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The Midwest’s number-one attraction is the place in Chicago for lakefront fun. Take an exhilarating ride on the sky-high Ferris wheel, board a sightseeing or dinner cruise boat, and see a live performance at the outdoor Skyline Stage or acclaimed Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Dine at one of Navy Pier’s many boardwalk restaurants and browse the unique shops and stands (a great place to pick up a souvenir).
Kayak through canyons of skyscrapers and architectural wonders, or explore the waters just off beautiful Lake Michigan. Kayak Chicago is Chicago’s premier full-service outfitter, offering a variety of tours with certified instructors and guides. It’s a truly unique way to experience the urban landscape.
Odyssey Lunch/Dinner/Champagne Cruises
Step aboard Odyssey and enjoy a two or three-hour escape to the signature elegance and total entertainment experience only a luxury cruising vessel can provide. Creative appetizers, entrees and desserts prepared fresh onboard daily. Award-winning wines. Dancing to live music. And unmatched skyline views.
Grafton Zipline Adventures
Looking for a jaw dropping, heart racing experience? Try Grafton’s newest attraction – a zip line that affords those brave enough a stunning river view and hours of fun. The nine zip lines total 1.75 miles, which should take approximately two hours to complete. The first of nine zip lines is nicknamed the Baby Bear – the shortest measuring only 300 feet in length. The longest, at 2,000 feet, is the Soaring Eagle, which has breathtaking views during its 250-foot descent. The Deer Hollow (3rd zip) and the Barn Burner (the final zip) are both 1,500 feet. The Limestone Leap (7th zip) is 1,300 feet, the River Run (5th zip) is 1,200 feet, the Gobblers Knob (6th zip) is 1,000 feet and the Road Runner (2nd zip) at 700 feet.
Celebration River Cruises
Hop aboard the family-owned Celebration Belle riverboat that cruises the mighty Mississippi River. Operating April through October, the 800-passenger riverboat offers a variety of cruises, ranging from sightseeing tours to theme cruises such as Big Band and fall foliage, captain's dinner and dance cruises, and overnight excursions.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
Full-service, 120-unit resort 8 miles southeast of Galena on a wooded palisade overlooking the Mississippi. One of the Midwest's top-rated ski/snowboard resorts: 19 trails, 475-foot vertical drop, half-mile runs, nine lifts, seven-acre terrain park. Indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, miniature golf, Alpine slide, Mississippi cruises, skiing/snowboard programs, on-site restaurants, lounge.
Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline
Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline offers 90-minute tours for the whole family that include lake and river cruises, fireworks cruises, canine cruises and wacky pirate cruises, all departing from the landscaped dock on Chicago’s Riverwalk at the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
Mississippi Explorer Cruises at Chestnut Mountain Resort
Jump aboard Mississippi Explorer's latest 1.5-hour cruise. Experience the magical splendor of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge.
Seadog Speedboat Rides
The largest speedboats in the country, the 70-foot-long, bright yellow Seadog boats carry up to 149 passengers and offer 30-minute speedboat rides along the lakefront. Seadog rides depart from Navy Pier.
Experience the magnificence of the city from a different perspective. The city’s Riverwalk features walkways and seating areas along the water's edge, where visitors can enjoy views of architecture, and watch the Chicago’s historic bridges rise for boats heading out to Lake Michigan. With attractions such as cafes, boat cruises, bike rentals and more, there’s plenty to do. (Chicago Riverwalk runs along the south bank of the Chicago River, from Lake Shore Drive to Franklin Street.)
Melvin Price Locks & Dam
Get the best view of Alton and the Mississippi River from eight stories in the air atop the Melvin Price Locks & Dam. Take a free guided tour and see towboats and barges as they push their way through this incredible structure. It's also a great spot to eagle watch in the winter.
Belle of the Rock
The Belle of the Rock paddle boat tours are located at historic Starved Rock state park in Utica, Illinois (just 80 miles west of Chicago). In addition to the river tours, we provide canoes and kayaks. Call us today at 815-434-9200 to make your reservation.
LaSalle Canal Boat & Lock 16 Visitors Center
Mule pulled canal boat rides with period clothed storyteller, open May-October. The year-round Visitor center includes exhibits, programs, visitor information, cafe and gift shop.
Skydive Chicago offers the best entertainment in the Midwest! The 220-acre resort offers camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing and swimming, all onsite. Stop by today!
