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Chicago Detours

577 reviews
About Chicago Detours
This is not your grandma's architecture tour! Our award-winning guided tours of Chicago’s architecture, history, and culture bring curious people to explore stories and places locals don't even know. With Chicago Detours, you'll explore downtown and our diverse neighborhoods to experience the city’s interior architecture, the underground Pedway, jazz and blues, and historic bars. Founded by a former Rick Steves tour guide, Chicago Detours has designed tours that are fun, educational experiences. Our tour guides are are not just volunteer docents, they’re highly trained and educated professionals who know how to spark discussions and create a lively group dynamic. Rated five stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor, Chicago Detours is one of the top-rated tour companies in the city. We offer regularly scheduled tours for the public, and private group tours for corporate team-building, student field trips, and convention groups. The public walking tours stay mostly indoors, making them great activities for any time of year. Options include the "Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour," which explores beautiful building interiors and the underground Pedway System, and the "Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour," which digs into Chicago's entertainment history of social clubs, jazz music, prohibition, and theater. Other public tours include the "Best Architecture Walking Tour Since Sliced Bread," "1893 World's Fair Walking Tour with Bars," and "Pilsen Spaces and Changes Walking Tour with Food." Private group tours include the outings mentioned above, as well as tours by a luxury coach equipped with screens for presentation of historic images and videos. Many of our private group tour options can operate in the evening, and can include food and drink. Our historic bar tours, both by foot and by bus, are the most popular with private groups. Your group will eat, drink and learn about how Chicago has had fun over its history. The "Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour" visits Bridgeport, Chicago's oldest neighborhood outside downtown, which was home to workers for the nearby Union Stock Yards. Another popular tour is our "Jazz, Blues & Beyond by Bus." This tour explores Chicago neighborhoods north to south for a fun, up-close connection with the cultural history of Chicago's music. This memorable experience reaches its conclusion when a blues musician comes on board for a performance and harmonica lesson. Other private tours include "Chicago Neighborhoods and Cultural Diversity by Bus" and "Old Polonia and Wicker Park Tour with Food." Step-on guide services are also available for private group tours. Tours include lively guide commentary, an interactive group dynamic, and extras like media presentation and special gifts. Rather than a standard lecture format, these tours actively involve guests in a memorable experience that inspires new perspectives of the city's architecture and history. We annually receive TripAdvisor's "Certificate of Excellence," and maintain five stars on Yelp as well. Our tours have been featured in Frommer's, Lonely Planet, ABC 7, WGN, WBEZ, "Chicago Magazine," the Chicago Tribune, and the Guardian.
Open Now
Hours Today: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Certificate of Excellence
Contact
Chicago, IL
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Tours and Tickets by Chicago Detours
Tours from Chicago Detours tend to sell out - travellers recommend booking in advance!
US$38.00 per adult
Private Chicago Highlights Tour 101 by Tesla or SUV
US$450.00 per adult
Reviews (577)
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All reviews interior architecture historic bar tour walking tour the loop our tour guide pub crawl video clips jazz and blues scavenger hunt great tour hour tour enjoyable tour marshall fields billy goat tavern two hours highly recommend this tour fun facts
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1 - 10 of 572 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Thoroughly enjoyed the walking tour given by Elizabeth this afternoon - Really informative tour! Brought to life the stories and people of the different eras. Enriching experience and entertaining tour! She had great skills In making it fun & memorable. Highly recommend it - this...More

Thank H238FGjesss
Reviewed 3 days ago

This 420 dispensary is the biggest and most affordable in Chicago. They have every strain you can imagine and more. Great customer service!

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Stro C
Reviewed 5 days ago

Guide provided very interesting facts about the city, social norms, etc that provide context for the architecture.

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: January 2019
Thank justincP5249CG
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Hey thanks for joining us and for sharing this review! We're glad you found the tour interesting and educational. Come join us again some time for another tour!

Reviewed 6 days ago

Fun tour on a blustery snowy morning in January- perfect way to get to know the City! Led by a Chicago insider with great passion for the City- we even learned about how to get around the rules!

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank OlliverCarson
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

We love showing our guests the secret sides of the city! We're so glad you joined us, had fun, and learned something too.

Reviewed 1 week ago

We had a great time seeing some hidden gems of the city. This tour did not talk about H. H. Holmes, but did go into the history of the 1893 World’s Fair quite a bit. I did like the games. Quite fun and different.More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: January 2019
Thank HKIdaho1
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Thanks for sharing this review! We love hearing that you learned more about the World's Fair during this tour and had fun with the games! Ours isn't a Devil in the White City-focused tour, we talk about the historical and cultural impact of the Fair...More

Reviewed 1 week ago

Our tour guide was wonderful and she was so insightful. I have lived in Chicago most of life and somewhat knowledgeable about the history of my city. Not after this tour, I learned so many cool historical things about my beloved city and home. Thank...More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Curious08836092098
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Wow, thanks so much for this review! Our company mission is "to bring curious people to explore stories and places locals don’t even know", and so we absolutely love knowing that we've impressed a local and taught you things you didn't know about the city!...More

Reviewed 1 week ago

Everyone is our group was really delighted with the interior loop architecture tour we attended last weekend. The guide was knowledgeable and the content fascinating.

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Ken S
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Thanks for coming on the tour, Ken! It's our pleasure to share this city's amazing history, architecture and culture with curious people.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Informative and well structured tour led by a knowledgable guide. Easy walking for average level of fitness. Thoroughly enjoyed it despite the cold and showers.More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: December 2018
Thank 59Margaret2014
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Thanks for coming on a tour with us, and we're so glad you enjoyed it! Our mostly-indoor tours avoid the worst of even bad weather in Chicago, so they can be a great option on a rainy day or a snowy day. Thanks for sharing...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Easy walking tour filled with great information about Chicago's story and architecture. Our guide was great. We went into building we would not have discovered on our own. It was impressive what we found inside building you walk by all the time. I would to...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Susie06824
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Thank you for joining our tour and for sharing this review, we love hearing that our tours were fun for the whole family! Come back and see us again the next time you visit!

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Having visited Chicago in late December, our tour options were somewhat limited (the architectural boat tours were done for the season). Looking around TripAdvisor, I happened across the walking tour featured here. Given that we had an older couple in our group, this seemed like...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank TheWeberKing
AmandaDetoursOwner, Manager at Chicago Detours, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Thanks so much for joining us for a tour! Our mostly-indoor tours avoid the worst of the weather (though as you note, about 5-10% takes place out doors as we move to different buildings), so they're a good option for folks searching for a fun...More

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Questions & Answers
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Angie_Cdn_Traveller
May 15, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from AmandaDetoursOwner | Property representative |
Our public tours can vary in size, but we limit the overall group size to 14-20 guests.
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