- 794 Ratings
Historic Kayaking Tour of Chicago
Get a duck's eye view of Chicago with a kayaking tour through the heart of the city – the Chicago River. Learn about the monumental architecture, and rich history of this classic American city.
What You Will Do
- See the Windy City from a unique vantage point – the river
- This excursion is perfect for all levels, whether you are a beginner or an experienced paddler
- Start off with a 20 minute training session that gets you ready before heading out on the water
- Coast through the waves and gaze at the imposing skyline, as your guide points out the urban architecture for which Chicago is famous for
- Learn the history of the city as you float past important landmarks
- Kayaking equipment
- Guided tour
Please arrive 15 min before the scheduled tour time to ensure all tours stay on schedule. This tour starts and finishes at our Riverwalk location. Bring workout, cycling gloves if you have them.
Urban Kayaks has a 24 hour cancellation policy for all pre-paid reservations. If you cancel within 24 hours of making your booking your money is not refundable. You are, however, allowed to make a new reservation at no additional cost. This is designed to account for emergency or otherwise unavoidable circumstances. If you miss or cancel your second reservation inside of 48 hours you will forfeit your purchase.
- 794 Ratings
Great experience, smooth booking and friendly guides on the tour. It was the highlight of the trip for me - what a location to kayak in!
Matt and his safety crew were excellent guides. What a great way to experience Chicago!
It was fun seeing the city from the river and hearing the stories. I
I’ve done the historic tour three times now and it never gets old! Tons of fun, really great people and beautiful views.
- Mary Lou
So fun! The speaker was funny and informative. The guides were really helpful.
The tour guide was very well informed with plenty historical facts and interesting anecdotes about Chicago now and long ago. We had freedom to ask plenty of questions as well.
Very well organized, from check-in to kayak return. Online info was helpful prior to the tour, too (though I don't recall seeing info re: locker availability. I liked that that was included with the tour bookings). Don't know how training info is since all in our group said they had kayaked before. Liked that there was also an employee at the back of the group keeping an eye on things. Cole provided fun information and guidance along the way; liked his "personal" touch to the Chicago Fire story. Kayaks were comfortable; loved the set-up for put-in. Enjoyed this more than I'm sure I would have enjoyed a "self-guided" kayak trip; I knew that Cole & Alex were looking out for us with the crazy boat traffic on the river. Plenty of stops along the way for those who may have trouble keeping up.
We had a wonderful time and learned all out about the history of Chicago. Great way to move to a new city and learn insight into the city's architecture.
our tour guide made it outstanding tour will return soon!
I loved experiencing Chicago from the river and overall was very impressed with the tour. My only wish is that the tour group would've been smaller. It seemed like a decent amount of our time was spent waiting for part of the group to catch up or waiting for us all to untangle our kayaks. Overall, I loved the tour and would do it again or recommend it to anyone interested.
Great experience. Unusual way to see the city and learn interesting historical facts as well.
Loved getting both the kayak experience on the river and a tour of the city! Our guide was very helpful, both in explaining technique and history. Would highly recommend this to anyone with a limited amount of time or looking for a more adventurous way to see Chicago!
Enjoyable. Great Guide. Safety well accommodated.
Great leader and we had a blast!
We were super satisfied with the whole kayaking tour experience! From the initial meet, to getting adjusted for our kayaks, to having our kayak carried to the river, to the awesome launch\return method, to Jim the guide... fantastic. We felt safe on the water with the Urban Kayak crew, and the tour info was very interesting and different from the big boat tours. Jim's headset and loud speaker made hearing him very easy - both for the tour information, as well as safety info. I was initially a bit worried about the amount of traffic on the river, but after experiencing how professional and safety minded the Urban Kayaks team operated, this should NOT be anyone's concern. We will definitely go paddling again!
I love this tour! I've done it twice and it's my favorite tourist thing to do when family and friends come to town. It's the best and most unique way to see the city.
A very informative tour and Jim was great!
The tour guide let us set the pace paddling and kept us aware of River traffic without spoiling the adventure. He had interesting historical anecdotes a life long Chicagoan hadn't heard.
Being from Chicago, I've always wanted to be a tourist and kayak through the Chicago River. It was such a great arm workout, our tour guide was really nice and informative, and my guest really enjoyed kayaking. I just wish the prices were a little more consumer-friendly!
Very fun and learned a lot on the historic tour!
Can't think of a better way to see the city. The organisation and staff were top class from start to finish. Would highly recommend giving it a go.
I felt safe and comfortable as I enjoyed the incredible sights of downtown Chicago. The guide was knowledgeable and helpful throughout the 2 hour trip. Getting on and off the kayak was easy. The owners were very cordial. Overall, I highly recommend.
Guide was very clear as to his expectations of our behavior on the river. I am 65 years old and felt very safe. Getting in and out of the kayacks was very easy. Guide had a very good knowledge of history of river and city. He was easy to hear because a loudspeaker was used. Great outing!
What an experience! We loved seeing beautiful Chicago from a completely new perspective. Our tour guide was awesome. We had so much fun.
Who knew kayaking in the Chicago River would be so much fun!?! I absolutely loved it and highly recommend any active, adventure loving person to do this. You won't be disappointed. Chris was our architecture tour guide. Handed him my camera and he took some splendid shots of us. Fantastic experience!