Mississippi River Visitor Center
The visitor center overlooks Lock & Dam 15 on Arsenal Island. See the observation deck - a great spot for viewing bald eagles in the winter and for watching barges lock through on their way up and down the mighty Mississippi River. Enjoy exhibits on the Mississippi River and a gift shop. Guided tours are available of the Lock & Dam system on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tour Reservations are required!
CITY: Rock Island
Alton Riverfront Amphitheater
The 4,000 seat Alton Riverfront Amphitheater hosts a variety of events from community festivals to live concerts throughout the summer months. With the Mighty Mississippi River as a backdrop, bring your blanket and spread out for an evening under the stars. Check out our website for a list of upcoming events.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Experience Chicago's world renowned architecture with one of 80+ different tours offered by The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). Explore by boat, foot, bus, bicycle or Segway, and choose from tours such as the Devil in the White City tour, Lights, Camera, Architecture! tour, the Daniel Burnham Tour and many others. Interested in the boat tour? Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Learn more at www.cruisechicago.com. Also offered: FREE exhibitions, programs and workshops, youth education, family programs and an architecture and design-themed retail store. Private tours and group tour rates available. Open daily 9:30-5:00.
The Nest at Palisades Cabins
The Nest at Palisades Cabins offer secluded luxury cabins designed to provide charm, quiet luxury and romance. We’re located on a wooded acreage high above the Mississippi River minutes from Savanna, the Palisades State Park and an easy 20 minute drive to Galena.
Trolley Car #36
Take a 45-minute trolley ride along the Rock River, into Rockford's industrial roots and through Sinnissippi Gardens, where you'll visit the greenhouse, lagoon and beautiful planted gardens.
Bobby's Bike Hike- World's Greatest Tours and Rentals
Ride a cool cruiser-style bicycle and follow a guide who makes brief stops at Chicago's most popular sights, providing light-hearted commentary that will keep you entertained.
Great River Trail
Sixty-two miles of riverfront biking trails run from Rock Island to Savanna. The trail is easily accessible along the riverfront in the Quad Cities, and bike rentals are available at the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau in Moline.
CITY: Rock Island
Chicago River Architecture Tour - Wendella Sightseeing Boats
The Chicago River Architecture Tour is a 60-minute journey through the heart of the city. Led by an architectural expert, this in-depth tour traces the history and innovations of urban architecture in Chicago.
This fun boat ride for the whole family offers panoramic views of Chicago lakefront fireworks aboard Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline popular 90-minute commentated lakefront fireworks sightseeing boat cruise on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
Paddle and Trail
Paddle and Trail is an independently owned, full service outdoor retailer and outfitter specializing in paddle sports, bicycling, trail runninng, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and adventure racing. Explore the beautiful waterways and trails of northern Illinois with Paddle and Trail trips. The store hosts the Regional Activity Center located beyind their building on Windsor Lake, with opportunities for fishing, kayaking and more water sport activities.
CITY: Loves Park
Segway Experience of Chicago
Chicago's only Segway-authorized touring company has locations at Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue, plus certified tour docents who will ensure a memorable, safe experience.
Centennial Fountain and Arc
A 90-foot jet stream creates an arc across the Chicago River for ten minutes on the hour.
The Twilight River Cruises
See the beauty of the Mississippi from the deck of a real, old-time riverboat. Relax, unwind and recharge!
CITY: Scales Mound
Mississippi Palisades State Park
Untouched by glaciers that left their mark elsewhere in the state, this park is rich with rock formations carved by erosion. The park features pileated woodpeckers, migratory waterfowl and other wildlife species.
Steve's Segway Tours
Explore Chicago's lakefront, museums and Millennium Park on a three-hour Segway tour led by guides all year round.
River Trail of Illinois
This 10-foot wide asphalt trail winds 4.8 miles along the former Illinois Terminal Railroad Co. path. Build in 1991, the River Trail provides a safe scenic route for outdoor recreation year round, winter weather permitting. The trail affords patrons the opportunity to experience the natural preservation of wildflowers, grasses, trees and wildlife. With direct access at the Park Administration Center, Bunnell field, and Taylor Street ball diamonds, and in close proximity to Veterans Park, Central Jr. High, West Park, and local restaurants, the River Trail offers something for everyone!
CITY: East Peoria
A 32-acre park built in cooperation with Batavia Park District, the city of Batavia and the Batavia Riverwalk Committee. Park your bikes by the Depot Museum and stroll the boardwalks through the wildflower garden.
