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This is not your grandma's architecture tour! Our award-winning guided tours of Chicago’s architecture, history, and culture bring curious people to explore stories and places locals don't even know. With Chicago Detours, you'll explore downtown and our diverse neighborhoods to experience the city’s interior architecture, the underground Pedway, jazz and blues, and historic bars. Founded by a former Rick Steves tour guide, Chicago Detours has designed tours that are fun, educational experiences. Our tour guides are are not just volunteer docents, they’re highly trained and educated professionals who know how to spark discussions and create a lively group dynamic. Rated five stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor, Chicago Detours is one of the top-rated tour companies in the city. We offer regularly scheduled tours for the public, and private group tours for corporate team-building, student field trips, and convention groups. The public walking tours stay mostly indoors, making them great activities for any time of year. Options include the "Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour," which explores beautiful building interiors and the underground Pedway System, and the "Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour," which digs into Chicago's entertainment history of social clubs, jazz music, prohibition, and theater. Other public tours include the "Best Architecture Walking Tour Since Sliced Bread," "1893 World's Fair Walking Tour with Bars," and "Pilsen Spaces and Changes Walking Tour with Food." Private group tours include the outings mentioned above, as well as tours by a luxury coach equipped with screens for presentation of historic images and videos. Many of our private group tour options can operate in the evening, and can include food and drink. Our historic bar tours, both by foot and by bus, are the most popular with private groups. Your group will eat, drink and learn about how Chicago has had fun over its history. The "Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour" visits Bridgeport, Chicago's oldest neighborhood outside downtown, which was home to workers for the nearby Union Stock Yards. Another popular tour is our "Jazz, Blues & Beyond by Bus." This tour explores Chicago neighborhoods north to south for a fun, up-close connection with the cultural history of Chicago's music. This memorable experience reaches its conclusion when a blues musician comes on board for a performance and harmonica lesson. Other private tours include "Chicago Neighborhoods and Cultural Diversity by Bus" and "Old Polonia and Wicker Park Tour with Food." Step-on guide services are also available for private group tours. Tours include lively guide commentary, an interactive group dynamic, and extras like media presentation and special gifts. Rather than a standard lecture format, these tours actively involve guests in a memorable experience that inspires new perspectives of the city's architecture and history. We annually receive TripAdvisor's "Certificate of Excellence," and maintain five stars on Yelp as well. Our tours have been featured in Frommer's, Lonely Planet, ABC 7, WGN, WBEZ, "Chicago Magazine," the Chicago Tribune, and the Guardian.
  • Excellent91%
  • Very good6%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, 10:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
Chicago, IL 60603-5610
Downtown / The Loop
Ways to Experience Chicago Detours
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"interior architecture"
in 39 reviews
"historic bar tour"
in 31 reviews
"walking tour"
in 65 reviews
"the loop"
in 68 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 58 reviews
"methodist church"
in 8 reviews
"pub crawl"
in 8 reviews
"video clips"
in 6 reviews
"jazz and blues"
in 5 reviews
"drinks and appetizers"
in 6 reviews
"scavenger hunt"
in 6 reviews
"hour tour"
in 16 reviews
"great tour"
in 21 reviews
"marshall fields"
in 9 reviews
"two hours"
in 15 reviews
"learn something"
in 8 reviews
"highly recommend this tour"
in 11 reviews
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1 - 10 of 471 reviews

Reviewed 5 days ago

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

Excellent way to see Chicago and have fun doing so! The tour was great and I didn’t want it to end! They made it easy to learn how to ride and be safe.

Thank Ann Marie d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have now taken two walking tours with Chicago Detours, and both were superb! Alex was an energetic, knowledgeable, very likable tour guide. The presentation of information was clear and interesting, and helped me to make connections between historic and current Chicago. Highly recommended.

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank Mona C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Morgan was our guide, she was excellent! Very well informed, she had answers to all questions and gave us extras along the way. There were eight of us total. We stayed mostly inside, used iPads that were provided to us for video and photo bonuses...More

Thank Sebastian I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My son and I really enjoyed this tour. Although we are frequently in and about the Wicker Park neighborhood, we learned interesting facts that we didn’t know. Amanda was a very friendly and personable tour guide. She’s a great conversationalist and clearly enjoys her work....More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank Tobi-Velicia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Tour guide Morgan did a wonderful job introducing me to the wonders of Noble Square and Wicker Park. Learned a great deal about the history of these dynamic communities and enjoyed great Polish and Mexican treats! So much fun! I highly recommend this tour

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank Tavinator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nearby
Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a
good starting point to sample the city's energy and
flavor. This central business district boasts
Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier
shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep
your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many
photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of
Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of
...More
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Questions & Answers
Angie_Cdn_Traveller
15 May 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from AmandaDetoursOwner | Property representative |
Our public tours can vary in size, but we limit the overall group size to 14-20 guests.
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