Spring is just around the corner, and with an unusually warm March this year you've got every reason to get outdoors and explore. The city of Chicago has several tour options available, including horse and carriage, boat tours and double-decker buses. In addition to these wonderful ways to explore the city, consider these lesser-known tours focusing on green innovations and man-powered vehicles.
Chicago green rooftops
There are several green rooftops around the city of Chicago. Though most of them are on top of private buildings and are therefore off limits to the public, such as the Apple store on Michigan Avenue or City Hall, the green rooftop on the Chicago Center for Green Technology
is free to tour for groups of 10 or more. The Pepsico Rooftop Garden
is also open for the public to tour for free and you can view how operational solar panels and wind turbines can make a business self-sustainable.
Chicago is a city known for its large number of bike commuters so what better way to see the city than from the seat of a bicycle? The Lakefront Chicago Bicycle Tour
takes you along the bike path stretching along the lake's edge and ends up in the Lincoln Park Zoo. Or, if you are interested in creating your own bike tour around different parts of the city, consider renting one. You can find information concerning renting the equipment as well as where to pick them up at Bike Chicago's website
Kayak tours offer a unique perspective of the city and allow you to get some exercise. Wateriders
offers tours in several different locations including downtown Chicago and Evanston. When the temperature is above 60 degrees and the weather clear, there will be tours available to anyone interested.
The option to simply rent a kayak for the day is offered as well. If you know already what you want to see, this is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the city scenery.
Group runs are fun outdoor activities and a great way to see the city. City Running Tours
is a tour organization located within several major cities including Chicago. Running tours offer a unique way to knock out your daily miles while learning about several components of Chicago history.
If you prefer the calming and laid-back nature of walking, there are several self-guided walking tours available in the city. The tours
include walking through the Loop, the Magnificent Mile, Chinatown and Old Town among others. Exploring the city at your own pace is a perk of this kind of tour, plus there is no limit to the amount of people you can bring along.
Get out and explore
Whether or not you have lived in the city for years or are just visiting for a weekend getaway, consider taking a green-themed tour somewhere in Chicago. Considering the availability to rent your own equipment and create your own self-guided tours, the options are endless for exploring the city.
Photo: Mr. T in DC/Flickr