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Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour

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    What to Expect
    Meet your guide to begin your pub, architecture and entertainment history tour. Start in the heart of Chicago’s legendary Magnificent Mile — or Mag Mile — a slice of Michigan Avenue packed with high-end shopping and landmark buildings, located between the Chicago River and Oak Street. Famous sites including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Chicago Water Tower, and Allerton Hotel are found on Mag Mile.
    Outside the neo-Gothic style Tribune Tower, note the bricks at the base of the building. In the early 1900s, the eccentric owner of the Chicago Tribune newspaper asked reporters to send rocks from famous buildings around the world; resulting in the display of more than 140 bricks that hail from the Taj Mahal, Westminster Abbey and World Trade Center, among other places.
    Continue to the Intercontinental Hotel, where your guide explains its mixture of architectural styles. Marvel at large exterior carvings in Assyrian style; a Moorish-inspired gold dome; and learn about the mysterious motivations behind the exotic ornamentation of this skyscraper. 
    Visit the original Billy Goat Tavern, a legendary bar that was immortalized in a Saturday Night Live sketch, and is also known as a favorite watering hole of local newspaper reporters.Your guide illustrates the tour with video and photographs on iPads provided for the tour and shared among your group. 
    As you discover more historic architecture and stop into other bars, you'll learn more about jazz history, Chicago breweries, and the prohibition era's legendary mobsters such as Al Capone, part of Chicago's notorious crime syndicates. Have fun socializing and getting to know your group in a game learning about nightlife and entertainment in the neighborhood during the 1960s to win a prize! 
    Expect to walk at a leisurely pace, covering a half mile in about 2.5 hours, with plenty of time to stop for drinks and appetizers at three historic bars. Appetizers are included. All guests must choose a beverage for the walking tour and bring cash to cover 2.5 servings of beer ($23), wine ($29), soda ($8) or water ($3).
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    Reviews (68)
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    All reviews billy goat tavern intercontinental hotel tribune tower tour leader fun stories a lot of fun great job small group jazz ipads offbeat libations ellen downtown history architecture stops
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    1 - 5 of 39 reviews
    Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

    Great experience, Rachael was an incredible tour guide. Loved her humor. Definitely a must do while in the city.

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank Tracey M
    Reviewed July 13, 2019 via mobile

    If/when you come to Chicago you have to take the Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour. It’s run by Chicago Detours, a women-owned ‘tour company for the curious’. It was a delicious combination of history and architecture with food and booze. Of course! Our tour leader,...More

    Thank heatherwY3611TT
    AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

    Thanks for this great review, Heather! We're so glad you had a good time on the tour with Jen. We love sharing Chicago places and stories, and food and drinks just enhance the experience in our opinion! Hope we'll see you again soon.

    Reviewed July 12, 2019

    My sister, husband and I took this historic bar tour and were blown away. We're all life long Chicagoan's and decided to be a tourist in our own town. Our tour guide, Ellen was fun, engaging and filled to the brim with interesting historical tid...More

    Date of experience: July 2019
    Thank Shannon T
    AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded July 14, 2019

    Hi Shannon, thanks so much for this! Glad you came along on the tour and so happy that you had a great time. Come join us for another tour some time, we'd love to see you again!

    Reviewed June 30, 2019

    This tour was a fantastic way to understand many of the rich stories that make up the history of Chicago. Also a great way to enjoy some of the local delicacies and beverages that Chicago is renowned for. Our guide was passionate about every aspect...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    Thank JBHawks
    AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded July 14, 2019

    Hi, thanks for coming on our tour! It's awesome to hear our tour guide's love of Chicago rubbed off on the whole group. We love to share Chicago's history and culture. Hope you'll join us again!

    Reviewed June 14, 2019 via mobile

    I cannot say enough about how awesome this tour was! Our guide, Elizabeth, was so much fun, very knowledgeable and she's so intentional with her groups you walk away feeling like you just made a new best friend! The tour route was very thoughtfully planned...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    Thank HaleyMarchand
    AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2019

    Wow, thanks so much! So great to hear that the tour was such a highlight of your trip. We love sharing the city with our guests. Hope to see you again the next time you visit!

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    Judy M
    November 3, 2018|
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