One of my Chicago bucket list items was to cruise on the water taxi. For native Chicagoans, this is probably a yawn, but I’m a newbie and I want to do everything. Charlsy was still in town after we returned from our weekend in Kentucky for Thunder Over Louisville, so we decided to take a ride to Chinatown to kill some time.
To get to the water-taxi stop, go to the Wrigley building and walk down the stairs to the waterfront. We did not know this. We walked down the waterfront, which sometimes smells like a sewer and sometimes like a garden, until we realized we had gone too far. We turned around and saw a water taxi across the river. We were dying of thirst at this point, so we hurried over. Again, we didn’t know where to go. We asked a random kiosk lady, who directed us around the Wrigley building. Luckily there’s a Walgreens at the base of the Wrigley building where we bought Nice (or Noice, as we pronounced it) water bottles for 99 cents. My scalp was burning as we wandered around looking for the stop, which is down the stairs or elevator to the river. You can buy your water-taxi ticket onboard. We paid $8 for an all-day ticket, thinking we’d cruise to Chinatown and back, which would make the cost worth it.
It was the most gorgeous Chicago spring day we’ve had. The temperature went into the 70s (and maybe 80s?) and could aptly be described by the “Miss Congeniality” quote that goes: “not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.” Actually nope, it was too hot for a jacket.
We were two of only three passengers onboard, and we sat in the front to check out the views. You can consider this a cheap version of the architecture tour with no narration. We soon discovered the boat was only going to the Ogilvie stop, across from the opera building. We learned this when we started to turn back and return to where we came. We asked the nearest crew member, who said the water taxi doesn’t go to Chinatown on weekdays yet, but it will in the summer. Welp, I probably should have looked that up. I was still deliriously tired from our weekend in Louisville, during which I didn’t slept well.
Despite our little setback, we had fun riding on the water on such a beautiful day. If you’re in a need of a break while walking around the Loop this summer, take a little ride with the daily commuters on the water taxi. I’m sure they love tourists.
Have you taken the water taxi? Were you a commuter or a tourist?
Check out my Chicago spring/summer bucket list for more ideas for what to do in the city!