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