After a mad dash by river taxi, regular taxi and foot, my coworkers and I made it to the boat dock at Navy Pier a couple of minutes before the tour left. It was a hot, sunny day (at this point, anyway), but we found seats on the upper deck.
The ride went up the Chicago River to a point just beyond the old Chicago Post Office building, then turned around and headed back. We passed through the lock and spent the last 45 minutes cruising in a circle inside the breakwater past the lighthouse before docking at Navy Pier.
Our guide was informative and interesting as he pointed out the buildings we passed, but there were a lot of distractions and it was easy to tune him out. Still and all, it was an enjoyable 90 minutes. The lake bit was particularly pleasant because clouds were moving in, bringing cooler temperatures, and the breeze picked up considerably.
Here’s a random smattering of what we saw:
The Aon Center, the tall white building in the left-hand photo, was originally called the Standard Oil Building and then the Amoco Building. At the time, it the tallest building in the world that had a change in name — surely one of the most pointless bits of trivia you’ll ever hear.
When we mentioned to our guide that the lock house was built to resemble a ship, he went off on a tirade about the waste of tax dollars and had nothing at all good to say about the building.
In the photo on the left, the Chicago Harbor Southeast Guidewall Light is on the right and the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse is in the distance.
I’ve always enjoyed a nice boat ride, and this one gave me an interesting (and somewhat educational) perspective on Chicago. And it was a great way to spend a hot morning. It also enabled me to check off another item on my list of 30 Things Everyone Should Do In Greater Chicagoland.