Sightseeing Chicago With Wendella

Outdoors & Sports

Sightseeing Chicago With Wendella

Chicago is best known for three things: the deep-dish pizza, the Chicago-style hot dog overloaded with pickled and fresh toppings and the architecture. We experienced all three during a recent trip to the Windy City (taking a pit stop in the Swedish neighborhood Andersonville, of course) and here’s what we’ve concluded:

  1. Chicago is not for carb loathers.
  2. Don’t get caught putting ketchup on your hot dog.
  3. If you ever have the chance, take a Chicago architecture boat tour.

There are a handful of architecture tours on the Chicago River to choose from, but only one can claim to be the original: Wendella Sightseeing Company. As you may recall from our earlier Wendella story, Bo Albert Borgström, a Swedish-born Chicagoan, purchased and turned what was once a motorboat sales and service yacht into a 96-person sightseeing vessel, launching Wendella Sightseeing Company in 1935.

So naturally, we chose to tour with Wendella.

The Wendella experience takes you on a 75-minute tour through downtown Chicago led by a guide, and in our case a former architect, who shares information about each major building’s history and intricate details. We lucked out during our tour with 75-degree weather and not a cloud in the sky. While the photos below don’t do an in-person tour justice, here are a few highlights from our experience.

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Wendella’s dock on Michigan Avenue, where tours start and stop.
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The first leg of the tour heads south on the Chicago River toward the Trump Tower and the Wrigley Building to its right.
Wendella
A view facing Two Prudential Plaza, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago and 35 East Wacker, aka the Jeweler’s Building.
Wendella
The Civic Opera House is the second largest opera auditorium with 3,563 seats, a 45-story office tower and two 22-story wings.
Wendella
A view of the skyline heading east down the Chicago River.
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Wendella offers a private water taxi service for special events.
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For our final stop before heading back to the dock, we enjoyed a view of Navy Pier and the Centennial Wheel, a new addition to Chicago’s skyline.

If you’re in Chicago, be sure to check out Wendella’s architecture tour. For more information, visit www.wendellaboats.com.

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