Since our city literally grew up on the Chicago River, this is a great way to take in the contemporary urban landscape while visiting some historic spots. Spend 90 minutes paddling the Main Branch of the river, as your lead tour guide stops periodically to tell stories and share detail about Chicago's rich history. There is a 20-minute pre-tour session on land, where our guides go over safety issues, "rules of the river" and provide a brief paddling demonstration for those who are new or novice kayakers. Reservations recommended.

More Details and our FAQ Page

  • Arrival Time: Please arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled tour time to check in and store anything you don't want to take on the water in one of our lockers
  • Approximate Time: 90 minutes on the water
  • Launch Site: This tour starts and finishes at our Riverwalk location.
  • How to Dress: Assume you will get wet, and dress accordingly. Also, wear workout/cycling gloves if you have them. Your hands will thank you.

Recent Tours

"Choose Urban Kayaks and have fun! As a long time Chicagoan I can attest to how unbeatable the views are of the city from this experience."

- Liam A

"This is an experience that should not be missed.  It was an amazing way to see the city."

- Amber S

"The views are insanely beautiful and romantic. You see the buildings from a new perspective and get the history behind them. I loved hearing the stories and seeing it all. A great experience."

- Harini P

Fequently Asked Questions and our Faq Page

What should I wear?
Beach clothing is ideal. A bathing suit, sandals, hat, and sunglasses work well. Don't forget sunscreen.
Do you provide lockers/ storage to keep valuables safe and dry?
Yes. Locker rentals are available on site for a minimal fee. Free open air cubbies are also available. Additionally, Built into every kayak is a storage hatch where you are able to store some belongings. Please keep in mind this storage hatch is not 100% waterproof. Additionally, we have customer changing rooms on site for your convenience.
How much weight can the kayaks hold?
A single kayak holds one person and has a weight capacity of up to 300 lbs. A tandem kayak can hold one or two people and has a weight capacity of up to 550 lbs.
Should I bring my camera/ phone?
Well, this is a tricky one. On one hand you will get a unique "ducks eye" view of the city while paddling, however you will also get wet. Keeping your camera in a waterproof bag while paddling works well. Bring everything at your own risk.