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Chicago is known around the world for its architecture. Whether you tour downtown or a neighborhood, our expert docent guides will tell you the stories behind the buildings. Visit iconic skyscrapers, elegant hotels or the legendary houses of Frank Lloyd Wright. With dozens of tours to choose from, we won't blame you if you can't pick just one.

Recommended Tours

Graceland Cemetery: Symbols in Stone

As we explore a venerable section of Graceland Cemetery, we’ll discuss the meanings of and changes to gravestone symbols and shapes, from Victorian times to the present day. We’ll see a variety of obelisks and mausoleums, as well as distinctive memorials…

Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Inside cemetery gate, 4001 N. Clark St.

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Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Inside cemetery gate, 4001 N. Clark St.

Graceland Cemetery: Women of Influence

During Chicago’s period of growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, women played a hugely influential role by participating in the Underground Railroad, exhibiting the first Modern Art paintings, creating the juvenile justice system and even…

Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
4001 N. Clark St., inside the gate

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Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
4001 N. Clark St., inside the gate

Highland Park

This tour traces Highland Park’s history from pioneer settlement to summer retreat for Chicago’s wealthy to year-round suburb. Encounter a beautiful variety of residential styles and see homes by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and W. W. Boyington…

Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Highland Park City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park, IL

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Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Highland Park City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park, IL

Hotel Boom: Making Old New Again

Chicago's recent growth as a favorite travel destination has fueled a surge in the creative repurposing of historic skyscrapers into chic new hotels. Learn how and why a former athletic club, silver manufacturer and motor club have undergone this change…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Illinois Center Pedway

Take a warm walk and see the cool architecture of the Illinois Center Pedway. Learn how an abandoned railway freight yard was transformed into an important urban development. You’ll see some pretty and some gritty portions of the Pedway as we travel…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Outside Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Outside Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Vice to Nice: Transformation of the South Loop

The story of the South Loop is complete with characters, corruption, renewal and transformation. Explore how an area known for vice, gangsters, a few famous madams and a lot of abandoned railroad tracks has transformed into today’s thriving South Loop…

Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Auditorium Building Lobby, 430 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Auditorium Building Lobby, 430 S. Michigan Ave.

Lake Bluff

Explore the fascinating history reflected in the unique designs of the North Shore suburb of Lake Bluff. Trace the history from the formation of the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association, and their plans for a resort similar to the Chautauqua movement,…

Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Lake Bluff Metra Station, 600 Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff, IL

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Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Lake Bluff Metra Station, 600 Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff, IL

Lake Forest Cemetery

Experience the Lake Forest Cemetery's park-like setting overlooking Lake Michigan in one of Chicago's most beautiful premier suburbs. Hear stories of Lake Forest's founding and those who made their mark from Civil War to modern times.

Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Cemetery gate at far north end of Lake Rd., 1525 Lake Rd., Lake Forest, IL

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Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Cemetery gate at far north end of Lake Rd., 1525 Lake Rd., Lake Forest, IL

Lincoln Park: From Cemetery to Sculpture Garden

Take a pleasant walk through Chicago’s beautiful Lincoln Park—a former lakeside cemetery turned recreation destination. Hear about the park’s history, learn the stories behind famous sculptures and enjoy a stroll through the park’s beloved zoo…

Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Children’s Fountain, 2045 N. Lincoln Park. West

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Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Children’s Fountain, 2045 N. Lincoln Park. West

Architecture of the Magnificent Mile

Discover how a dirt road known as Pine Street transformed into a "Paris on the Prairie" and later into the Magnificent Mile, the city’s premier shopping district. Hear the secrets and stories behind the striking buildings on North Michigan Avenue that…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Navy Pier

Explore the ever-changing Navy Pier! Learn how the pier has served Chicago through adaptive reuse since 1916 and why both the pier and theater are such popular tourist destinations.

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Old Town Triangle

No other Chicago neighborhood is like Old Town. Tucked behind high-rises and moments from the vast green space of Lincoln Park, this landmark district has a unique history and diversity. We’ll explore homes built immediately after the Great Fire of…

Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Lincoln Park Zoo Administration Building, 2001 N. Clark St.

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Price
$30 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Lincoln Park Zoo Administration Building, 2001 N. Clark St.

Pub Tour: Andersonville

Get a “taste” of Andersonville—a historically landmarked neighborhood settled by Swedish farmers in the 1850s. See the culture reflected in the classic architecture and thriving establishments as we drop into colorful local pubs for vast selections…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 N. Clark St

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 N. Clark St

Pub Tour: Near North

Determine for yourself why design matters as we view unexpected architecture in the Near North section of the River North neighborhood. We see the recently completed Poetry Foundation building, learn about universal design and visit a decades-old speakeasy…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

Pub Tour: West Loop

Combining post-Chicago fire buildings with the legends of the Haymarket Riots, Chicago's West Loop will certainly make a lasting impression on you. The Chicago Park District has added green space to this growing community that retains deep roots to the…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph St.

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph St.