Navy Pier
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Navy Pier Outdoor Activities

  • Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office

    1. Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office

    Climb aboard a state-of-the-art cruise vessel for a 60- or 75-minute cruise of all three branches of the Chicago River, and marvel at the architecture that has made the city so legendary. Get an insight into the buildings and engineering of a city that gave birth to the skyscraper and is the spiritual home of modern American architecture. Your expert guide will lead you down the Chicago River to uncover hidden gems, as well the city’s most renowned landmarks, such as the John Hancock building, Trump Tower, and more. Relax with a glass of something cold from the cash bar, as you cruise the Windy City’s waterway, and learn its status as a modern metropolis and one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

    we certainly learned a lot on the boat. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable and the whole crue made us feel welcomed . i will recommend this short boat ride to anyone interested in history and architecture.

  • Chicago Lakefront: Half-Hour Seadog Speedboat Ride

    2. Chicago Lakefront: Half-Hour Seadog Speedboat Ride

    This half-hour Seadog Speedboat ride along Chicago’s lakefront is one of the best ways to view the city’s skyline while learning about the city. Combine an exciting speedboat ride with informative and amusing stories about the world-famous Windy City! As you depart Chicago's Navy Pier, your captain will tell you interesting facts about the pier and the lakefront as he cranks up the music and races to key lakefront landmarks.

    Stop near the picturesque lakefront park of the Chicago Museum campus, where you’ll learn about the architecture and history of Chicago. Admire views of the Magnificent Mile neighborhood, including the Buckingham Fountain, Sears Tower, Grant Park, and Chicago's largest shopping district. Listen to the thrilling sound of the turbo engines as you race around the Lake Michigan waterfront and back to the Navy Pier. Upgrade to the Extreme Thrill Ride Option a...

    Our tour guide was great and the boat ride was fun. The boat was easy to find as well.

  • Chicago: Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Bus Tour

    3. Chicago: Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Bus Tour

    From your vantage point on the double-decker sightseeing bus you'll enjoy panoramic views of Chicago’s finest skyscrapers, including the 875 N Michigan, the Willis Tower and the Wrigley Building. Take in the city's impressive landmarks as your tour guide provides entertaining commentary and insight into Chicago's history. Enjoy exploring this dynamic city with the freedom to hop-on and hop-off as many times as you wish to visit attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. You’ll travel down the famous Magnificent Mile, considered one of the great avenues of the world, and continue across the Michigan Avenue Bridge over the Chicago River. The bridge connects the north and south sides of the city. This hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Chicago makes it easy for you to explore the city's sights at your own pace. There are 13 stops, where you can hop-off to visit attractions and...

    Great way to get around town and to all best attractions without paying for a can or taxi and with the plus of getting information about the different attractions along the way.

  • Chicago Skyline Lake Tour: 40-Minute Sightseeing Cruise

    4. Chicago Skyline Lake Tour: 40-Minute Sightseeing Cruise

    Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city for the first time, taking in the spectacular views of Chicago's skyline from the lake makes for a perfect outing. This 40-minute Lake Tour takes you on a sightseeing cruise that highlights Chicago's most significant landmarks from beautiful Lake Michigan. You’ll see the city as never before, while listening to informative commentary on Chicago's dramatic history and architectural gems. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights as you admire the striking buildings that make up the Chicago skyline that has appeared in so many movies and TV shows.

    The staff on board were very friendly and helpful ! The tour was informative and fun!

  • Chicago: 90-Minute River and Lakefront Cruise at Night

    5. Chicago: 90-Minute River and Lakefront Cruise at Night

    Experience the magic of Chicago at nighttime and watch the city's glorious skyscrapers, historic buildings and modern marvels come to life with millions of twinkling lights. Relax and unwind at the end of the day on a cruise which not only lets you enjoy the scenic Chicago River, but also takes you through the Chicago Harbor Lock and out onto Lake Michigan where you can admire epic views of the sparkling Chicago skyline and shoreline. Throughout the ride, listen to lively narration about Chicago's rich history as the onboard guides point out the many sights of the city including Buckingham Fountain, Willis Tower, Aon Center, John Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Marina City, Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune Building, Navy Pier, the Lighthouse and more. This tour also gives you the unique experience of passing through the Chicago River Lock System, while learning about the operation an...

    Great activity and perfect timing on the fireworks. The only improvement I would suggest is an expanded food menu.

  • Chicago: Family Fun Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

    6. Chicago: Family Fun Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

    Discover Chicago’s stunning skyscrapers, historic buildings, and modern marvels on this fun, family friendly boat cruise. Relax and unwind as you admire scenic views from the Chicago River and the Chicago Harbor Lock. Then move out onto Lake Michigan where you can gaze upon the entire city skyline and shoreline. During the boat ride, enjoy lively narration and stories about Chicago’s rich history as your knowledgeable guides point out the many sights of the city including Willis Tower, Aon Center, John Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Marina City, Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune Building, Navy Pier, the Lighthouse and more. The tour also gives you the opportunity to experience passing through the Chicago River Lock System. Listen to your guide explain the full workings of the lock and feel the boat rise as you enter Lake Michigan, and then lower again when returning to the Chicago Ri...

    Relaxing and informative, a view and perspective from the river that most don’t get to see.

  • Chicago: 75-Minute Architecture Cruise by Speedboat

    7. Chicago: 75-Minute Architecture Cruise by Speedboat

    Climb aboard a speedboat for a thrilling 75-minute river and lake cruise of Chicago’s architectural gems. Depart from the former Navy training center of Navy Pier on the shores of Lake Michigan on the only tour to take you from the lakefront. Sail through the locks and along the Chicago River, all the way to the famous Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). Get up-close to Chicago’s most famous buildings and unique architecture, and enjoy amazing views and an entertaining narration as part of the exciting ride. Learn the fascinating history of buildings such as the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower, the former Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) - the second tallest building in the USA - and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Cruise the lakefront of Lake Michigan to see monuments and attractions such as Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, Chicago Harbor, and the Chicago Museum Campus.

    Tour Guide Andy, First Mate Taylor, and Captain Swag made our tour extremely enjoyable!

Other Sightseeing Options in Navy Pier

Want to discover all there is to do in Navy Pier? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Navy Pier

Super easy to book! We were a little early and they let us go on the earlier boat instead of making us wait. The tour guide was outstanding! Very knowledgeable on the buildings, humorous and energetic. We thoroughly enjoyed our architectural boat tour!

Informative, smart, interesting tour that enhanced the scenery. Highly recommend for all first time visitors. And, who doesn't like floating along the river for an hour?

I've been on a few different boat tours and this one was amongst the best. Very engaging and informative guide.

The overall experience was excellent. The guide was absolutely knowledgeable.

Was an incredible experience!!! I love ❤️ The Windy City