Guides’ expertise, city’s architecture and history shine on Chicago’s Architectural Foundation cruises

Chicago Scene

CHICAGO — For more than 25 years, the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady has welcomed trained docent volunteers to lead their river cruises. 

On these cruises, the docents share their expertise and the fascinating stories behind more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River.  Those on board will learn how Chicago grew from a small settlement into one of the world’s largest cities in less than 100 years. 

Aboard Chicago’s First Lady

The tours last 90 minutes and give you an overview of Chicago’s architecture and its history. 

“We learn about 120 different buildings, but we cover about 60 on the cruise,” CAFC docent Wayne Johnson said. “It includes architectural history from the Chicago Fire to how we reversed the river, and the beautiful styles of architectures that represent Chicago.”

Recently, the CAFC was named a finalist for Best Boat Tour for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award. 

Looking West on the Chicago River

The cruise is a fantastic way to take in world-class architecture while getting a specially curated story of each building from the expert docent volunteer.

Tickets start out around $50, to learn more or book a curse, head over to the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center.

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