The Magnificent Architecture
Volunteer tour guides for Chicago's First Lady
river cruises are all certified by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and it’s a delightful way to get acquainted with local landmarks. Your docent will paint an image of how Chicago grew from a pioneer outpost to an imposing modern city of steel, revealing the stories behind more than 50 buildings along the way. One landmark you won't see by boat is the Historic Water Tower
on Michigan Avenue, one of the few buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Now it's a small one-room gallery showcasing the work of local artists. For another take on design, head to the Museum of Science and Industry
, housed in Daniel Burnham's Beaux Arts masterpiece for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and a favorite of kids and adults for its interactive exhibitions.