Ready to be the captain of your own Chicago River tour? The Chicago Electric Boat Company will let you steer the ship yourself—you just need a valid drivers license and the time to watch a 10-minute tutorial. With docks in Avondale, on the Chicago Riverwalk and at Marina City, you can select a time, rent a boat and decide if you'd like to hire a personal tour guide or a captain for your nautical journey. There are various boats available, each with different capacities, so find what works for you and personalize your river tour.
From Chicago beaches to public swimming pools, there are plenty of ways to cool off in the water during the summertime. If you want to relax on (or near) the water, you can hop aboard a Chicago boat tour or dig into a meal at a waterfront restaurant. But for a more intimate and wondrous experience on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, you should rent a boat or kayak. Businesses along the river and the lakefront will send you floating throughout the city, whether you want to head out on a solo paddle or join a group led by an experienced captain. Don't worry if you're a novice—you'll get a quick lesson and tips before you leave the dock on your rental boat or kayak in Chicago.