What To Expect
Start by choosing one of Chicago’s boat launches as your starting point for the day. If you enter or exit the river through Lake Michigan, you’ll need to pass through the Chicago Harbor Lock. If you’ve moved your boat through locks before, you’ll have no problem. Just make sure you pay close attention to the operators’ instructions.
If you’re used to boating in lakes, keep in mind that the Chicago River will offer less room to maneuver, and you’ll likely encounter more traffic than you’re used to. That means right-of-way rules are even more important. The Chicago River is also a popular spot for kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders, so always be aware of your surroundings to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe day on the water.
Things To See
Chicago is known for its architecture. In fact, many companies operate architecture boat tours along the river. To enjoy your own history lesson from your own Harris boat, you can tune into this Audio Tour of the 10 Most Iconic Buildings along the Chicago Riverwalk by Geoffrey Baer.
If you’ve never explored Lake Michigan, save some time to boat out into the harbor and beyond. This Great Lake’s vivid blue waters on a sunny day will have you thinking you’re on the ocean. Plus, the panoramic view of Chicago’s skyline from Monroe Harbor is stunning, especially when lit up at night.
Dock And Dine
Book a dock at Downtown Docks ahead of time so you can explore the Chicago Riverwalk, a 1.25-mile path that runs along the Chicago River. It serves as a pedestrian thoroughfare, provides access to the water, and is home to art installations and highly popular restaurants like local favorite City Winery, American classic Beat Kitchen, or tropical oasis Island Party Hut.
Immerse Yourself In the Action
Wherever you start and end your day on the Chicago River, you’ll enjoy a unique experience of urban waterway exploration aboard your Harris pontoon. Immerse yourself in our interactive Harris in 360 video to catch a glimpse of the sites you might see on your adventures from aboard the totally redesigned Grand Mariner.