Chicago’s river has been incredibly important to the city’s growth over the last 150 years and that holds true for today. On any given day, you can see ships moving commerce along the river; watch architectural boat tours cruise by with docents lecturing about important buildings like Marina City or the Merchandise Mart; and get envious of the brave souls skimming by in kayaks.
But there’s even more to the river with the Chicago Riverwalk in full bloom. Currently stretching from the lake down to the LaSalle Street Bridge, the Riverwalk has become a destination attracting locals and tourists. You can rent bikes, slip a kayak into the river, go for a run, walk your dog, kick back by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, get educated in the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, hear a concert or dine at any number of places including City Winery, O’Brien’s, Cyrano’s and Flander’s for Belgian-style frites.
Chicago has invested millions to build out the Riverwalk and is currently expanding three more sections so it’ll reach all the way to Lake Street by summer of 2016. For now, enjoy it while the weather is good — you’ll feel like you’ve landed in another place, but all you need to do is look up at the gleaming buildings above you to remember you’re still in Chicago.