Guide to an Impromptu Visit to the Riverwalk in Chicago


older couple walking on the chicago riverwalk

This past spring revealed the initial stretch of the newly redesigned Chicago Riverwalk east of Michigan Avenue. The new section joins the western part of the Riverwalk’s western section which opened in 2015 and 2016.

If you’re visiting Chicago, make sure to pop over to the Riverwalk which winds its way along the Chicago River along Wacker Drive. Even if you only take in a portion of the 3.4-mile trail after a night at the theater, a business dinner or date night. If you’re transportation into the city is a Chicago limousine service, just let your driver know your pickup spot has changed.

Here’s a few fun (and a few meaningful) stops to check out during your visit:

Art on theMART 

The largest video-projection art installation in the world, is probably the Riverwalk’s most famous site. Video art is visible on the river-facing façade of the Merchandise Mart, Wednesdays through Sundays, from March through December, 7:15 — 9:15 p.m.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza

Descend the stairs at the corner of State and Wacker and you’ll discover the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza. The solemn site features a black granite slab bearing the names of all the Illinois servicepeople who lost their lives in Vietnam. Take a moment to sit by the fountain and contemplate their sacrifices.

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

On a lighter note, the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum celebrates the role of the Chicago River in the city’s history. Climb to the top of the Bridgehouse where you’ll be treated to a 360-degree view of the city and the river.

Fun with Darts

Looking for some unconventional fun? Head over to the Flight Club is a great place to try out your dart-throwing skills. A special area called an oche (rhymes with hockey) holds up to 20 people and features dart-tracking technology that provides instant scores. Plus, you can relive every toss with instant replay. Servers are happy to deliver food and “bespoke cocktails” while you play. Make sure you book a reservation to secure an oche.


Need a place to relax and have a drink? Head over to The Kitchen at 316 N. Clark, located in an old industrial space right on the Chicago River. If it is warm enough, ask for seating on the patio and watch boats on the river while sipping seasonal cocktails. If it too cold for outdoor seating, giant windows overlook the river from the bar and restaurant.

On the River

To experience the Chicago River up close and personal, hop on the Chicago Water Taxi that travels from Michigan Avenue to the Ogilvie Train Station. Or get a little wet while propelling yourself down the river as part of a Chicago River Kayak Tour.

The best way to get and from Chicago is with a private car service. WSL professional chauffeurs have lots of experience navigating the busy streets of downtown Chicago. After an impromptu visit to the Chicago Riverwalk, sit back and relax during a comfortable ride home.