Explore Chicago

Kayak Around Chicago

Things to Do — By Emma on September 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm
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Chicago’s geography makes it a unique city for kayaking. You just can’t paddle into the center of most cities. Surrounded by Lake Michigan and practically sliced in half by the river, you can see every angle from the water.

Two Kayakers in the West Loop

Photo courtesy of author.

Getting in the Water

There are a handful of companies that rent kayaks, offer lessons and guide paddling tours. Kayak Chicago rents for the day or by hour. Sea kayaks are available for experienced paddlers looking for trickier currents on the lake.

Go solo or paddle in a double. Despite boat traffic you don’t need to be a experienced. Kayakers have long coexisted, happily gliding through wake.

The expert guides know where to take you, what times to see the best views, colors of the sky… they think of everything. And, they know their history.

Where to Paddle

There are several launching spots around the city. Chicago River Canoe and Kayak details the locations and what you can expect. In the North you can paddle through wooded ponds and watch herons from the Lagoons launch.

You can create your own trip for the afternoon or a quick hour’s excursion. Choose from a bunch of paddling experiences. The calender lists: River Rambles, Moonlight Dinner Paddles and admire the canopy of buildings at the Weekly Skyscraper Canyon. Make no mistake, this is arguably the best way to take in Chicago architecture.

Chicago Kayak guides an Architectural Tour that takes you into the center down Wacker St. Besides the views, you see a side of the city you can’t catch on foot.

Fireworks and Night Kayaking

West Loop kayak at night

Photo courtesy of author.

There are no shortages of fireworks in this great city. On the water is the best place to see them. Wateriders guides a Fireworks Paddle on Saturdays at 7pm through October.

The Sunset Paddle with Kayak Chicago is just as spectacular as it sounds. You can rent until the late evening or go with a guided group. Walking over the Kinzie St. Bridge at night, it was a pleasant surprise to see kayakers.

One way or another, you have to see the city lit up.

Tags: Architecture, Chicago, fireworks, Kayak
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