chicago riverwalk

Top Ways to Enjoy the Chicago Riverwalk Like a True Chicagoan

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Chicago's Riverwalk is a popular and historic part of the city's downtown atmosphere, but with plenty of changes over the years, there's much to do and see you might not have known about.

If you're looking for ways to enjoy the waterfront like a real Chicagoan, look no further than this guide from Chicago Today.

Eat and Drink

Chicago Brewhouse brings local beers to the city's iconic and revitalized Riverwalk. Take a peek at the brewery, and the history that surrounding it.

Looking to dine out with a view? There's no shortage of bars and restaurants along the popular strip.

With options like the funky and bohemian vibes at Beatnik on the River, the delicious wine and cuisine at City Winery and carefully crafted food and brews at Chicago Brewhouse, and so many more, you'll be able to quench your thirst and hunger right on the water. You can even score a sweet treat at Sweet Home Gelato.

For a full list of dining options, click here.

Art on theMART

When the sun sets in Chicago, the Riverwalk lights up with an art-filled display unlike any other.

When the sun sets in Chicago, the Riverwalk lights up with an art-filled display unlike any other.

Giant colorful light projections display historic and famed artworks like the Obama Portraits and works by Frida Kahlo.

The popular display will be launching its fall hours beginning Sept. 17 with displays of works by Barbara Kruger.

“We are honored to feature the work of such a legendary contemporary artists on our platform,” Cynthia Noble, executive director of Art on theMART, said in a statement. “With this installation, our site extends Kruger’s major retrospective beyond the museum walls and into the urban architectural environment, where the art is free and accessible to all.”

Projections will be displayed every night at 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. through Nov. 25, with the best viewing spots along the Chicago Riverwalk.

See the full schedule here.

See Live Music

Every Sunday through Oct. 17 the Riverwalk features a free live music performance.

Sounds of the Riverwalk take place at 1 p.m. on the Confluence and feature everything from jazz to classical to worldly.

Check out the full schedule here.

Go Fishing

Matt Rodrigues and Cortney Hall offer a glimpse at the "reel deal" of fishing along the Chicago Riverwalk.

The Chicago Park District offers fishing opportunities for those who want to enjoy a "reel deal" on the Riverwalk.

The district will hook you up by providing fishing rods, bait and any supplies needed for a big catch.

The schedule includes:​

August 21- September 25
Saturdays and Sundays
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Shop Local

For those looking to show their true Chicago support, there's no better way than shopping local.

Check out the community marketplace, located between Michigan Avenue and Wabash, between the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum and O’Brien’s Riverwalk Café.

There are plenty of small, locally-owned businesses like Neighborly, Colores Mexicanos, Peaches on the River and more.

Details here.

Take in the Views

Outside of Art on theMART, there are plenty of public artworks and beautiful sceneries to take in along the lakefront.

Sit on the steps and watch the boats along the skyline or take a stroll along the pedestrian trail to check out some of the many public art exhibits on display.

For a list of current artworks on the trail, click here.

Go Out on the Water

Rent a boat, hop in a kayak or check out the famed Chicago Architecture Boat Tour.

There are plenty of options for exploring the Chicago Riverwalk... from the water.

From charters to cruises to taxis to urban kayaks, you can choose your own adventure.

Here's a full list of options to check out.

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