An open, pedestrian waterfront lined with restaurants and attractions, the Chicago Riverwalk extends from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street in the Loop. Often referred to as Chicago’s second waterfront after Lake Michigan, Chicago Riverwalk attractions include restaurants, boat rentals, and other family-friendly activities. Learn more about the Chicago Riverwalk and Chicago Riverwalk parking and be sure to check out all the events at the Skydeck at Willis Tower and read fun facts about The Ledge.

Why Visit the Chicago Riverwalk?

The Chicago Riverwalk was created when the reconstruction of Lower Wacker Drive started in 2001. The Riverwalk is divided into six coves: the Marina, Marina City, the Cove, the River Theater, the Water Plaza, the Jetty, and the Boardwalk. You’ll find unique Chicago Riverwalk attractions at each cove; for instance, the Marina houses tour boat docks and concession stands.

Don’t forget to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza, dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the Vietnam War. The Chicago Riverwalk plaza also includes a park, just in case you need a few moments away from traffic and street noise. Other standout Chicago Riverwalk attractions include kayak rentals and Art on the MART, the largest video-projection art installation in the world.

Chicago Riverwalk Attractions to See On Your Next Visit

The wide variety of Chicago Riverwalk attractions makes it a great choice if you’re looking for something to please every one of your travel companions. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it here! Don’t miss attractions like:

  • Buzzing coffee shops and cafes for optimal people-watching
  • Bird-watching with the National Audubon Society
  • Chicago architecture tours on the First Lady ferry
  • Wine bars, cocktail lounges, and restaurants
  • Riverwalk Gateway, a 27-foot cast-concrete walkway linking the Riverwalk with the lakefront

How Long is the Chicago Riverwalk?

Spanning 3.4 miles, the Riverwalk of Chicago gives you an excellent opportunity to stretch your legs while offering excitement for everyone and a beautiful view of the Chicago River! Plus, you can enjoy Chicago Riverwalk attractions that get you out on the water itself, like kayaking and fishing.

Visiting the Chicago Riverwalk: Parking & Hours

The Chicago Riverwalk is open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm year-round, with boat excursions typically running from May to October or as long as weather permits. For Chicago Riverwalk parking, the most convenient parking can be found at either Grant Park North Garage, Millennium Park garage, or Millennium Lakeside garage.

Enjoy Chicago with Tips from Skydeck!

Now that you have your visit to the Riverwalk of Chicago planned out, be sure to check out other summertime activities in Chicago—including learning about the Skydeck at Willis Tower! Contact us for more information on how to make the most of your next visit to the River North neighborhood!