Buckingham Fountain

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Buckingham Fountain: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chicago: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Cruise

1. Chicago: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Cruise

Start your sunset cruise on the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue. Make your way along the main branch of the river towards Lake Michigan before entering the Chicago Locks, a modern engineering marvel, that will transfer the vessel onto the great Lake Michigan. The vessel will cruise along Lake Michigan as the sun sets behind the wonderful skyline offering several amazing views. Your local tour guide will give a very brief commentary along the Chicago River and entrance to Lake Michigan, but most of the 1.5-hour cruise is spent without narration, leaving you to watch the sun put on a beautiful display with the City skyline. Admire the many angles of the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Capture magical views of Chicago's twin super-skyscrapers, the famous Willis (formerly Sears) Tower and the John Hancock Building. You'll also get to admire the majesty of Grant Park with its famous Buckingham Fountain, and iconic Chicago venues such as Soldier’s Field, Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. During your cruise, treat yourself at the full-service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products. Try local beer and spirits and Garrett’s Popcorn. Choose between the fresh air of the open-air decks or enjoy the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during your cruise. Don’t forget to take a selfie at the Grand Staircase at the front of the boat or pose for photos at the picturesque stern or bow of this classic vessel.

Chicago: Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Cruise

2. Chicago: Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Cruise

See the sights of Chicago from onboard the Spirit of Chicago with a brunch, lunch, or dinner cruise on Lake Michigan. Enjoy a buffet dining experience as you sail through the Windy City and delight in panoramic views of its skyline. Board your vessel at Navy Pier and receive a personal greeting. Get your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory before being seated at your private table. After settling in, savor your brunch, lunch, or dinner buffet consisting of freshly-prepared entrees, main course, and desserts, while listening to the onboard DJ's tunes. After your meal, play games like giant Jenga and shuffleboard, or bust out some moves on the dance floor. Don't forget to visit any of the 3 climate-controlled decks to watch the skyscrapers of Chicago's distinctive skyline glide by. SAMPLE BRUNCH BUFFET MENU Early Risers Seasonal Fruit Breakfast Pastries Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Meats Breakfast Potatoes Late Risers Organic Mixed Field Greens Green Bean Salad Red Beetroot Salad Roasted Broccoli Florets Baked Ziti Pasta Mashed Potatoes Oven-Baked Atlantic Atlantic Flounder Filet Honey and Sesame Chicken Hand-Carved, Slow-Roasted Strip Loin Dessert Raspberry Mousse Lemon Pound Cake and Fresh Strawberries Coconut Vanilla Cake Red Velvet and Chocolate Chip Brownie SAMPLE LUNCH AND DINNER BUFFET MENU Salads Organic Mixed Field Greens Organic Spinach and Kale Salad Green Bean Salad Kidney Bean, Black Bean, and Chickpea Salad Red Beetroot Salad Bow Tie Pasta Salad Vegetables, Potatoes, and Pasta Roasted Broccoli Florets Creamed Corn and Cheddar Cheese Casserole Baked Ziti Pasta Mashed Potatoes Entrées Oven-Baked Atlantic Flounder Filet Honey and Sesame Chicken Italian Beef Meatballs Braised Beef Short Ribs (dinner only) Dessert Seasonal Fruit Raspberry Mousse Lemon Pound Cake and Fresh Strawberries Coconut Vanilla Cake Carrot Cake Red Velvet and Chocolate Chip Brownie (dinner only) The menu is subject to change. Please inform your server if anyone in your party has a food allergy.

Chicago Lakefront: Seadog Speedboat Ride

3. Chicago Lakefront: Seadog Speedboat Ride

This half-hour Seadog Speedboat ride along Chicago’s lakefront is one of the best ways to view the city’s skyline while learning about the city. Combine an exciting speedboat ride with informative and amusing stories about the world-famous Windy City! As you depart Chicago's Navy Pier, your captain will tell you interesting facts about the pier and the lakefront as he cranks up the music and races to key lakefront landmarks. Stop near the picturesque lakefront park of the Chicago Museum campus, where you’ll learn about the architecture and history of Chicago. Admire views of the Magnificent Mile neighborhood, including the Buckingham Fountain, Sears Tower, Grant Park, and Chicago's largest shopping district. Listen to the thrilling sound of the turbo engines as you race around the Lake Michigan waterfront and back to the Navy Pier. Upgrade to the Extreme Thrill Ride Option and experience exhilarating speeds and full 360° spins. This jet-propelled ride blasts off to start and splashes down to stop. Experience full-throttle slalom runs, sharp twists and turns, and the raw power of Seadog Extreme's 1400 HP engines.

