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Chicago Riverwalk
Vacation Travel Guide

Chicago Riverwalk which includes a city, a bay or harbor and a river or creek
Stroll along the waterfront of the Chicago River to pass some of the city’s most appealing attractions and appreciate how a once grim area has been successfully revamped.

Get a sense of the culture and character of the Windy City by wandering along the Chicago Riverwalk. This scenic stretch of the city follows the banks of the Chicago River from near the edge of Lake Michigan through Downtown to where the river splits. As you follow the walkway, pass impressive bridges, fascinating museums and trendy dining spots. 

Chicago’s river is most famous for the time, in the late 19th century, when city planners reversed its currents to improve sanitation. Visit today to see the riverfront transformed from a polluted industrial area to a popular leisure destination. A team of engineers and architects began work on designing the area to make the most of the revitalized atmosphere by the waterfront. It was formally named the Riverwalk in 2012.

Learn more about the history of the area in the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, which pays particular attention to the 18 movable bridges that cross the waterway. Head to the top of the bridgehouse for views of the river, these historic bridges and the dramatic skyline of the city. 

Take a boat tour that leaves from the waterfront and drifts through the center of the city or simply stroll along the Riverwalk. Pass sights such as the neo-Gothic headquarters of the Chicago Tribune and the iconic Wrigley Building. Modern skyscrapers of glimmering glass and steel stand alongside these historic landmarks.

Spend your evening dining at one of the restaurants along the Riverwalk. Sampling the city’s famous deep-dish pizzas is an obvious choice, but you can also try seafood, steaks and Italian food, among other options. 

Listen for live music as you explore the Chicago Riverwalk. In summer, the waterfront hosts an array of musicians playing for passers-by. 

Visit the Chicago Riverwalk in the morning for a quiet and relaxing way of seeing the city. Come back in the evening to see the area lit up beautifully, as the bars and restaurants come to life with patrons enjoying a night out. The Riverwalk is a public space, open throughout the year and free to explore.

Stroll along the waterfront of the Chicago River to pass some of the city’s most appealing attractions and appreciate how a once grim area has been successfully revamped.

Get a sense of the culture and character of the Windy City by wandering along the Chicago Riverwalk. This scenic stretch of the city follows the banks of the Chicago River from near the edge of Lake Michigan through Downtown to where the river splits. As you follow the walkway, pass impressive bridges, fascinating museums and trendy dining spots.

Chicago’s river is most famous for the time, in the late 19th century, when city planners reversed its currents to improve sanitation. Visit today to see the riverfront transformed from a polluted industrial area to a popular leisure destination. A team of engineers and architects began work on designing the area to make the most of the revitalized atmosphere by the waterfront. It was formally named the Riverwalk in 2012.

Learn more about the history of the area in the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, which pays particular attention to the 18 movable bridges that cross the waterway. Head to the top of the bridgehouse for views of the river, these historic bridges and the dramatic skyline of the city.

Take a boat tour that leaves from the waterfront and drifts through the center of the city or simply stroll along the Riverwalk. Pass sights such as the neo-Gothic headquarters of the Chicago Tribune and the iconic Wrigley Building. Modern skyscrapers of glimmering glass and steel stand alongside these historic landmarks.

Spend your evening dining at one of the restaurants along the Riverwalk. Sampling the city’s famous deep-dish pizzas is an obvious choice, but you can also try seafood, steaks and Italian food, among other options.

Listen for live music as you explore the Chicago Riverwalk. In summer, the waterfront hosts an array of musicians playing for passers-by.

Visit the Chicago Riverwalk in the morning for a quiet and relaxing way of seeing the city. Come back in the evening to see the area lit up beautifully, as the bars and restaurants come to life with patrons enjoying a night out. The Riverwalk is a public space, open throughout the year and free to explore.

Top things to do in Chicago Riverwalk

Top Hotels Close to Chicago Riverwalk

DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago - Magnificent Mile
DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago - Magnificent Mile
3.5 out of 5
300 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL
The price is $166 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Located in Near North Side, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Michigan Avenue, Chicago Riverwalk, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Ann and Robert H. ...
4.1/5Very Good! (1,336 reviews)
"Great place, great staff, will stay again for sure!"

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2021

DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago - Magnificent Mile
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Hyatt Regency Chicago
4 out of 5
151 East Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL
The price is $195 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Located in The Loop, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Chicago Riverwalk and Michigan Avenue Bridge. Grant Park and Chicago Theatre are also within 10 minutes. ...
4.4/5Excellent! (3,222 reviews)
"Excellent location!"

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2021

Hyatt Regency Chicago
Loews Chicago Hotel
Loews Chicago Hotel
4.5 out of 5
455 North Park Drive, Chicago, IL
The price is $189 per night from Jul 7 to Jul 7
Located in Near North Side, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chicago Riverwalk, Michigan Avenue, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Grant Park ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (1,406 reviews)
"Great property."

Reviewed on Jun 21, 2021

Loews Chicago Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Chicago Riverwalk Flight + Hotel Deals

Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/Loop
Hotel Lincoln, part of JdV by Hyatt
The Langham, Chicago
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Chicago Riverwalk

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Best Lodging Options Near Chicago Riverwalk

The Whitehall Hotel
The Whitehall Hotel
4 out of 5
105 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL
The price is $99 per night from Jul 19 to Jul 19
The Whitehall Hotel
DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago - Magnificent Mile
DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago - Magnificent Mile
3.5 out of 5
300 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL
The price is $166 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago - Magnificent Mile
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Hyatt Regency Chicago
4 out of 5
151 East Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL
The price is $195 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Loews Chicago Hotel
Loews Chicago Hotel
4.5 out of 5
455 North Park Drive, Chicago, IL
The price is $189 per night from Jul 7 to Jul 7
Loews Chicago Hotel
LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton
LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton
4.5 out of 5
85 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL
The price is $205 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 5
LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton
Congress Plaza Hotel
Congress Plaza Hotel
3.5 out of 5
520 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
The price is $125 per night from Jul 25 to Jul 25
Congress Plaza Hotel
Sheraton Grand Chicago
Sheraton Grand Chicago
4 out of 5
301 E North Water St, Chicago, IL
The price is $179 per night from Jul 1 to Jul 1
Sheraton Grand Chicago
Omni Chicago Suites - Magnificent Mile
Omni Chicago Suites - Magnificent Mile
4.5 out of 5
676 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL
The price is $172 per night from Jul 25 to Jul 25
Omni Chicago Suites - Magnificent Mile
Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront
Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront
4 out of 5
71 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL
The price is $170 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.