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“Wonderful tours for locals”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Chicago Detours

Chicago Detours
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$26.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Interior Architecture of the Loop and Pedway Tour
Ranked #2 of 557 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Wonderful tours for locals”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2013

My Fiance and I have been on 3 tours with Chicago Detours and very much enjoyed each of them. Elizabeth was our guide for the walking architecture loop tour as well as the bar crawl later that evening, each was informative and interactive. As locals working downtown it was great to learn more about our city and the details of things we miss in our every day lives downtown. Based off our great experience with the first tours we booked the Chicago Temple Sky Chapel tour and was not disappointed, Amanda was our guide and was informative and engaging the entire tour as expected. The Methodist Temple tour however had the added bonus of the Senior Pastor was with us inside the building and gave us additional insight into the history and workings of the building. This was not a 'religious' tour, he was never preaching religion but rather the history of the building from the early 1800's to today. The tour ends with sparkling white wine on the buildings spire terrace which is the personal residence of the Senior Pastor and his wife. A wonderful view of the city as well as a very interesting and unique residence downtown, again things as a Chicagoland native I was completely unaware of. We look forward to going on other tours offered by Chicago Detours in the years to come!

Visited September 2013
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Thank robbpf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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350 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
New London, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Off the beaten track”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2013

My husband and I took the Inside the Loop Interior Architectural Tour on Saturday, August 31 with Elizabeth. We had a great time! I loved the added visuals and history provided on the iPads shared by our group. It was very interesting to see sights that aren't part of a typical tour. I especially enjoyed learning about the pedway system - I didn't know it existed prior to the tour. Elizabeth was a fabulous guide! Not only was the tour informative, but the web site is too. After going on the tour, I checked out the resources tab - http://www.chicagodetours.com/resources - and learned more interesting things about Chicago. Can't wait to go back!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Pat M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Fun and informative”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

My friend and I did the Good Times Historic Pub Tour last week and loved every minute of it. Elizabeth took us round several pubs, had some great stories about Chicago, it's history and architecture. The added nibbles at each stop meant we didn't need to go for dinner afterwards and when we asked if there were any jazz clubs nearby the recommendation of Andys saw us continuing the evening till the wee, small hours ! I'd recommend this tour to anyone looking for a fun take on Chicagos history, Elizabeth was a great guide !

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Merce70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, Texas
Level Contributor
44 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Interesting look at Chicago Pedway system”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

Our group of four enjoyed the tour. I was glad it included some of the Chicago Pedway system as I had never seen it before. The tour included interesting places such as Macy's, the Methodist Church, The Picasso in Daley Plaza, and Chase bank and focused on the beautiful architecture you see in Chicago. My only suggestion to Elizabeth, who surely knew Chicago, was to find more places for folks to sit while she gives her talks. This was on our last day in Chicago and we were all pretty tired. The tour was well worth the money, but I would do it on my first day there. :)

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Judy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evanston, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Off the beaten path”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

I had been on a tour from this company previously that went through the Fulton Market area and focused on the history of meatpacking in Chicago through the generations. I left completely stuffed on that particular day (Publican - yum!), but found a healthy appetite for more of their underground, boutique touring style.

So then I went on the Loop walking tour... This was a refreshing "detour" in my own hometown. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for architecture and this company caught my eye through their photos and social media. Our guide's perspectives and insights on the architectural details and historical significance of the chosen stops were absolutely fascinating. They do their homework! The group was fun and laid back (I came solo, but still had a blast), and our guide kept us on our toes and engaged throughout.

I recommend heartily anything these people do and will definitely be bringing relatives through on future visits.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Nate L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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