The Walton Residence

70 E Walton St, Chicago, Illinois, 60611, United States
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  • Solo100
  • Business100

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Forum Posts

Mini-bus tour

by inrbty

I'm considering a Mini-bus tour (only 14 passengers) to get a great overview of Chicago on our first day. I then wanted to do a CAF Architectural River cruise on another day. We love history and architecture!
Now, I see that the Mini-bus "Company" is offering a combined tour with Shoreline Sightseeing for a river tour leaving from Navy Pier. The cost to combine through the mini-bus company and not doing the individual tour through Chicago Arch, Foundation is about $12 less per person.
Does anyone have any opinions about this? I keep hearing how "extra" great the 90 minute CAf River tour is. AND, is there any advantage to the CAF tour leaving from right next to Michigan Av bridge rather than coming in from NAVY pier? the CAf is 90 minutes the Shoreline Sightseeing is only an hour but combines with the mini-bus for a 4 hour total experience.
Also, Are there really any appreciable differences in the boats the two companies use as far as actual visual experience is concerned?
Sure appreciate your input. For some reason I'm hesitating.

Re: Mini-bus tour

by Dabs

Wendella, Shoreline and CAF all have architecture river cruises ranging from 60-90 minutes with CAF being the longest of the three. I've been on at least two out of the three and unless you are a real architecture geek, I thought both of them were fine. I think all three of them leave from Michigan & Wacker, just on different corners. You might be confusing them with other cruises offered by Wendella and Shoreline that leave from Navy Pier that do a lake cruise or a combined lake and river cruise. I know there are some people who jump up and down and insist that you HAVE to do the CAF tour but honestly for a visitor to Chicago who is not an architect themselves will enjoy Wendella or Shoreline if you opt to go on that one.

I think they all use the same type of boats with the deck on top, if you are coming in the warmer months then it is a nice place to sit, if in the colder months then you will likely want to be in the covered section of the boat.

A lot of the boat cruises have coupons for certain days of the week, check here to see if you can use any

Re: Mini-bus tour

by okim

Dabs' comment is right on. I'd just add that you may want to consider taking the architectural kayak tour rather than the open-top boat tour. I live in Chicago and have taken the kayak architectural tour twice, and it was absolutely great both times. The second time we even took my mother in-law in a tandem kayak. The open-top boat tour is really nice, but the kayak tours were a total blast. If you want more information about it, this is the company we took the tour with:

Travel Tips for Chicago

Book Stores

by mntravler22

When taking a trip don't buy any books in advance head to any book store they all have alot of the same choices. My first trip into the city I went into alittle bookstore right around the corner from the train staion and picked up a couple books and whatever turned my fancy. They have travel books for anthing you desire. This city has it all and very tourist friendly. I picked up a book and deals in newyork and every time I went into chicago picked out three or four places that were around the same area and went out on my own. Not a scary city contrary to some beliefs. Explore every part of Chicago with the handy books from various bookstores. Gotta love the various cultures in Chicago. I ate at a different type of restraunt every time I went there. Great food.

If visiting during the summer,...

by tcc_dc

If visiting during the summer, you must definitely attend a Cubs baseball game. Scalp a ticket and sit in the bleachers. Even if you do not like baseball, you will have a great time. It is just a party in the stands.

The Chicago River

by Stephen-KarenConn

Chicago is built on Lake Michigan, but a river runs through it - the Chicago River. Beginning at Lake Michigan and flowing southward through the heart of the city, the river is crossed by numerous bridges and its banks are lined with skyscrapers.

The Chicago River, which runs for 156 miles, is notable for having reversed its direction in a famous civil engineering feat in the 19th century. The current was redirected to flow away from Lake Michigan, into which it previously emptied, and towards the Mississippi River basin. This was done for reasons of sanitation, to flush polluted water away from the city and the lake. The river is also noted for the local custom of dyeing it green on St. Patrick's Day.

Several vendors offer guided cruises on the river which is an excellent way to learn more about the city, its history and impressive architecture.

Friends of the Chicago River

Skyscraper tour

by goingsolo

Most large cities have skyscrapers, so seeing large buildings soaring into the sky is not that unique. But Chicago's plan, design and uniqueness of these buildings gives this city something extra. Many of Chicago's largest structures follow the postmodern trend of replacing the steel and glass monolith look with domes and columns and varying designs. Take a walk through downtown Chicago and you'll see quite a variation in these large buildings. Some have slanted roofs, some have different shapes and all are quite impressive.

For those that are really interested in architecture, the Chicago architecture foundation offers tours either walking through the city, on a bus on by boat. Their # is 312 922 TOUR. To me, the best way to see a city is to immerse yourself in it. This is impossible to do in the space of 3 days, especially in a city so large and jam packed with activity. So I concentrated on downtown and resisted the temptation to venture off the beaten path. Still, walking along Michigan Avenue and its sidestreets gave me the opportunity to experience a small slice of Chicago. I didn't do any of the formal tours, but spent a bit of time seeking out some of the more unusual buildings. It was interesting watching people try to photograph them.

Take in the sky line, the...

by Lanah

Take in the sky line, the lake, the beaches, restaurants, museums, theater and cultural events.

I would say the best time to come to Chicago is during the summer. The city is always in a festive mood after our winters and there are so many things to see and do. The city sponsors events like: taste of chicago, jazz/blues fest, air and water show, there are neighborhood festivals and the plethora of other things make Chicago a great place to visit.

There are many guide books on Chicago that can serve as an invaluable resource. Two great net resources: Metromix: and City Search:

Have fun and enjoy this wonderful city!!!


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 The Walton Residence

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

The Walton Residence Hotel Chicago

Address: 70 E Walton St, Chicago, Illinois, 60611, United States