Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk: Address, Chicago Riverwalk Reviews: 4.5/5

Chicago Riverwalk
4.5
Historic Walking Areas
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1-2 hours
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The area
Neighborhood: 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.
How to get there
  • Quincy • 5 min walk
  • Chicago Union Station • 5 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
3,008 reviews
Excellent
1,973
Very good
897
Average
121
Poor
14
Terrible
3

Maddie
47 contributions
May 2021
If you only have a few hours to explore Chicago - spend some of that time here. The Chicago Riverwalk is beautiful and lets you see some of the city's well known buildings, memorials, restaurants, bars, and more. The Riverwalk is a great place to visit any time of day, and is centrally located near many other popular attractions in Chicago so you can easily work it into your itinerary. We stopped in Chicago for only about 4 hours on our road trip but we are so glad we went to the Riverwalk! It also makes for some beautiful pictures!
Written June 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bee80204
Denver, CO3,830 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
It’s fun to walk along the river on the Riverwalk path. There’s vendors you can book an architecture cruise from, rent kayaks, day cruise, rent bicycles, dine at. We also saw the U.S. Navy Submarine Memorial, a historical information display about submarines which passed through the area on their way to war after Pearl Harbor. And children’s play areas. There were kids playing with their parents which was heartwarming. It’s warm when the sun is beating down so make sure to hydrate and wear sunglasses and a hat if necessary. There are portable toilets if you need provided by the businesses for their customers mostly. Hand sanitizer stations are scattered about.
It can get crowded and hectic with people getting on board the boats and kayaks. Watch out for bicyclists as some ride quite fast. Fun to sit in the rest areas on the benches provided and people watch or have a drink at a restaurant and look out on the river. A few restaurants are O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe and The Northman Beer and Cider Garden.
Would be nice if you could walk all the way to Navy Pier but you need to exit the riverwalk and get to the road level before getting on another path to continue the journey. The Riverwalk is open from 6am to 11pm. It is a 1.25 mile long path and is divided into four areas - The Confluence, The Arcade, The Civic and The Esplanade. The path allows you to enjoy the Chicago river at your own pace.
Written October 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rebecca L
5 contributions
Aug 2021
One of my favorite parts of the city. Awesome place to grab a drink along the river to people watch, hang out with friends, have a casual date, or just watch people party on boats. There's a variety of restaurants/bars along the river to choose from - some with seating or just sit on the seats of the river.
Also a great a place to run along to get access to the lake - but beware the path gets very crowded on nice days with people walking, hanging out and eating/drinking.
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tanya T.
Illinois1,476 contributions
Oct 2020
This is one of several outdoor options in Chicago where you can enjoy the waterways, public art, and biking. This time of the year (with lock down) is especially quiet for reflective moments. There is limited recreational services but it's a great spot to enjoy the city.
Written November 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,645 contributions
Jun 2021
I have visited cities that are situated on rivers, like New York City and San Antonio and St. Louis and New Orleans and Richmond and Nashville and Milwaukee, but none of them has what Chicago has--the Chicago Riverwalk. Begun in 2001 and yet to be completed, it is a multi-use public space located on the south bank of the main branch of the Chicago River extending from Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan to Lake Street and Wolf Point. It contains bars, cafes, restaurants, small parks, play areas, seating, boat and kayak rentals, tour boat docks and one of the largest Vietnam War memorials outside of Washington DC. The Chicago Riverwalk is a popular gathering place for tourists because it is close to some of the other popular attractions in the city, including Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile, Grant Park and Navy Pier. Walk along the riverfront and admire the city's famous architecture and historic landmarks, including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, Marina City, the Merchandise Mart and Trump Tower. Stop at the Bridgehouse Museum, located on the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. At State and Wabash is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza, which consists of a terraced lawn, a waterfall and a central pool. It bejewels the city's waterfront and embodies what a memorial plaza should be.
Written June 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bgoodtoall
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA131 contributions
Apr 2022
Our guide on the Riverwalk Tour was Andy. Enjoyable, relaxing and educational experience. Andy has a good rapport with clients, including older folks like us. He stopped discreetly and waited for us to catch up. We learned about the architecture along the Chicago River and did so in a relaxed, casual manner. Lovely that we could decide how much to pay him. Of course, we were respectful and paid him well for his time. Walk was on April 14, 2022 for a 2 hour tour.
Written April 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JMB-NLY
Kalamazoo County, MI297 contributions
Sep 2021
On a nice day, this is a great place for a stroll. There are numerous restaurants along the way to get a meal or have a drink. Since it weaves under the Chicago River's numerous bridges, the congestion at the corners makes it a bit challenging for runners and cyclists. In fact, I wouldn't recommend it for bicycles and runners should expect to have to slow their stride frequently when the walk is busy. The views are nice and we had a nice lunch sitting alongside the rail.
Written September 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jamie L
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Usa6 contributions
Jun 2022
Chicago has spent a ton of resources revitalizing the river and it shows. The Riverwalk is terrific for a date night. If you don't have kids, go at sunset and spend some time just sitting, having a drink and watching people. Great way to spend an evening.
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sachin0408
Varanasi, India936 contributions
Dec 2019
The Chicago Riverwalk is a great way to spend a day and tour this beautiful Windy City. Cruising along on a boat is also a wonderful way to enjoy the sight. One can enjoy the beautiful Chicago's skyline through the river walk. It is absolutely serene. The entire Riverwalk is walkable and stress-free. As per me it is one of the best ways to see Chicago downtown.

The experience is really relaxing and unique. If you are lucky, I am sure you will come across live music performers in the various riverbank pubs too.
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

graymar22
Robinvale, Australia17 contributions
Jan 2020
We stayed on the Riverwalk so spent some time exploring the many buildings and interesting places along the way.
The many and varied bridges well worth the walk over, pieces of sculpture/artworks to view, the buildings so many beautifully designed....
Well worth the stroll and look.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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