Whether you're new to the city or you've lived in Chicago your entire life, there's always a new neighborhood or bit of history to be discovered. The Chicago Office of Tourism has released the 2009 neighborhood tour calendar which features four new tours this year: Neighborhood tour Albany Park, the Land of Lincoln Bicentennial and Burnham Centennial tours which travel to multiple neighborhoods, and the Art Around Town excursion. And even more popular than ever is the Hyde Park & Kenwood Tour showcasing President Obama's stomping grounds.
The neighborhood tours are guided by local residents, providing an authentic perspective for visitors. The Albany Park tour (May 30, August 15) visits the Cambodian American Heritage Museum, the River Park Dam and Waterfall, the 155-acre-North Park Village with its roaming urban wildlife, and the famous Superdawg Drive-In. To commemorate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the new Land of Lincoln tour (April 4, August 1) travels to Civil War gravesites at Oak Woods Cemetery, the Stephen A. Douglas Tomb and Monument, Grant and Lincoln Parks, and the Chicago History Museum's collection of Lincoln memorabilia.
On the Hyde Park & Kenwood tour (April 18, July 18, September 19), drive by President Obama's Kenwood home and see the University of Chicago campus where he once taught. Explore Hyde Park's St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and the Oriental Institute Museum followed by a walk through Jackson Park's Osaka Garden.
For descriptions of tours and to make reservations, call 312-742-1190 or visit www.chicagoneighborhoodtours.com. All tours depart by motor coach from the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street at Michigan Avenue, at 10 a.m. (check-in at 9:30 a.m.) and include some walking. The cost for each Neighborhood Tour is $30 ($25 for seniors/students) and includes refreshments. The cost for each Special Interest Tour is $50 ($45 for seniors/students) and includes lunch. Summertime Sampler Tours cost $20 per person. Group rates are available. Reservations are strongly recommended as tours often sell out.
Check the schedule on the neighborhood tours web site for a list of tours and dates.