stumbled upon your company on Groupon. We had an absolute blast! Bubba was an awesome tour guide, and very knowledgeable about Chicago. He was funny and we had a great time with him as our guide. We have already signed up for the race again for next year. We will definitely do the tour again through your company!
Need to build in a break somewhere Sitting in the kayak for 3+ hours can be brutal. Otherwise a fun time.
We toured with Bubba! The entire tour with him was entertaining, fun, scenic and safe.
Beautiful to be on the water. My guide David was knowledgeable and very helpful in making sure I was safe on the water.
Bubba and Ryan were great! Very informative and fun.
This was so much fun. I plan to bring others on this trip.
Tour guides Mike and Eric were great on Sunday! The tandem was difficult for us and Mike was awesome by staying near us to give great instructions until we got the hang of it!
We had a great time with David (Buba?) and Dakota - they were simply awesome and delightful to spend 3 hours navigating the Chicago river with! I had never been on a kayak before and they made sure we felt safe, knew what we were doing, and 'saved' us when we were stuck! I did not fall in the water and I know it's all thanks to them! =D I would absolutely recommend this tour for tourists as well as locals! (we've lived in Chicago 3 years and have talked about doing this every summer) - LOVED it! cannot recommend Chicago Kayak enough. Lovely experience and cannot wait to try their lake paddle boards, etc.
Fun and informative trip. Way more fun than an architectural tour just sitting on a big boat.
Our tour guide, Bubba, was awesome & very knowledgeable! Our instructions before going out on the water were thorough & our guides were right there to help out once we got on the river. The length of the tour was also great - we definitely feel like we got our moneys worth & we were tired by the end (& feeling it the next day). We had never been out on the Chicago river, so it was really cool to see the city from the water.
Excellent training before we entered the water Excellent attention to safety on the water Great tour guides Only suggestion: a stop or two when the group heads north: 2.5 miles of paddling (against the current and some wind) tired out the group.
Bubba did an amazing job showing us around the city. He was funny and Knowledgeable which made for a great tour. I would highly recommend this tour over other companies because you really get to see the city, as well of the outskirts. We were able to use the first few miles of kayaking getting used to how things work, and then felt more comfortable as we reached the city. it was an absolutely Incredible experience!
Bubba was great!
A very personable guide (Bubba) who made sure that we felt comfortable in the kayaks, and had some good stories about the buildings that we saw. Good quality equipment, and a very helpful staff. Lots of free parking, which is always appreciated in Chicago !
So much fun! And our guide Eric told us great facts about Chicago and had a wonderful sense of humor. Highly recommended!
This was a really great tour, with a funny and knowledgeable guide. The paneling wasn't too hard (c.9km over 2.5 hours) and the river was really good fun for a beginner.
We went out yesterday 7/22/18 at 10am. It was pouring rain and windy but I still had a great time. I was the worst one out of the group. I'm pretty sure everyone knew my name by the end of the tour. Our guide (I forget her name but she has a great Budweiser joke) helped me the entire time. She really made the experience that much better. I was ready to give up and be a river rat...but she helped me get back. I recommend this tour to those who are not hungover. Great staff. I was even given a partial refund as they honored a Groupon price.
Maggie and David were great guides that provided a safe and fun experience.
Great tour guide, he was very informative and funny!
The ride along the river was fantastic and quite long. Seems like the other companies have a short yet paddle. The architecture information was lacking.
Very informative tour and a lot of fun as well! Great way to see this great city.
A great time was had by all 6 of us in our group. Tour was filled with stories history and humor. this was our first time kayaking and will go again. everyone on your staff was friendly, fun and helpful. .
David W. Was amazing!!!! Thanks for a great tour!!!
The staff here are great - very helpful, knowledgeable and look out for your safety. It was a very fun and unique way to see the city. My only complaint is that the tour was long. I know, you can't please everyone, but most people on the tour agreed. Ours went nearly 4 hours and I was up for about half of that. But overall, a great experience that I would recommend.
We had a really good experience doing the architectural tour with Kayak Chicago! It was easy to book our trip on the website. The drop-in spot is just south of North Ave and has easy parking. The staff members were all welcoming and helpful, and we really liked our tour guide. There was a good mix of learning about the history of the river and buildings along the river, plus some time to just relax and kayak down the river. We brought our 7 and 8 year old children with us, and they enjoyed it too (children sat in front of a double kayak with an adult in the back). This is a really great way to spend some time in the city and see what Chicago is all about.
Friendly and knowledgable staff gave way to a great experience. Good length in that we we're ready to be done feeling like we got what we paid for. Perfect tourist activity for people (like ourselves) who are sick of taking visiting friends/family to the typical tourist attractions.
Great tour, but it would have really helped to stop more on the way back and discuss sights. That all happened on the way down, but then it was one long slog on the way back. Hard at the end, and going up stream.
Cameron and myself had a fantastic day - learned lots and truly enjoyed our experience. Our guide was smart, informative and funny which made our day enjoyable. Thanks Kris
This was a great, relaxed, informative and secure tour. Bubba was friendly, engaging, educated and made a few of us kayak newbies feel safe. It's a terrific tour group! Love little Mr. Dude (dachshund) taking care of the tour launch site too!
Tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly and the whole experience was extremely worth it. We will return again
Bubba was very funny and helpful.
Bubba was very good.