April 23, 2021

Water Taxis on the Chicago River

Visiting family members wanted to take a boat ride on our Chicago River.
I initially looked into the Chicago Architectural Tours offered by the Chicago Architectural Foundation ($41) and Wendella Boat Tours ($26), but found a cheaper alternative: day passes ($7) for the Chicago River water taxi service running west and south.
We started our journey at Michigan Avenue boarding below the bridge where other tour boats are docked. We then transferred at the Madison Street stop for a water taxi headed for Chinatown, an exotic destination where we walked through the greenery of Ping Tom Park and entered Chinatown Square, an open air mall on Archer Avenue, a few blocks from the river. Just follow the other visitors because it’s a bit circuitous.
The boats run every 40 minutes, so we stayed just long enough to buy fruit smoothies made with purple tapioca and my sister purchased two brightly colored parasols.
I didn’t want my nephews to totally miss out on the more expensive lecture tour, so I provided free commentary. “There is the Willis Tower with the vertigo-inducing clear overlook….” Not bad for $7.

Ping Tom Park in Chinatown


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