Have You Checked Out Chicago Riverwalk?

Chicago has no shortage of fun, FREE things to see and do, especially during Summer.  Chicago Riverwalk is one such destination and it is undergoing a major transformation, thanks to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

There is something so calm and beautiful about a city that has a river running through it.  Don’t you think?  Sure, there is the lakefront but the river that runs through this bustling city offers a distinctly needed patch of peace to its residents, workers and visitors alike.  A sort of balance amid the city’s frenetic pace.


Chicago Rivewalk path

Chicago River

Chicago River Museum

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

Chicago River bridge views

Chicago River bridge

Chicago Riverwalk bike rentals

Rent some wheels!

Surrey rentals on Chicago Riverwalk


In the last 10 years, the Chicago River has become more than just a place to gather on St. Patrick’s Day to witness the dyeing of the river green!  There are informative and fun river cruises by Chicago Architectural Society (Chicago’s First Lady, Chicago’s Fair Lady), water taxis, kayaking, etc.  


Chicago's First Lady access

Access architectural cruises at Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue

Chicago's First Lady

Chicago’s First Lady Architectural cruise

Chicago's Fair Lady

Marina Towers Chicago

Marina Towers (a.k.a. corn cob buildings)

Chicago Water Taxi

speed boats on Chicago River

Why don’t I have any friends with boats? I need to right that wrong 🙂

Urban Kayaks Chicago

Urban Kayak has many different types of rentals and tours

Kayaking Chicago River


Local restaurants such as O’Brien’s, Cyrano, Smith & Wollensky and Dick’s Last Resort have taken up real estate along the river.  New to the mix is the fabulous River Roast, City Winery and a few fun bars.  And, construction continues east and west of the State Street bridge.


O'Briens Riverwalk Cafe

Smith & Wollensky Chicago

Cyrano's at Chicago Riverwalk

Cyrano’s Cafe

Dick's Last Resort

River Roast Chicago

One of the best restaurants in town is on the Chicago River. Love this place!

City Winery Chicago Riverwalk

This outpost of City Winery has been open for 2 weeks. Live music should begin soon.

City Winery Chicago


Yesterday, I took a stroll over to Chicago Riverwalk to check out some of the new additions in the way of restaurants, food stands, landscaping and architectural improvements.  It was packed!  Many people were content to just grab one of the many chairs and benches and gaze out onto the river.  Pack your own picnic and visiting Chicago Riverwalk becomes one more fabulous, free day.  Live music could be heard from the patio at River Roast which has a “Blues & Brews” brunch on Saturday and Sunday.  Further east, there were some great reggae musicians performing in front of Island Party Hut.


Westin Chicago

Flander's Belgian beer & fries on Chicago Riverwalk

Who’s not down for beer and fries?

Island Party Hut Chicago

Tropical drinks on the river? Yes, please!

Tropical drinks on Chicago Riverwalk

Musicians on Chicago Riverwalk


Also, there is an initiative to incorporate more than just businesses. Many trees and plants have been planted to provide shade which is needed to cool the city center and make it a more efficient green space.  


Benches along Chicago Riverwalk

Butterfly on Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk greenspace

Pull up a patch of grass 🙂

Chicago Riverwalk steps

Fountains along Chicago Riverwalk

So peaceful!

Chicago Riverwalk shade

I cannot wait to see what new businesses and attractions pop up along Chicago Riverwalk west of State Street.

Looking for some other fun, FREE activities in Chicago this Summer?  Check out Millennium Park Summer Film Series, Chicago Summer Dance and The 606 Bloomingdale Trail.






Labeled: Culture & Community · Tips, Etc. · Travel