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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
Website
Today
9:00 am - 6:30 pm
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Hours:
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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Visit like an insider
$15*
and up

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 938 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 781
    Excellent
  • 132
    Very good
  • 13
    Average
  • 6
    Poor
  • 6
    Terrible
Fun and informative

Our docent spoke to the history and architecture of Chicago for 90 minutes, was always interesting, informative and personable; and never veered into cheesiness. I've never... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 23, 2015
Nate P
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938 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

Our docent spoke to the history and architecture of Chicago for 90 minutes, was always interesting, informative and personable; and never veered into cheesiness. I've never spoken for 90 minutes at one time in my life so this was pretty amazing. It's a great way to see the city and get your bearings if you're new to the city.

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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW via mobile

On a cloudless, warm day this tour is the perfect way to spend time seeing sites in Chicago. The Chicago Architecture Foundation tour was recommended by family and friends over the years. The praise was well earned. On a gorgeous, clear day we and our friends traversed the Chicago river and learned about some of the key structures and architecture... More 

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Boston
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
25 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

We took the historic treasures of culture and commerce tour and previously had taken a river cruise tour with CAF. For the visitor or resident wishing to learn more about Chicago, particularly the architectural aspects of the city's development CAF tours are outstanding. The docent guides, apparently all volunteers, well trained and knowledgeable, provide interesting and informative details about the... More 

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Miami
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
45 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015 NEW

We did the boat tour and our guide was Susan Pappas! She was amazing! The knoledge of the arquitecture she has is great! This city is beautiful, specially if you get to know the story about it. I will recommend this tour a 100% Try to go when the weather is nice!

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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
22 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

The tour guide was very knowledgeable and personable. The tour takes you further down the river than other tours, which is good. It includes water, lemonade, coffee and cookies. We had a beautiful day for our tour which made it even better.

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Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

This tour was worth every penny! It is guided by a knowledgable volunteer from the Chicago Architecture Institute which is a non-profit organization. Our guide was Mary Jo Haig who was a fount of interesting facts about the building, the architects, the builders, the architectural style etc. I would highly recommend it.

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ChiArchitecture, Manager at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

Thanks for your great review. We're glad to hear you enjoyed your tour. Mary Jo is definitely a terrific volunteer docent. Thanks again for the kind review. More 

Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

The Historical Architecture Walking Tour was sensational. The philosophy and artistry behind the architecture is fascinating. The buildings and their foyers are a must see. How come other cities didn't include beauty as part of their design brief for new buildings? From the library to the bank to the office block you will be amazed,: A truly beautiful city.

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ChiArchitecture, Manager at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

We're glad you enjoyed your tour with us. Thanks for this terrific review! More 

Danville, California
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
41 attraction reviews
266 helpful votes 266 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

After doing extensive research for our 5 full days in Chicago, we opted to become Household Members of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) for $90. The Membership then offers 84+ "free" docent led walking tours for 1 year and 2 sets of 2 for 1 ($42) tickets on the Chicago First Lady, 90 minute, River Cruise! Decisions, decisions, decisions? Choosing... More 

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ChiArchitecture, Manager at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

What a fantastic review! First off - thank you for joining us as a household member. As a nonprofit organization we appreciate your support. We're so glad you chose to spend 7 hours of your trip to Chicago exploring it's fantastic architecture with us. Thanks for this terrific overview and review of your time with us. More 

ny
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
29 attraction reviews
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

My family of four visited Chicago and decided to take a boat cruise operated by CAF. I decided to join it and become a member. The cruise was for 90 minutes and we had a wonderful tour guide. His name was Doug Harrison. Recommend this tour for future visitors!

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ChiArchitecture, Manager at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

Thanks for this terrific review of your Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. As you experienced, our volunteer docents are incredibly talented and well versed in Chicago's deep history and rich architecture. Thanks for supporting us by being a member! More 

Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
91 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015 NEW

Webt on the historical tour which shows the development of architecture in Chicago with examples of each style of building including some magnificent interiors. A leisurely walking tour of 2 hours. Great commentary from the tour guide.

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ChiArchitecture, Manager at Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours, responded to this review

Thanks for the wonderful review. We're glad you enjoyed the historic skyscrapers walking tour you took with us. Thanks again! More 

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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.