Kayaking down the Chicago River is a bucket list activity for both Chicago locals and visiting tourists in equal measure.
Whether you’re down by Chicago Riverwalk flanked either side by the city’s famous highrise architecture or taking in the skyline from the protected waters of Monroe Harbour, kayaking in Chicago is a truly unforgettable activity.
After shutting down for the winter season, kayaking is about to make a return to Chicago this May. The icy conditions of the last few months have been hostile enough to make the bravest of souls think twice before taking to the water but now Chicago is beginning to bloom, there are few activities as enriching.
Urban Kayaks have announced they will reopen their Riverwalk and Lakefront locations next month for kayaking’s spring and summer seasons. From Saturday, May 1, kayakers can venture down the Chicago River once again, or take to the waters of Lake Michigan from May 21.
Historic Chicago Tours offer 90 minute guided excursions on the Main Branch of the river paddling through the city’s core via skyscraper canyons and under historic bridges while learning about Chicago’s rich history. There are extra special tours at sunset and twilight where you can experience the soft golden glow bounce through Chicago’s artificial valleys or watch Art on the MART’s Spring 2021 Program ‘Astrographics’ from the water.
As more and more people are vaccinated further kayaking extravaganzas will be returning. Happy Hour kayaking is followed by a tiki party with fellow kayakers at the Island Party Hut afterward and once Firework Tours return they offer a truly memorable night beneath a bursting sky.
Similar activities will start up at the Lakefront location later on in May with sunset paddles, coastal tours, and Kayak Touring Instructor Courses for those who want to make it more than a one-off activity.
Single kayaks, tandem kayaks, and paddleboards will also be available at both locations so you can navigate Chicago’s winding river or Monroe Harbour at whichever pace you desire. Learn about the sights with a tour guide or explore the river independently and see where it takes you.
[Featured image provided by Urban Kayaks]