Everything you need to know about visiting the Chicago Riverwalk (along Wacker Dr from Franklin St to Lake Shore Dr)
If you're looking for breathtaking views of some of Chicago's most gorgeous architecture, take a stroll along the Riverwalk, which hugs the main branch of the Chicago River and provides a continuous walkway with restaurants, bars and urban attractions at every turn. Clever design features throughout offer areas to lounge around and enjoy the city from a stellar angle.
Dine and drink the day away
Whether you have out-of-towners in tow or you're just trying to spend some time near the water, the Riverwalk is the perfect place to grab a bite for lunch or dinner. A heavy helping of casual bars doesn't hurt matters either. Start the afternoon with a glass of vino at City Winery, where you'll find a curated selection of by-the-glass pours and small bites, such as burrata, dolmades, cheese plates and cured meats. If you're looking for craft beer and local delicacies (Pilsen street tacos, a Maxwell Street Polish sausage and a Taylor Street Italian beef), snag a seat at Chicago Brewhouse. When it's time to call it quits, hit up Frost Gelato for a sweet, icy treat.
Get out on the water
Of course, when you're this close to the river, there are plenty of ways to get your sea legs. Hop on any number of boat cruises to take in the skyline and Chicago's gorgeous architecture from a different vantage point (the beloved Chicago Archietcture Foundation Center River Cruise departs from the Riverwalk near Michigan Avenue). Alternatively, you can rent a craft from Urban Kayaks Riverwalk and go on a self-paddled tour.
But you don't have to spend a dime to really enjoy the Riverwalk. The sprawling urban walkway is dotted with grassy areas, concrete stadium seating and architectural treasures. Plus, there's lots of public art to enjoy throughout the pathway, including murals by local artists.
Our Chicago editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you're always in the know, with the best of Chicago at your fingertips. Chicago was most recently updated with new tips on August 19, 2020.