Amazing Lakefront Segway Tour of Chicago

4. Amazing Lakefront Segway Tour of Chicago

Glide around the streets and parks of Chicago on a leisurely 2.5-hour guided Segway tour. Perfect for Chicago newbies and veterans alike, the tour uncovers quirky facts about one of America’s most energetic destinations. Start your Segway experience at Millennium Park and continue to Grant Park to stop and admire the famous Buckingham Fountain. Ride to Museum Campus to soak up spectacular views of the Chicago skyline and beautiful lakefront. The tour includes a training session to become familiar with the unique self-balancing Segways, before exploring the Windy City in a fun and futuristic fashion. Smart, entertaining tour guides work hard to provide you with the experience of a lifetime, and reward you with expansive views of the sea-like Lake Michigan.

Chicago: Beautiful Lakefront and Museum Campus Segway Tour

5. Chicago: Beautiful Lakefront and Museum Campus Segway Tour

Segways are amazingly fun and there is no better way to tour a world-class city like Chicago than on your own personal set of wheels--a Segway! Our eight-mile Lakefront Chicago Segway tour lets you learn about and view and many Chicago's attractions in a highly unique way. As you glide effortlessly and enjoy the lakefront, you can learn the history of our city from your friendly and professional tour guide. Immerse yourself in the area's countless attractions, gorgeous parks and gardens, and stunning photo opportunities. See sights like Grant Park, the BP Bridge, the Bean, and the Buckingham Fountain, as well as generous views of Lake Michigan and the majestic skyline. Segways are safe to use, easy to learn, and fun to ride. We offer a thorough training session from our certified guides before we begin the tour.

Chicago: Night Tour with Willis Tower Entry and River Cruise

6. Chicago: Night Tour with Willis Tower Entry and River Cruise

Immerse yourself in Chicago’s distinct skyline with bold skyscrapers and incredible views of Lake Michigan illuminated at night on this city tour. Enjoy convenient hotel pickup and drop-off, skip-the-ticket-line entry to Willis Tower, and a scenic cruise on the Chicago River. After getting picked up from your Downtown Chicago hotel, hop in your air-conditioned Mercedes Metris vans and travel to your first stop, Willis Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Take the elevator all the way up to the 103rd floor of the tower, where you can enjoy 360-degree views spanning 50 miles and 4 states. Get your adrenaline pumping at The Ledge – a glass balcony extending 4.3 feet outside the building which provides a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Once your feet are back on solid ground, take to the Chicago River for a skyline cruise to see the beauty of Chicago's world-famous skyscrapers lit up by the moonlight and bustling city lights. Enjoy a narrated boat tour passing by over 40 Chicago iconic landmarks. End the night by immersing your senses in a spectacular light and music display at Buckingham Fountain – one of the largest fountains in the world. You will also get to see the infamous Chicago Bean (also known as Cloud Gate), Anish Kapoor’s first public outdoor work installed in the United States. At the end of your tour, your guide will take you back to your downtown Chicago hotel.

Chicago: Family Fun Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

7. Chicago: Family Fun Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

Discover Chicago’s stunning skyscrapers, historic buildings, and modern marvels on this fun, family friendly boat cruise. Relax and unwind as you admire scenic views from the Chicago River and the Chicago Harbor Lock. Then move out onto Lake Michigan where you can gaze upon the entire city skyline and shoreline. During the boat ride, enjoy lively narration and stories about Chicago’s rich history as your knowledgeable guides point out the many sights of the city including Willis Tower, Aon Center, John Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Marina City, Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune Building, Navy Pier, the Lighthouse and more. The tour also gives you the opportunity to experience passing through the Chicago River Lock System. Listen to your guide explain the full workings of the lock and feel the boat rise as you enter Lake Michigan, and then lower again when returning to the Chicago River.

