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. Cocktail enthusiasts will find refuge at Tiny Tapp & Cafe, where sliders and craft beverages are on tap. 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. For a budget-friendly option, grab a seat on the Chicago Water Taxi, which docks at seven different locations around the city, including one at Clark Street along the Riverwalk.
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, you can take in live music at various venues just about every night of the week.
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 June 14, 2017.
|Venue name:||Riverwalk | Chicago, IL|
runs along Wacker Dr and the south bank of the Chicago River
|Cross street:||from Franklin St to Lake Shore Dr|
|Transport:||El stop: Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Clark/Lake. Bus: 14, 20, 56, 60.|
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The riverwalk is already becoming the defining location of River North. Despite being out of the open, it's still a bit of a hidden gem that isn't the go-to location for tourists and is the perfect hideaway for the locals. If you can look past it resting in the shadow of the Trump Tower, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to bring a packed lunch and escape the hustle and bustle of the workday life in The Loop. Check it out!
I’ve spent the last two Memorial Day weekends at the Chicago Riverwalk and it’s been amazing each time. The restaurants are geared toward tourists so they’re on the needlessly pricier side, but you’re paying for the convenience and the beautiful views of downtown Chicago. It connects to the Lakefront Path, and provides easy access to Navy Pier. If you want to take to get into the water, the Riverwalk allows you to take a boat tour of the city, grab a water taxi, or even kayaking in the river.
One of my favorite parts about Chicago. Many people are so busy that they don't have time to stop and take a stroll on the Riverwalk but it is definitely recommended.
Beautiful scenes of great historical buildings, plush landscaping, the Chicago river flowing up and down stream. Grabbing a bite at Chicago steak house or taking in the landscaping & architecture or even cursing on the Mercury Cruise line what a fabulous way to enjoy parts of the great city of Chicago.