Wacky Pirate Cruise
Kids (2-10) swashbuckle with Buccaneer Bob aboard Chicago’s only Wacky Pirate Cruise. During the 60-minute lake and river sightseeing boat ride, little buccaneers receive their own pirate bandana; learn how to tie nautical knots; are “knighted” by Buccaneer Bob with their own pirate name and tattoo and “captured” by mom and dad in great family photos. It’s a one-of-a-kind cruise aboard Mercury, Chicago's Skyline Cruiseline.
MetroWalkz Self-Guided Walking Tours
Our numerous self-guided walking tours with easy-to-use maps and insider narratives make sightseeing a breeze. Current tours include Loop Architecture, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile, Museum Campus, Grant Park, Chinatown, Old Town, Gold Coast and the West Loop.
North Branch Bicycle Trail
Bicyclists and hikers can travel this trail that runs from Caldwell and Devon Avenues in Chicago, to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. The 20-mile trail winds along the Chicago River past the Skokie Lagoons and through forest preserves.
Combined Lake and River Tour - Wendella Sightseeing Boats
The Combined Lake and River Tour offers a comprehensive overview of Chicago, with breathtaking views of the magnificent skyline and an up-close perspective from the Chicago River.
Lock 16 Center
Visitor Center where you can board the LaSalle Canal Boat, and enjoy the scenery, history and relaxation of a mule pulled ride on the waterway that changed the face of the nation – the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal.
Visit the beautifully designed annual & perennial gardens at the Goldmoor Estates. Self-guided tours may be taken of the constantly blooming gardens and the meandering grounds are perfect for walking or lounging in our comfortable Adirondack chairs, sipping wine and admiring the sunset over the grand Mississippi River.
Mercury's Urban Adventure Cruise
Board this 90-minute river and lakefront cruise, complete with live commentary detailing over 50 downtown Chicago buildings and bridges. Cruises depart daily, May through October.
An elegantly appointed venue along Peoria’s Riverfront, the Gateway offers the finest surroundings for your next business or social function. Constructed in 1997, this beautiful building was designed and created to be the focal point of Peoria's Riverfront. The Gateway is conveniently located downtown just one block from Interstate 74 and is within walking distance of hotels, major businesses, and many restaurants. The Riverfront provides a spectacular backdrop with its stunning views and the vibrant nightlife offers a unique and festive atmosphere. This is an affordable, convenient site for any meeting, banquet, or conference occasion. With the comfort and versatility the Gateway offers, you will want to make this the new home for your annual banquets and weekly meetings.
Mississippi River Lodge
Our Mississippi River Lodge is located right on the banks on the Mighty Mississippi River between Savanna and Thomson Illinois and offers awe-inspiring views from every angle. We offer 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, living room with fireplace & big screen TV, deck with grill, a fully stocked kitchen and much more! If you are a river lover, this is the place for you. Fishing, water skiing, tubing, or cruising up the river, it's all here for your enjoyment. Since we are located on Big Slough, off of the main channel of the river, you can have fun without having to deal with a lot of river traffic. Access to the main channel is easy if you want to cruise the river. Only five miles up the river is Lower Sabula Lake which offers a great new sand beach. There is a public boat launch only a quarter mile from the house and a dock is provided to moor your boat at the house. If you do not have a boat, you can fish off the dock or the bank.
This park features a pavilion with tables, a gazebo, fountain, a play lot, basketball court, historic cannons and monuments, and a walk bridge across the Galena River to Galena's downtown historic shopping district.
Restaurants and shopping line this downtwon area. Home to the Itasca Art and Wine Festival. Scenic Riverwalk takes you from the nature center to the waterpark.
Fox River Bike Trail
Dawn until dusk, a 36 m. trail is the forefront of outdoor recreation passing through Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and Aurora. It winds along the banks of the Fox River through miles of prairie grass, overshadowing trees and blooming flowers.
A destination port on the Mississippi with picnic area's, playground, outdoor pool. Within a half of a mile to Alton's historic antique district and the Argosy Casino.
Lock and Dam #17
This New Boston lock and dam assists with barge navigation on the Mississippi River.
CITY: New Boston
Forest City Queen Riverboat
Many cruise options on the Rock River are available, including hourly narrated tours, family-style picnics and elegant dining.
Tri City Port District
This site is on the Granite City Canal, near the Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River. Tri City Port is a duty-free foreign port, as well as a loading facility for farm and other products being barged on the river.
CITY: Granite City
Downtown park on the banks of the Rock River. Site of several Native American "Effigy Mounds," which have been preserved, and home to Rockford Artists Fair.
Boone County Conservation District
The enchanting charm of Boone County’s Buffalo Creek creates a picturesque scene of nature at its finest. With a mission of preserving nature for generations to come, the area offers numerous educational events and festivals.