Chicago City Mini Bus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

8. Chicago City Mini Bus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

After your hotel pick-up from most downtown Chicago hotels, board your climate-controlled minibus with a small group of twelve people or less. Enjoy the sightseeing tour which has won Chicago's "Concierge Preferred" award several years running.  Your tour begins in the heart of downtown Chicago, at The Loop.  Here you'll see incredible architecture, including the world's first skyscrapers.  You'll even go inside one that features a beautiful lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The stop also includes views of The Chicago Board of Trade and the Willis (Sears) Tower. After The Loop, you'll tour through Grant Park, which is known as the city's front yard. The centerpiece of the park is the Buckingham Fountain (operational May to October).  Museum Campus is up next, with three museums, Soldier Field and the most spectacular skyline views in the city.  After a ten minute photo stop, you'll travel around Millennium Park, featuring The Bean, before heading up north along Wacker Drive, which parallels the Chicago River. You'll arrive in the fancy Gold Coast nightlife area and residential neighbourhood - one particularly interesting sight here is the original Playboy Mansion. Then you'll take a trip through part of Lincoln Park, and end the tour by zipping along Lake Shore Drive, past beaches and old mansions as we get you back to or near your hotel or parking place. For those wanting the ultimate Chicago experience, add on the option of the world-famous architecture cruise of Chicago. After your 2-hour minibus tour and a short break, climb aboard a state-of-the-art cruise vessel for a 75-minute cruise of all three branches of the Chicago River. Marvel at the architecture that has made the city so legendary. Gain insights into the buildings and engineering of a city that gave birth to the skyscraper and is the spiritual home of modern American architecture. An expert guide will lead you down the Chicago River to uncover hidden gems, as well the city’s most renowned landmarks, such as the John Hancock building and more.  

2 Hour Pier Fireworks and Evening Segway Tour in Chicago

9. 2 Hour Pier Fireworks and Evening Segway Tour in Chicago

A summer trip to Chicago would not be complete without an evening of viewing the fireworks at Navy Pier. Marvel at this firework display and the glistening lights festival of Buckingham Fountain. Enjoy views of Millennium Park illuminated against the dark of atmospheric Lake Michigan lit only by moonlight. Sightseeing in Chicago by segway is a fun and easy way to see the city. After we complete our segway training, your talented tour guide will escort you to view Buckingham Fountain’s evening light show. The soaring towers of water dancing to the music against a plethora of colored lights will not fail to impress. Remember to bring your camera! Enjoy the cool summer breeze of Lake Michigan as you glide on your segway through the fragrant rose gardens to our secret location for an evening of suspense as fireworks light up the sky over Lake Michigan and Navy Pier. We glide around the outskirts of Millennium Park to view the Crown Fountain with its many changing photos. As the tour draws to a close you can relax in the knowledge you have witnessed Chicago’s famous summer fireworks and seen the sights!

Eastside Chicago: Exploration Game

10. Eastside Chicago: Exploration Game

Start the adventure at The Art Institute of Chicago. It will take you between 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and you can also explore at your own pace. Pause the game and resume anytime from the location where you paused it. You will finish at the Fountain of the Great Lakes. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. So, are you up for an exciting city game? After your booking, you will receive an email on how to download the game to your phone. You can play on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups that compete against each other and meet at the final stop of the game. For larger groups, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to download and play the city game on their phones. Alternatively, each person can make their own purchase.

Other Sightseeing Options in Buckingham Fountain

Want to discover all there is to do in Buckingham Fountain? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Buckingham Fountain

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,283 reviews

Very informative, everything worked out wonderfully from pick up to the end. Very nice and very good guide, also nice and courteous driver, comfortable car. The tour itself has a strong focus on Lloyd Wright, but that's fitting in a city where he started, has been active, and where many of his homes stand. Overall excellent tour with insights we would never have had otherwise.

Jeremy was fun and patient in teaching us on how to drive the Segway. I had so much fun. Love his humor. The direction to the meeting point was very clear.

Our tour guide, Muhammad, was fantastic! He was so peppy and knowledgeable! I would highly recommend!

Enjoyed the ambiance and historical overview. Seeing the skyline at sunset was so worth it.

Rick was a delight and he really knew his history of Chicago!