We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Kayak the Chicago River”
Review of Kayak Chicago

Kayak Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Our family is always looking for things to do that are a little out of the ordinary. This meets the bill! They offer several different excursions which are narrated by a guide during different times of the day. Our family chose the architectural tour on the Chicago River. They go over safety guidelines with you and then into the water you go. The tour was supposed to last 3 hrs, but was shortened because of a storm. We would like to return again, but I would suggest watching the weather. If there is no lightning, then the tour continues. The lightning began about half way through the tour, so at that point we had to paddle back to where we originally put in. Keep in mind that since we were more than an hour into the tour there was no refund. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. I would recommend this excursion, but as I stated before, check with the weather first so that you are able to get as much time on the water as possible. Plus, its not great to be on the river during a storm. Also, there is plenty of parking so just program it into your GPS.

Thank bulldogfamily4stogie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (92)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

83 - 87 of 92 reviews

Reviewed June 23, 2012

My sister made reservations for this group ten days ago. Her son had a head injury two days beforehand and couldn't make it. The company did not refund her the money but instead offered her a credit for a future event. She lives in Baltimore and will most likely not be able to use the credit. Three out of four people made this tour.

The event itself is fine. Input is north of Goose Island in the stinky area of the city. Water taxi and tour boats come up and down the river. Kayakers have to stay right of the river and make way. This allows for at least five breaks where the group stops and listens to historical narratives about city millionaires like Ogden whose buildings still remain along the river. The group turns around just where lake water enters the river and it curves east, where even more tourist boats take over.

The river is heavily polluted and one can smell sewage as the group does kayak pass sewage outlets. There are turtles and waterfowl but the group kayaks at a fast pace and there is no time to enjoy watching them, let alone taking photos.

The crew itself makes sure everyone is within the group. I got towed in the beginning when I realized my stopping to photograph the scenes were slowing me down. The narrator knows his history, too. Three miles on the Chicago River is about all I can handle, as I'm not an experienced kayaker and I prefer exploring Chicago on foot, but it was nice to see the city from a different perspective. There are other kayaking companies that focus on the lake area, but that is a very busy waterway.

1  Thank conniegum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

Was out Visiting my brother and asked him if he wanted to do a 3 hour kayak tour in the Chicago river. Contacted these guys and made a reservation for a 10 am weekday tour of the river. Friendly and was easy to find (we took the train, but if you drive, there really is ample parking even for Chicago) Did a quick refresher and we were out in the river with a few guides. Larry was our "speaker" who was friendly and funny all while sharing some great Chicago history and stories along the trip stopping a few times to raft up and get some info and a chance to snap some good pics. If you are a 1st timer no worries they walk you thru it. You really get some great history and get to see the city from a different view...... Highly recommend!!

1  Thank Kman773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

This place gets amazing reviews and I have to say I just dont get it. I got in an accident the day before my tour. I emailed to see if I could cancel as I had huge cuts and a bump on my head... no response. I show up for the tour and am told ooops we didn't know but there is a big corporate group so we will be doing a shorter tour. SORRY BUT THATS NOT OK... Or offer me a portion of my money back. I then went on the tour and one of the guides tried to give me a tip. I tried what he said and it didn't work for me... I have been kayaking since I was small and may not have proper technique but it works for me. So instantly after I said thank you but no the guy literally lost any and all interest in me. I actually found myself paddling faster to stay away from him. Due to my injury I was going very slow as I had injuries that were causing pain... I was actually crying for the last half of the tour and no one even noticed. Honestly this company to me cared about getting you in a boat... getting your money and not much else. I book Chicago for tourists often and this is something I will tell them to stay away from

2  Thank disneykristen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

The tour took 2 1/2 hours on a beautiful Sat. afternoon during the NATO weekend. It
s a great way to see the city. The guide was very knowledgeable and personable, made it very interesting. Be ready to do some paddling though, it's a manageable workout but you do get a workout in for the day! I say GO!

Thank gdagesse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Kayak Chicago also viewed

 

Been to Kayak Chicago? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing