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Chicago Architecture Foundation

224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604-2505
+1 312-922-3432
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The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit cultural organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Visit CAF on Michigan Avenue to view our 1,000-building scale model of Chicago, shop in our award-winning store, or participate in a fun LEGO® building event in our ArcelorMittal Design Studio. Choose from 85 tours by boat, walking, bus, or even L train, including the CAF River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. Tours depart daily and are led by CAF's expert docent guides. Every October, check out CAF's free annual Open House Chicago festival. Proceeds from CAF’s tours and gift shop, as well as grants, sponsorships and donations, support this educational mission.
  • Excellent85%
  • Very good12%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“boat tour” (270 reviews)
“walking tour” (180 reviews)
“caf tours” (68 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 21:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604-2505
Downtown / The Loop
+1 312-922-3432
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Reviews (2,201)
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1 - 10 of 2,069 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

The Architecture Foundation has a great gift shop with a great range of architecture related gift and framed prints etc. The gallery off the shop has a huge model of the city of Chicago which was great to see. However I would have liked to...More

Reviewed 5 days ago

An entertaining and informational 90 minute walking tour that explains the transformation of the south loop from an unsavory neighborhood of crime, sleazy bars and prostitution to the present day booming neighborhood of upscale condos and businesses. Kathy, our docent, was very knowledgeable and possessed...More

Thank LUchicago
Reviewed 5 days ago

Even Chicagoans go onthis cruise so if you're not into touristic experiences, this is one you will love. The boat gently cruises through the Chicago River taking in all the man-made architectural wonders of the fabulous city. Both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are available on...More

Thank Karim M
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

This boat tour on the Chicago river is fabulous. As a resident of Chicago it is always fun to learn about both old and new buildings in the city. Would definitely recommend!

Thank Ann C
Reviewed 5 days ago

We did the sunset river cruise and it was fantastic, the guide was knowledgeable and the views from the Chicago river of all the architecture were simply amazing! If you do one thing in Chicago, make sure it's a Chicago river cruise!

Thank jazemaster
Reviewed 1 week ago

CAF is a great originization who have some of the best docents I've encountered! They are so very knowledgeable and donot use a script! The tour is of 5 neighborhoods on the cities near south side off the Loop; Greek Town, Little Italy, Pilsen, Chinatown...More

Thank Cmfjr
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Chicago Architecture Foundation river cruise was a great way to explore Chicago's famous architecture (indeed there was a group of architecture students aboard the same cruise). The boat is operated by Chicago's First Lady Cruises and the tour guide (or "docent" as the Americans...More

Thank Kieren P
Reviewed 1 week ago

Even though the docents are required to memorize and use a script (especially on the Chicago River tour) they are very knowledgeable and informative about Chicago's architecture. Chicago is probably the most architecturally significant city on the world and the CAF gives tourists and visitors...More

Thank Tomosius
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

If you are interested in architecture, or just enjoy city views, this tour is a must. I have been on many architecture tours around the US and Europe, this is one of the best. We went on a hot sunny morning. We arrived 30 minutes...More

Thank dwalters88
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This organization does an amazing job of introducing people to this city. We have done the boat trip down the Chicago River more than once, and fully enjoy the information and the perspective this trip offers. We have done the neighborhood tour by bus and...More

Thank wailes45
Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a
good starting point to sample the city's energy and
flavor. This central business district boasts
Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier
shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep
your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many
photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of
Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of
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Questions & Answers
Marty E
30 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from ChiArchitecture | Property representative |
Hi Marty! You are welcome to purchase tickets in person at the boat dock, located on the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Dr. Please note that summer is our busiest season, so it's possible that your... More
12 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from ChiArchitecture | Property representative |
Hello! We do not offer river cruises during January and February because the boats are removed from the river for the winter. This year, our season runs from April 1–November 19, 2017. Thank you!
18 December 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Jkarr11 | Reviewed this property |
Have you checked the weather in Chicago this time of year???