Chicago From the Water


Chicago’s location is no mistake: the meeting of the Chicago River and the western shores of Lake Michigan made it a key location in the Great Lakes. While water transportation is not as key as it used to be, Chicago’s many waterfronts are some of the best places in Chicago to spend time and they provide unique views of this skyscraper city. The Chicago River, once so polluted that engineers reversed its course to take the pollution away from Lake Michigan, has changed for the better and become a destination for its boat tours and riverwalk.

This last week, having family in town, I’ve been getting out on the water as much as I can. Today’s post is an amalgamation of Chicago views from both the river and Lake Michigan. What’s your favorite way to explore a city?










Sources and Further Reading:

Interested in the reversal of the Chicago River and what happened after? Check out this 99 Percent Invisible episode and article: Reversal of Fortune. Also this CityLab article: A Century Later, the Expensive Lesson of Reversing the Chicago River.

Want to get on the water? I recommend the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s boat tour (includes some architectural history!) and the Tall Ship Windy (a chance to go sailing on a beautiful schooner). Evening boat trips are my favorite, especially in summer. Let me know if you have other recommendations!





8 thoughts on “Chicago From the Water

    1. Thank you! Water provides a nice foreground and also allows you to get far enough away from the buildings to actually see them. Two useful things 🙂 Chicago is a great city!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s