Your Ultimate Guide To Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk is a stunning, pedestrian-friendly waterfront promenade stretching 1.25 miles along the south bank of the Chicago River. This urban oasis offers a unique perspective of the city’s iconic architecture, vibrant public art, and rich history, all while providing a serene escape from the bustling downtown area.


The Chicago Riverwalk’s development began in the early 2000s with the goal of transforming the underutilized riverfront into a vibrant public space. Over the years, the Riverwalk has expanded in phases, adding new amenities and attractions, making it one of Chicago’s most popular destinations.


The Riverwalk is divided into six distinct sections, each offering a variety of experiences and activities for visitors to enjoy.

The Marina Plaza

The Marina Plaza between State Street and Dearborn Street offers visitors a place to relax and dine at various waterfront restaurants with stunning views of the river and cityscape.

The Cove

Situated between Dearborn Street and Clark Street, The Cove is a popular spot for kayaking and boat rentals, allowing visitors to explore the Chicago River up close.

The River Theater

The River Theater, located between Clark Street and LaSalle Street, features a unique, tiered seating area that descends to the water’s edge. This section of the Riverwalk hosts various performances and events throughout the year.

The Water Plaza

Between LaSalle Street and Wells Street, the Water Plaza is a family-friendly area featuring a zero-depth water feature that provides a refreshing escape on hot summer days.

The Jetty

The Jetty, located between Wells Street and Franklin Street, is an ecological-focused area that showcases native plants and offers educational opportunities about the Chicago River’s diverse ecosystem.

The Riverbank

The Riverbank, located between Franklin Street and Lake Street, serves as a gateway to the Riverwalk from Lake Street and provides a stunning view of the confluence of the Chicago River’s three branches.

Activities and Attractions

The Chicago Riverwalk offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy, including:

  • Architectural boat tours that showcase the city’s iconic buildings and rich history.
  • Public art installations include the colorful “Mercury Rising” mural and the interactive “Fish Hotel” sculpture.
  • Seasonal events, including the annual Chicago Riverwalk Summer Fireworks and the St.Patrick’s Day river dyeing.
  • Dining options range from casual cafes to upscale restaurants, offering diverse culinary experiences with picturesque river views.

The Chicago Riverwalk is a must-visit destination for both tourists and locals alike. With its stunning views, engaging activities, and serene atmosphere, it is a perfect place to unwind, explore, and appreciate the beauty of the Windy City.

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