Featuring 240 acres, Nature Center, parking, boat launches and Rock River access, fishing, hiking, nature preserve, cross-country skiing, shelters, grills, playground equipment, and more. Ronald Reagan saved 77 lives here as a lifeguard during his boyhood years.
Bicycle Trails - Aurora
More than 35 miles of trails, from Aurora to Crystal Lake, pass through scenic landscapes. Routes include the Fox River, Virgil Gilman and Red Oak Trails, and the Illinois Prairie Path.
River Trail Nature Center
Nature is wonderfully displayed in this silent forest that glaciers carved thousands of years ago. The prairie extends along the riverbanks, rich in plant and animal life.
Fox River Trail (St. Charles Illinois)
32 miles of biking, hiking and cross-country skiing featuring some of the most scenic trails of the Fox River. Points of interest include Carpenters Dam, Fox River Shores, Tyler Creek, Voyageur Landing, Shoemaker Nature Center and Fabyan Forest Preserve.
CITY: St. Charles
St. Charles Paddlewheel River Boats
Cruise the scenic Fox River from Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles on the Fox River Queen or the St. Charles Belle paddlewheel riverboats.
CITY: St. Charles
Less than 1 hour from Chicago. Providing unique rentals/guided tours/lessons and sandy beach camping. Kayaks, bikes and canoes on the Illinois River, Mazon River and I & M Canal/Towpath.
Lake County Forest Preserve
We currently manage 25,268 acres of land and offer innovative educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for all ages. Visitors enjoy nearly 112 miles of trail for a variety of outdoor recreation uses, fishing ponds and lakes, public access to the Fox River, award-winning nature and history education programs and events, and three public golf courses. Facilities of special interest include Independence Grove near Libertyville, Ryerson Conservation Area near Deerfield, Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda, Greenbelt Cultural Center near Waukegan, and three golf courses (Brae Loch near Grayslake, Countryside near Mundelein, and ThunderHawk near Beach Park). Most Forest Preserves are open from 6:30 a.m. to sunset, every day of the year. Special hours apply at the golf courses, Discovery Museum, Greenbelt Cultural Center and Ryerson Woods.
St. Genevieve Modoc Ferry
Ride the ferry across the Mighty Mississippi the next time you visit historic St. Genevieve and Randolph County. The ferry travels between St. Genevieve, Missouri and Modoc Illinois, and holds approximately nine vehicles.
Freeport Canoe Company LLC
Paddle the Pecatonica with The Freeport Canoe Company. We cater to group or individual canoeists, beginner or seasoned paddlers. At Freeport Canoe Company we offer family fun, scenic views, fishing, canoe transportation, and discounts for large groups. Enjoy canoeing from McConnell's Bobtown Landing to McNeil's Damascus Landing or to Tutty's Crossing in downtown Freeport. $50 rental per canoe. Ages 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult; ages 16 to 18 must have a parental consent form. Call to set a date and time for your paddle, 815-233-1065 or 815-541-0869.
Bobber's River Tap
Bobber's is an open, outdoor, deck bar and picnic area, along the banks of the Pecatonica River. A relaxing stop for travelers by road or river. Bobber's is a converted 95 year old lumberyard. Bring your own pole and boat, or just sit and relax with a cold drink and watch the river flow by.
Visit this "Key West" of the Midwest located where the Illinois River and Mississippi River meet. In addition to harbor faciltiies, a floating swimming pool and the Big Kahuna Bar and Grill, Grafton Harbor features a gift shop where boaters and landlubbers alike can find unique trinkets and treasures. Snacks, beer and wine, boating accessories and parts, clothing for all ages, navigational maps and gifts for that special child are all available.
Kingston Fest & Kardboard Boat Regatta!
Kingston Fest is a craft and vendor fair, live music and games in the shady Kingston Township Park. Bring your swimsuit and try the new dual slide Water Slide. Race your friends on two huge obstacle courses! Kiddie Bouncer and slide combo are $1 for tickets, 25 cents for other children’s games. Community games will be at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30. There will be horseshoe, bags and softball tournaments. The Kardboard Boat Regatta is always great family fun, watch boats made out of cardboard race on the Kishwaukee River.
Summer Solstice Indie Music and Craft Beer Festival
"Summer Solstice", the ultimate pairing of ground to glass brewed beverages and independent minded musicians on the cusp of greatness. The scenic Fox River will serve as the backdrop for this unique event in historic downtown Yorkville.