Don’t miss the water taxis for getting around downtown Chicago.
First of all, driving to some destination in downtown Chicago is downright hazardous but even worse is the cost of parking in downtown Chicago. Don’t worry about getting mugged while you’re down there because you’ll feel robbed when you pay $12, $19, $26 or more to park there.
Fortunately, Chicago has a decent public transportation system.
When you take the Metra train downtown from the outer suburbs, you’ll end up at Union Station. From there, you can take a bus almost anywhere or walk a few blocks to the nearest train, also known as the “L” (if you’re already as close as O’Hare or Midway airports, you can catch an L train without having to bother with the Metra system).
If you’re going shopping or visiting Navy Pier, though, check out a water taxi.
For just $4, you can ride down the Chicago River and see the city from a different perspective. Pick up the Shoreline Sightseeing Water Taxi just across the river from Union Station at 200 South Wacker and get off at Michigan Avenue (right next to the Marilyn Monroe statue) or Navy Pier.
While riding down the river last week, I marveled at the skyscrapers, enjoyed watching stop-and-go traffic and crazy drivers from a safe distance and spied a man in a business suit and sneakers dropping a line in the water. “That’s weird,” I thought. Then on Saturday, I read a Chicago Tribune column about how anglers in the know catch largemouth bass and crayfish in the downtown river all the time. Not only is the river a great alternative form of transportation, it’s a fishing hole, too.
The road less traveled is a great deal and a pretty ride.
The river route is certainly preferable, as it affords good grazing and an abundance of water.
~ William Whipple