One of my favorite things to do with all visitors is to take them on an architecture boat tour. I love a city on a river. Growing up, Manhattan is nestled on the Hudson river. I love visiting Paris on the Seine River, as well as New Orleans on the Mississippi River. Not only does Chicago have the immense Lake Michigan, but it also has the Chicago River!
Many different companies do their own architecture boat tour, and they each have different kinds of boats. Some are two levels, while others are completely flat, that way, everyone has a great view. The wonderful thing about Chicago is it's a city rich in architectural history. Twenty years after a fire that burned the city down, Chicago was host to the World's Fair of 1893. When the city won to be host to the fair, architects came to Chicago in droves as the prospect of being able to start a city from scratch. From that, the skyscraper was born!
The tour takes you on the north bank of the river, as well as the south bank, and even out to Lake Michigan so that you can look back and get a great view of the entire downtown skyline. Along the way, the tour guide mentions each notable building, the architects behind it, it's history, and what it means to the world. It's incredible to live in a city where each building is monumental not because they are old, but because they are innovative.
Whether you want a cold beer on the boat, a glass of red wine if the sun is setting, or a cocktail when the sun is high in the sky, the boat's bar has all kinds of options. It's such a lovely way to spend time with your friends or family that are visiting. You get to share the highlights of Chicago's history with your visitors, and all the while you're sitting on a boat instead of walking endlessly downtown. My favorite view of the city is being on the river, surrounded by the tall buildings on either side.