Winding along the Chicago River’s southern side next to Wacker Dr, this 1.25-mile-long promenade is a fine spot to escape the crowds and watch boats glide by. Access it from the stairs at any bridge. Outdoor cafes, umbrella-shaded bars, a kayak-rental shop and a fountain you can splash in dot the way. The broad steps between Clark and LaSalle Sts offer a good refuge to sit and relax.

A Vietnam veteran’s memorial (near N Wabash Ave), a small river history museum (at N Michigan Ave) and sightseeing boats also sprinkle in.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chicago attractions

1. Chicago Architecture Center

0.05 MILES

The CAC is the premier keeper of Chicago’s architectural flame. Pop in to explore its excellent galleries, which feature an interactive 3-D model of…

2. Wrigley Building

0.07 MILES

The Wrigley Building glows as white as the Doublemint Twins’ teeth, day or night. Chewing-gum guy William Wrigley built it that way on purpose, because he…

3. Tribune Tower

0.13 MILES

Take a close look when passing by this 1925 neo-Gothic edifice. Colonel Robert McCormick, eccentric owner of the Chicago Tribune in the early 1900s,…

4. Museum of Broadcast Communications

0.19 MILES

This museum of radio and TV nostalgia is pretty sparsely populated. But if you have a hankering to see old Bozo the Clown clips, or the camera that taped…

5. American Writers Museum


Bibliophiles will have a grand time in this museum, where American writers spanning the ages – from Edgar Allen Poe to Elie Wiesel, James Baldwin to Edith…

6. Marina City


The twin corncob towers of Marina City are an Instagram favorite for their futuristic, cartoony look. Bertrand Goldberg designed the 1964 high-rise, and…

7. Aqua Tower

0.26 MILES

Aqua made waves when it appeared in 2009. Local architect Jeanne Gang designed the 86-story tower (set to be surpassed in 2020, when her 93-story Vista…

8. Chicago Cultural Center


This exquisite, beaux-arts building began its life as the Chicago Public Library in 1897. Today the block-long structure houses terrific art exhibitions …