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“Historic Bar Tour! AWESOME!”
Review of Chicago Detours

Chicago Detours
Book In Advance
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$26.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Interior Architecture of the Loop and Pedway Tour
More Info
$38.00*
and up
Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour
More Info
$50.00*
and up
3-Hour Walking and Food Tour: Chicago World's Fair of 1893
Ranked #1 of 563 Nightlife in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Redlands, California
1 review
“Historic Bar Tour! AWESOME!”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

I took the Historic Bar Tour with a friend. Amanda was our tour guide. She was great! It started with a nice little ice breaker to make the group feel comfortable and at ease with each other. Most of us were locals (as I am) and I've got to say, I learned a lot about this great city I live in! Amanda encouraged questions, not only about the bars we visited, but about other Chicago-isms. She was able to answer these questions with a zeal that showed a true passion for her job and Chicago. Some tours overwhelm you with facts and some leave you confused, this tour, though, contained a perfect amount of information intertwined with good drink and food (I loved the pretzels at Lawry's)! Perfect for an out-of-towner or a Chicagoan looking to get in touch with the city a little more! I highly suggest this tour.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank erin b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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380 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
“Great first step for Chicago newcomers”
Reviewed January 18, 2013

I only moved to Chicago a few months ago, so I wanted to learn more about the city and feel like a real local. My tour guide, Elizabeth, exceeded my expectations by not only telling historical facts, but personal stories that even a lot of locals don't know! I've only been on the architecture tour, but I can't wait to try out the historical bar tour!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Rachel F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Super fun tour, even for locals”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

My husband and I went on the Good Times Historic Bar Tour in early January. Even though it was nearly freezing, Amanda (our tour guide) found creative ways for us to explore Chicago's architecture and unique spaces, mostly indoors.

I don't want to give away all of the tour highlights, so I will keep my synopsis brief. We ventured into some really interesting spaces (off Michigan Avenue no less where I had assumed the historic charm of old Chicago was lost to high end chains and the freaking Hersey's store), both aesthetically and historically, but the most fun part for me was the drinking! How often do you get to drink (and eat), meet new, intelligent, like-minded people, sit back and learn about this fascinating city and its culture? It was like what I imagine an old-fashioned "salon" experience to be- drinking and merriment accompanied by intellectual discourse and critical observations on local arts and culture. I'm ready to take my next Detour. :)

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Amy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Bluff, Illinois
1 review
“Chicago like I've never seen it”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

I have lived in Chicago my entire life and thought I knew the place pretty well. Elizabeth (our guide) showed me how little I actually knew. In the space of an hour or so we walked around the Loop and experienced the history, architecture and character of the city by looking at buildings, walking the streets, looking at multi-media and hearing stories. I have recommended this tour to some friends, each time saying 'you'll see the city like you never have before.'

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Rob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
“Awesome customizable tour!”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Amanda created a very fun, interesting and diverse tour for our family who was visiting Chicago. We had a large group made up out of all ages, backgrounds, etc. The tour was interesting for everyone, even the local Chicagoans learned something new. If you're looking for a unique, educational and fun activity, Chicago Detours is the way to go!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank reinawh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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