Learn why Nelson Algren called Chicago “the broker’s portage”; why a landmark Chicago building’s floors were built crooked; how a colossal disaster shaped the city; why the river flows backwards and much more! This relaxing 2.5 hour kayak tour guides you through the picturesque urban chasm that is the Chicago River as it flows through downtown. Take in the sights and history along its beautifully landscaped riverside promenade as well as a kaleidoscopic view of some of the greatest American architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries.
During the excursion, kayakers enjoy passing under a multitude of articulated ironwork bridges (the second largest operational drawbridge system in the world!), the fantastic shoreline people-watching, and the wide variety of wildlife that has been drawn to the majestic downtown segment of the Chicago River as the cleanliness has dramatically improved over the past few decades.
WhenSaturdays and Sundays
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Times10:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 4:00PM
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Price$65 per person
InclusionsSingle or double kayak, life vest, paddle, guide(s), paddling lesson, dry bags, sunscreen
OptionsKids under 16 are $45 per person, must ride in a double kayak with a guardian. Children too small to paddle can ride in the middle of a double at no charge
BringWater-friendly clothing and shoes. Blue jeans not recommended. Bring electronics at your own risk
Weight limitsSingle kayak - 275 lbs (approx); Double kayak - 435 lbs (approx)
At the beginning of the tour, we teach the basics of flat water kayaking, have a river safety briefing, get you outfitted with the correct boat, and get the group on the water.
As a group, we begin our journey through the city on a route chosen to stop at the best vistas on the river. Our guides paddle alongside to ensure everyone’s safety.
HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE
Learn how Chicago went from an outback trading post to a bustling metropolis. During stops, we help explain the strong links between the Chicago River and the city itself. Larger-than-life personalities are standard here, from the first fiddle playing, unofficial mayor, to the early boosters whose investments drove major development, to the pioneers and innovators of industry who established Chicago as a world-class city. In addition, prominent buildings are discussed for historical and architectural significance.
Take in your surroundings from the peaceful platform of a sea kayak. Savor the atmosphere as you glide past Chicago’s spectacular interior skyline. Many amazing pictures are waiting to be captured along the way.
A final portrait of the city we know and love. Finishing with a beautiful view of the skyline, we all paddle back to the dock and make sure everyone gets out safely. Enjoy some food and drink at the East Bank Club Grill if you’ve worked up an appetite.
Adam S: My friends and I did the Kayout adventure this week and had a blast!
Armitagemike: This was a lot of fun, with a lot of cool knowledge thrown in. The architectural tour of Chicago gave a unique perspective...
Bovinette: The people at Wateriders were so nice, laid back and easy going. It was a wonderful experience for the whole family...