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“Fantastic tour!”
Review of Chicago Detours

Chicago Detours
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Chicago Walking Tour: Interior Architecture of the Loop and Pedway Tour
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Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour
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3-Hour Walking Tour: Chicago World's Fair of 1893
Ranked #1 of 570 Nightlife in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed 8 June 2014

I had such a great time on the Historical Pub Crawl with Elizabeth. I've lived in the city for a few years and was amazed that I had never been to or heard of some of the sights we visited. And I also learned so many interesting things about the places I was more familiar with. Totally worth it!

Thank Adrienne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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243 - 247 of 395 reviews

Reviewed 31 May 2014

This tour is amazing. The iPads that are used are a great idea. The cost is well worth it to see the city in another light, to go places you wouldn't think of exploring yourself, but especially to understand why Chicago has such a particular relationship with architecture.

Thank JenniferDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

Our guide was Nicky and she was very welcoming. We were in a group of 6 adults, starting at Chase Tower, ending at Chicago Cultural Center. We got to see architecture that was new to us, with new venues and some local history at the same time. I had never been in the Chicago Temple, the home of the United Methodist Church. It is really beautiful, a real mix of old and new! We also got to tour part of the pedway under Macy's going east. Some of the history stories were very interesting, with so much from The World's Fair of 1893. Very enjoyable tour, about two hours. Would try one of their other tours sometime!

Thank jabsChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

I recently participated in the Historic Chicago Bar Walking Tour, organized by Chicago Detours. It was a very interesting experience and real pleasure. I have seen buildings and places before, but have never noticed the small details. I never realized the interesting history and stories hidden in those walls of these bars. Now, I see them in a different way after an excellent explanation of the architecture and Chicago tales by a charming guide Klaudia. Overall – great tour!

1  Thank roman w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

My wife and I share a love for architecture besides each other, so whenever we can look at some, especially some from the past, we jump at the chance. Last year when we were in Chicago, we took a tour by boat which was great, but April in Chicago meant that it was also quite chilly. This year we signed up for a walking tour with Detours. It was only a half a mile and most of it was surprisingly inside or underground. Naturally the weather was gorgeous that day. We didn't mind though because the tour was fantastic. We started out in the Chase Tower where our delightful and very knowledgeable guide, Elizabeth gave us a new understanding of modern archetecture. We then proceeded to see some places that many native Chicagoans do not know are there. I know this is true as two of the people on the tour were from Chicago and told us that. Incidentally, I do not know how many people can do a tour, but we had six people in our group and that intimate size made it even more enjoyable. We saw the Methodist church that is inside a skyscraper with steeples at the top. We saw the (ugly to my mind) Picasso sculpture in front of the Daley building, walked through the Pedwalk underground, visited Block 37, saw an amazing ceiling mosaic in the middle of the old Marshall Fields store that is now Macys, and finished up at the Chicago cultural center. That building used to be the home of the public library and it is almost impossible to imagine how beautiful it is on the inside. The walls on all four floors are wall to wall mosaics. If you only have time to see one thing in Chicago, I highly recommend you go there. During the whole tour, Elizabeth explained architecture, gave us history lessons and generally provided us with a better understanding of the city. This was accomplished through her knowledge base as well as the occasional use of IPads. It was a very, very interesting an enjoyable two hours.

Thank Trophywifeshusband
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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