Can’t hail a cab? Uber app not connecting? Ditch the pavement and head down to the dock to catch a ride on Chicago’s Water Taxi!
There are two primary companies that run water taxis in the city: Chicago Water Taxi and Shoreline Cruises. The taxis run from Memorial Day to Labor day, with rides available throughout May and September, if the weather cooperates (and that’s a big if). Each company has pickup and drop off destinations at various locations throughout the city, some of which are huge tourist attractions such as Navy Pier, the Willis (Sears) Tower, and the Shedd Aquarium.
The Chicago Water Taxis are the perfect way to add some excitement and variety to your average day trip. Here are five of the top destinations worth kissing the cabs goodbye and sailing to instead:
Bear down the river and across the lake to Chicago’s iconic Soldier Field. Catch a ride from Navy Pier for a timely and cost-efficient venture with a view. With rides occurring every 20 minutes on game days, the Chicago Water Taxi must be tops on your list for transportation to the tailgate party. Want to know the ultimate “in”? Have brunch at Harry Caray’s across from the boat dock beforehand to receive discounted parking at Navy Pier, score a deal on cheaper taxi tickets, and snag a free beer from the bar before your ride! Can it get any better? We think not. Now all that’s left is donning your favorite blue and orange Bears attire and bringing home a win!
Take the Water Taxi south for a cultural experience to remember. Upon arriving in Chinatown, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful Asian-inspired dock complete with a pagoda and all. Walking through the streets of Chinatown really leaves you feeling as if you’ve left the city and entered an entirely new place of its own. The restaurants, shops, and the architecture are authentic and true to Chinese culture. The chili dry chicken is highly recommended. Also, don’t skip out on dessert because the smoothie shops and bakeries are one of a kind!
In case you weren’t aware, the numbers 3-1-2 represent more than the local area code in Chicago. 312 is also one of Goose Island’s most popular beers, and it’s brewed right here in the city! Tucked away in Chicago’s beloved Lincoln Park is Goose Island Beer Company. This brewery has been in Chicago for over 20 years and has become a household name. Cruise on over to this Chicago favorite and take a tour of the brewery, taste some of the local beers, and pop into their delectable restaurant afterward for lunch. Boats AND beers? Can it get any better than that?!
4. Trump Tower
The Chicago Water Taxi also docks directly between two of downtown’s most picturesque buildings: the Trump Tower and the Wrigley Building. You certainly won’t get the two confused though, because Donald recently plastered his name across the Trump Tower in massive letters. Head on up to the Terrace at the Trump for a swanky dinner and carefully crafted cocktails with a view. The outdoor space at the Trump provides the perfect panorama of the city that will leave you in awe. Make sure your camera is photo ready, because this is a view you won’t want to forget!
Once known as Meigs Field, a small airport located right on Lake Michigan, Northerly Island has become renowned for its revitalized green space as well as an amazing outdoor concert venue. Northerly Island is a peninsula comprised of over 90 acres that jets out into Lake Michigan. It is located just south of Chicago’s Museum Campus and the entire city skyline serves as the backdrop. You can snap postcard-like photos directly from the Water Taxi’s dock. Part of Northerly Island has been transformed and rejuvenated into traditional Illinois prairieland. The remainder of the area is now a massive outdoor concert space where big name artists play all summer long. Therefore, Northerly Island offers the best of both worlds. Whether you’d like to spend a serene afternoon taking a stroll through the park, or you’d prefer to dance and sing all night long to your favorite band, Northerly Island is the place for you!
It’s highly suggested that all five of these Water Taxi destinations be added to your Chicago Travel Bucket List. It is amazing the wide variety of places you can visit via the Chicago Water Taxis, and each destination is one that you won’t want to miss. Have you already been to one or more of the places listed above? If so, tag @JetsetTimes in your photos to let us know!