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Chicago Detours

Chicago, IL, USA
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About Chicago Detours
This is not your grandma's architecture tour! Our award-winning guided tours of Chicago’s architecture, history, and culture bring curious people to explore stories and places locals don't even know. With Chicago Detours, you'll explore downtown and our diverse neighborhoods to experience the city’s interior architecture, the underground Pedway, jazz and blues, and historic bars. Founded by a former Rick Steves tour guide, Chicago Detours has designed tours that are fun, educational experiences. Our tour guides are are not just volunteer docents, they’re highly trained and educated professionals who know how to spark discussions and create a lively group dynamic. Rated five stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor, Chicago Detours is one of the top-rated tour companies in the city. We offer regularly scheduled tours for the public, and private group tours for corporate team-building, student field trips, and convention groups. The public walking tours stay mostly indoors, making them great activities for any time of year. Options include the "Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour," which explores beautiful building interiors and the underground Pedway System, and the "Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour," which digs into Chicago's entertainment history of social clubs, jazz music, prohibition, and theater. Other public tours include the "Best Architecture Walking Tour Since Sliced Bread," "1893 World's Fair Walking Tour with Bars," and "Pilsen Spaces and Changes Walking Tour with Food." Private group tours include the outings mentioned above, as well as tours by a luxury coach equipped with screens for presentation of historic images and videos. Many of our private group tour options can operate in the evening, and can include food and drink. Our historic bar tours, both by foot and by bus, are the most popular with private groups. Your group will eat, drink and learn about how Chicago has had fun over its history. The "Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour" visits Bridgeport, Chicago's oldest neighborhood outside downtown, which was home to workers for the nearby Union Stock Yards. Another popular tour is our "Jazz, Blues & Beyond by Bus." This tour explores Chicago neighborhoods north to south for a fun, up-close connection with the cultural history of Chicago's music. This memorable experience reaches its conclusion when a blues musician comes on board for a performance and harmonica lesson. Other private tours include "Chicago Neighborhoods and Cultural Diversity by Bus" and "Old Polonia and Wicker Park Tour with Food." Step-on guide services are also available for private group tours. Tours include lively guide commentary, an interactive group dynamic, and extras like media presentation and special gifts. Rather than a standard lecture format, these tours actively involve guests in a memorable experience that inspires new perspectives of the city's architecture and history. We annually receive TripAdvisor's "Certificate of Excellence," and maintain five stars on Yelp as well. Our tours have been featured in Frommer's, Lonely Planet, ABC 7, WGN, WBEZ, "Chicago Magazine," the Chicago Tribune, and the Guardian.
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Tours from Chicago Detours tend to sell out - travelers recommend booking in advance!
Overview
Spend two hours walking and eating your way through the Fulton food market, Chicago’s new foodie hot spot. Start your tour with a view of the railroad tracks, and get an overview of the area’s history and architecture as you see the former industrial center and its transformation from an edgy underground scene to a culinary destination. Stop to sample locally made deli meat, pickles, beer, and a classic submarine sandwich as you explore.
Reviews (670)
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Traveler rating
592
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All reviews interior architecture walking tour bar tour the loop our tour guide historic bar scavenger hunt great tour enjoyable tour billy goat tavern two hours highly recommend this tour fun facts wicker park pedway stories information
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1 - 10 of 662 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago

Absolutely brilliant tour - definitely do this early on in your stay in Chicago as it helps you to make sense of the city. You get to go inside some of the amazing buildings and see artwork, mosaics and decoration that you would otherwise never...More

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Londonintrepid399
Reviewed 3 days ago

Our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Excellent addition to the more famous boat tours.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Bill101146
Reviewed 4 days ago

This was our first visit to Chicago, so this tour was a great introduction to the city, architecture and pedway. We went into buildings and places that we might not have found by ourselves. Our guide, Marie, was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the history....More

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank 59carminep
Reviewed 4 days ago

Even though I’m from Chicago I love to get out and see the city and learn more about the rich history we have here. The other day I had free so I decided to checkout the Worlds Fair walking tour hosted by Jen. First off,...More

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank sharkattacked
Reviewed 1 week ago

I love getting to know a city by learning from locals who have done their research. Our guide Elizabeth was SUPERB! Not only did the tour group provide great unknown facts about historic Chicago, but we stopped at some iconic and hidden gems and with...More

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Deborah R
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a female owned company and these ladies are incredible. Our tour guide gave me my first ever architecture lesson with the patience and knowledge of a university professor. All guides have a Masters of Phd and its clear they know their city. We...More

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank cooleylicious
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Tour Guide Bryan was ok but used videos to fill in time. Spent more time talking about current building vs the historical.More

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank 753michaell
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Michael, Thanks for coming on the tour. We understand that the use of multimedia on our tours is not for everyone. Many guests say in their reviews that the videos and photos were a highlight. One guest recently wrote they "brought the city's history...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

From the meeting in the beautiful old Marquette building lobby, thru the streets with examples of the ages of Chicago and then down in the Pedways, we were informed and amazed by the extraordinarily knowledgeable guide.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank modaffd
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thanks so much for coming on our tour! Glad you had a good time exploring the Chicago Pedway a bit during our Loop Interior Architecture Tour. Hope we'll see you again the next time you visit Chicago.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Knowledgeable guide. Lived in Chicago for the first 35 years of my life and never knew about the pedway

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank donnatR6171RC
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

What a compliment! We love hearing that we've shared something new with locals or long-time Chicagoans. Thanks for coming on our downtown walking tour and sharing this review.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A fun and quick way to get some Chicago history while exploring hidden gems in the city. Our guide was very knowledgeable. Great for locals or out of towners curious about the World's Fair history. Left learning some fun facts and visiting some great places.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank rockandrulemom
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thanks for sharing this review and coming on our tour of World's Fair history and architecture! Sounds like you had a great time and learned something new. How could we make it a 5-star experience for you next time?

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Angie_Cdn_Traveller
May 15, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from AmandaDetoursOwner | Property representative |
Our public tours can vary in size, but we limit the overall group size to 14-20 guests.
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