The Rookery

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The Rookery: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chicago: City Minibus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

1. Chicago: City Minibus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

Start with pickup from your downtown Chicago hotel. Board your climate-controlled minibus and embark on your guided sightseeing tour. Begin in the heart of downtown Chicago, at The Loop. Here you'll see incredible architecture, including the world's first skyscrapers. You'll even go inside one that features a beautiful lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The stop also includes views of The Chicago Board of Trade and the Willis (Sears) Tower. After The Loop, head through Grant Park, which is known as the city's front yard. The centerpiece of the park is the Buckingham Fountain. Museum Campus is up next, with three museums, Soldier Field, and the most spectacular skyline views in the city. After a ten minute photo stop, travel around Millennium Park, featuring The Bean, before heading up north along Wacker Drive, which parallels the Chicago River. Arrive in the fancy Gold Coast nightlife area and residential neighborhood - one particularly interesting sight here is the original Playboy Mansion. Then you'll take a trip through part of Lincoln Park, and end the tour by zipping along Lake Shore Drive, past beaches, and old mansions, before being dropped off at your hotel. For those wanting the ultimate Chicago experience, add on the option of the world-famous architecture cruise of Chicago. After your minibus tour and a short break, climb aboard a state-of-the-art cruise vessel for a 75-minute cruise of all three branches of the Chicago River. Marvel at the architecture that has made the city so legendary. Gain insights into the buildings and engineering of a city that gave birth to the skyscraper and is the spiritual home of modern American architecture. An expert guide will lead you down the Chicago River to uncover hidden gems, as well the city’s most renowned landmarks, such as the John Hancock building and more.  

Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

2. Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

Start with pickup from your hotel and meet your local tour guide, an expert on the architecture of Chicago. Travel through the city in luxury private transportation to discover its rich architectural history. See famous buildings such as the Sears Tower, The John Hancock Building, and the Wrigley Building Discover Gothic gems along the Magnificent Mile, historic brownstones, and the Frank Lloyd Wright homes of Oak Park. Enjoy a unique added value opportunity to view not only the outside but the amazing hidden interior of many of the buildings on the tour. At your discretion, make numerous stops along the tour to go to the top of the sky decks of famous skyscrapers. Walk along the Chicago River and enter the inside of buildings designed by many famous architects. This tour has several different options. Enjoy the sites of the downtown Chicago area with its many skyscrapers, amazing interiors and great photo opportunities. You may also choose the Oak Park Frank Lloyd Wright Homes and Studio option in lieu of the downtown tour where you will have the opportunity to view the interior of his very first home and studio along with over two dozen of his original structures lining Forest Street in Oak Park anchored by Unity Temple, considered to be the world's first building of the modern architectural style. Each of the above separate options are 3 hours long. If you are to choose both options for a full 6-hour touring experience, enjoy a lunch stop at one of Chicago's many famous hot dog stands or deep-dish pizza joints.

Chicago: Historic Skyscrapers Guided Walking Tour

3. Chicago: Historic Skyscrapers Guided Walking Tour

Take a step back in time to the late 19th century to see and experience these world-famous early tall buildings that transformed a city devastated by fire into a center of skyscraper design and engineering. Let your expert guide immerse you in the architectural history of this city on this walking tour of Chicago.  Highlights of this walking tour include: Burnham and Root's Rookery (1888), with its Moorish and Romanesque exterior and its interior atrium redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright; Adler and Sullivan's Auditorium Building (1889), a masterpiece of acoustical and structural engineering; and Holabird and Roche's Marquette Building (1895), an outstanding example of Chicago commercial building design.

Other Sightseeing Options in The Rookery

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What people are saying about The Rookery

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 66 reviews

Very informative, everything worked out wonderfully from pick up to the end. Very nice and very good guide, also nice and courteous driver, comfortable car. The tour itself has a strong focus on Lloyd Wright, but that's fitting in a city where he started, has been active, and where many of his homes stand. Overall excellent tour with insights we would never have had otherwise.

Informative as well as humorous - good driver - good way to see downtown highlights as well as the nice area near Lincoln Park. Highly recommend.

I think the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. The minibus was good, the boat tour was good, but the two together were great!

Excellent tour guide, personable, humorous, and knowledgeable. We will certainly highly recommend to friends and family.

Rick was a delight and he really knew his history of Chicago!