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Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours

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Address: 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604
Phone Number: 312-922-3432
9:30 am - 6:30 pm
Closed now
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Mon - Thu 9:30 am - 6:30 pm
Fri 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat - Sun 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Activities: Group tours/city tour
Description: Touring with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is the best way to...
Touring with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is the best way to explore Chicago. From our most popular tour, the Architecture River Cruise to our more than 85 different walking, bus, bike, Segway and train tours you are sure to get a true Chicago experience. As a non-profit organization, our tours are led by highly-trained volunteer guides who are passionate about sharing the history of our beautiful city. Tours depart year-round.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 969 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 808
  • 135
    Very good
  • 14
  • 6
  • 6
just love chicago

our tour guide loved Chicago and was super enthusiastic everyone on my tour fell in love with chicago

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 31, 2015
Ramona M
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969 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Newton, Massachusetts
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2015 NEW

There are many choices for boat tours but we consulted with our hotel concierge and decided on this one. For an architectural tour, we decided that it was best to go with the expert architects! Our docent was great. She was really entertaining, knowledgeable, and so enthusiastic. Might not be great for small kids, it is really deep into skyscraper... More 

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Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
19 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2015 NEW

our tour guide loved Chicago and was super enthusiastic everyone on my tour fell in love with chicago

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Laval, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2015 NEW

Amazing to see all the buildings in Chicago from the river. The guide from the Architecture Foundation was extremely knowledgeable. He even added a story or two while the boat was turning around. The next day we went to visit the Foundation's store, where there was scale model of the buildings and the river (2% of the whole city of... More 

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Craig, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2015 NEW

The weather sucked it was very cold and windy. If the day had been warm it would have been awsome. The boat we were on was a nice boat just open toped

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Peterborough, United Kingdom
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2015 NEW

I never thought that I would be interested in architecture, but this boat trip was truly insightful! It was a very cold day, but I didn't notice as the guide was so informative and there seemed to be something new to see every 5 minutes. This is a must when visiting Chicago.

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Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
20 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2015 NEW

There are 85 tours to choose from that are offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. As members, many of them are free. As non-members, they're still worth the price of the tour. We took the boat tour for the third time. The riverfront area is constantly changing with new construction and re-purposed buildings and areas. Barry was the docent on... More 

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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015 NEW

Make sure you take the Architecture Foundation tour, not the tourist company tours. You will see more in 60 minutes regarding Chicago architecture than 5 trips on foot or in the car. Knowledgeable guides. Start your day out with this and you'll appreciate more of the city as the tour the rest on foot. Very historical. You see more than... More 

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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015 NEW

If you have limited time in Chicago use it wisely and take the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. Exceptionally well trained and enthusiastic docents make this an experience to remember and you will be amazed at how much Chicago history you can learn in 90 minutes. Chicago is fascinating and its history and architecture even more so!

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3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015 NEW

Many people recommended the Chicago Architecture Foundation Tour but I was still a little skeptical. I found the tour to be very interesting, and appreciated learning about the history of Chicago. Our tour guide, Dick Clark, was very knowledgeable and entertaining. One suggestion, when the boat goes out towards Lake Michigan, take a selfie with the Chicago skyline in the... More 

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Chicago, Illinois
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015 NEW

The Chicago Architecture Foundation runs a wide variety of tours --- walking, bus, trolley and boat --- covering every part of the city. The river cruise is outstanding for those who like architecture and enjoy a smooth, relaxing ride. Try the Millennium Park walking tour or the Mies van der Rohe tours which are fascinating. Make reservations in advance.

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  • 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.