An Expert’s Guide to the Chicago Riverwalk

31 July 2019

Two people look over the Chicago River at sunset.


1000M offers forever views of Lake Michigan, and is only a brief walk or ride to the Chicago River. Second best to all the lake has to offerwe’re bringing you our expert’s guide to the Chicago Riverwalk, the pedestrian-and-boat-friendly hub at the center of the city.


The Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk was recently expanded in 2015, and now stands as a fun-filled attraction for tourists and locals alike. The riverwalk stretches from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street, and is divided into six diverse “rooms.” These rooms are different sections of the riverwalk, each offering their own vibe and exciting attractions. 


The Marina, from State to Dearborn, is where boats are docked and also features an array of dining and entertainment options.

The Cove, from Dearborn to Clark, is the perfect place to find a quick snack before renting a kayak.

The River Theater, from Clark to LaSalle, is an urban oasis with riverside landscaping and seats with the best views in town.

The Water Plaza, from LaSalle to Wells, features the family-favorite fountain that sprays an arc across the river.

The Jetty, from Wells to Franklin, is the spot for fisherman and quiet nature lovers.

The Riverbank, from Franklin to Lake, is a paradise of floating gardens.


The Riverwalk by Foot:

The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum is a hidden gem that begins at river level and spirals five stories up. Climb into one of the river’s iconic bridgehouses and see the mechanics that power the famous Michigan Avenue Bridge—not to mention, the panoramic views at the top. 

The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum is located at 99 Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago, IL. 


The Floating Gardens that surround The Riverbank room of The Riverwalk are a tranquil implant of nature against the urban city skyline. Here, you might see a turtle or two come to sun themselves, or find a quiet spot to sit and reflect on your own.

The Floating Gardens span a mile of the Chicago Riverwalk, located near The Riverbank book between Franklin and Lake.


The River Theater is easily the most photographed spot on the Chicago Riverwalk. Not only is this the perfect place to stop for a photo-op, but these stepped seats along the river are the best place to sit back, enjoy the view, and maybe do a little bit of people-watching.

The River Theater is located between Clark and LaSalle on the Chicago Riverwalk.


The Riverwalk by Water: 

Urban Kayaks at The Marina offers kayak rentals for all levels of expertise. Take a tour with a guide or go it alone to get the most awe-inspiring views of the city. 

Urban Kayaks is located at 435 E Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago, IL.


The Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tours were voted one of the Top 10 Tours in the US by TripAdvisor. Don’t think that these tours are just for tourists—even if you’ve lived here your whole life, you’ve never seen the city like this (unless you’ve gone before, in which case, it doesn’t take any convincing for you to go again). 

The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise Aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises is located at the Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Dr.


Wendella Cruises offer sightseeing tours of the river in a unique way. Their different cruises include a Beer & BBQ Cruise, a Wine & Cheese Cruise and even a Champagne & Oyster Cruise. 

Wendella Tours & Cruises are located at 400 N Michigan Ave Suite C100, Chicago, IL.


When living at 1000M, you’re never far from the best that the city has to offer, from Forever Views of Lake Michigan to the Chicago Riverwalk.