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Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours

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Address: 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604
Phone Number: +1 312-922-3432
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Today
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit cultural...

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit cultural organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Visit CAF on Michigan Avenue to view our 1,000-building scale model of Chicago, shop in our award-winning store, or participate in a fun LEGO® building event in our ArcelorMittal Design Studio. Choose from 85 tours by boat, walking, bus, or even L train, including the CAF River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. Tours depart daily and are led by CAF's expert docent guides. Every October, check out CAF's free annual Open House Chicago festival. Proceeds from CAF’s tours and gift shop, as well as grants, sponsorships and donations, support this educational mission.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Poor
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What a view!!

When you want to know about the architecture of Chicago why would you go any where else? The boat tour guide had details you just won't get unless you read up on each individual... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
mom978
,
South Florida, Florida

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1,520 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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South Florida, Florida
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

When you want to know about the architecture of Chicago why would you go any where else? The boat tour guide had details you just won't get unless you read up on each individual building. Hear it from a local to really understand what an amazing city this is.

Helpful?
Thank mom978
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

If you know and care a lot about architecture and/or the history of the Windy City, you'll love the details provided by the very well trained tour guide. If not, you'll still be going on a relaxing ride through the most beautiful parts of Chicago with an entertaining narration that leaves you just a little less clueless about the who,... More 

Helpful?
Thank rue_papillon
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We chose a tour that incorporated the Berghoff family restaurant. It was a disappointing experience from start to finish. To begin with, we arrived about 30 minutes prior to our tour start time. They were gathering the group for the tour before ours when we arrived at the CAF gift shop. I asked one of the clerks if we should... More 

Helpful?
Thank QuickPawSally
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

It was interesting and free. A worthwhile place to tour if in need of a free thing to do in Chicago. I recommend.

Helpful?
1 Thank jmora80
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This is my favorite activity to do in Chicago in between dining choices. The Art Deco tour is my favorite. In nice weather the boat tour is great also. The docents are very knowledgeable. There are tours of the early skyscrapers and of more modern versions. Check out their website calendar to see what is available. Google Chicago architecture foundation.

Helpful?
Thank Liamo80
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your support and review! We hope to have you back on another tour again soon! More 

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I did not take a tour--only visited the store--but enjoyed looking through the modern, fun, and functional gifts throughout. If you are walking down Michigan Avenue, it is worth popping in to see a variety of fine books, cooking utensils, Chicago-themed art, upscale toys, and jewelry.

Helpful?
Thank TravelerACJ
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

We're so glad to hear that you enjoyed checking out our shop! We hope to see you back again soon! Thanks for visiting as well as for reviewing us. More 

Chicago, Illinois, Usa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Chicago has always been world-famous for its leading edge architecture. The Foundation sponsors both land-bases walking tours and boat tours with trained guides that tell your the interesting talks about the buildings and some of the storied characters who were responsible for their construction. Land-based tours go on all years but the water tours cease in the colder months. If... More 

Helpful?
Thank Michael W
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

Hi Michael, Thanks so much for your review! We're very glad to hear that you enjoyed seeing the architectural wonders of Chicago with our docents. More 

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The river cruise was awesome. I was amazed at the different styles of architecture along the river . It was a wonderful morning !

Helpful?
Thank Live2SeeMore
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

We're so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time on the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises! Thanks for joining us! More 

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

...make it this one! History and architecture as seen from the river give you unexpected perspectives you won't see anywhere else. Outstanding docents guide you from one end of the city to the other.

Helpful?
Thank jakerohn
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

Hi Jake, Thanks so much for seeing Chicago with us as well as for writing a review! We're glad to hear that you enjoyed your tour and we hope to see you again soon! More 

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

By far the most popular tour is in the summer--the narrated boat tour featuring the Architecture of downtown Chicago. (as you may know--Chicago is noted for it's architecture). DO NOT MISS THIS TOUR. There are many, many other guided tours---some by bus--others walking tours. Some tours are to specific buildings with more indepth exploration of that site. Some revolve around... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth P
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

Hi Elizabeth, Thanks so much for your continued patronage! We're tremendously appreciative of your support in attending our programs and are very thankful for you taking the time to write this comprehensive review of our offerings! We can't wait to see you again soon! More 

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

Staying in Downtown / The Loop

Neighborhood Profile
Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.