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Crown Fountain, Chicago

Crown Fountain, Chicago: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chicago: Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour

1. Chicago: Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour

On this self-guided walking tour where your phone is your personal guide, explore Millennium Park’s best sights and dive into some of Chicago’s little-known history along the way. This tour has been developed by local guides, creative writers, and professional voice artists. Begin your tour at the park’s north end, by Harris Theater for Music and Dance. From there, simply follow the audio instructions and the route via the app that will be your guide, narrator, and map in one. Head south toward the Pritzker Pavilion while learning some background on how the park came into existence. As an added perk, most stops along the tour have animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. Once at the impressive pavilion, learn about the vast array of performances held here and the high-tech design which makes it all possible, as well as the man behind it: Jay Pritzker. Get the full story on this precocious kid who went from building model cities out of his grandfather’s scrap wood to designing some of the most famous structures in the country. As you continue, you’ll come to the park’s so-called Secret Garden. Take a stroll along a peaceful boardwalk surrounded by plant life and listen to the little-known symbolism behind the garden’s design. Pause for a fantastic look at Chicago’s skyline before heading past the Art Institute of Chicago and ending up at the astonishing Crown Fountain. Get familiar with the intricately detailed face towers of the fountain, then head north toward Chicago’s most famous sculpture. At last, arrive at Cloud Gate, known by the locals as The Bean. Learn about the artist behind it as well as the technique he used to create such a huge, smooth surface. At the end of your tour, don’t forget to snap some surreal pictures of your reflection.

Chicago: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

2. Chicago: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Once downloaded, your tour through Millennium Park will begin at the park’s north end. From there, you’ll walk toward the famous Pritzker Pavilion, the park’s centerpiece. Once at the pavilion, you’ll learn about the biggest performances held here, the high-tech design, and the man behind it all: Jay Pritzker. Next you’ll see the park’s “Secret Garden,” a beautiful green space featuring a peaceful boardwalk and fantastic skyline views. After that, you’ll spot the Art Institute of Chicago and continue on to the incredible Crown Fountain, known for its intricately detailed “face towers.” At last, you’ll arrive at Cloud Gate, known by the locals as “The Bean” (but don’t tell the artist)! Get to know the wacky artist behind it, find out how he created such a huge, smooth surface, and don’t forget to snap some pictures of your reflection! The Millennium Park tour concludes here. Your Riverwalk tour begins by the historic DuSable Bridge. Here, you’ll learn not only about this picture-perfect bridge, but also about the iconic Wrigley Building. From there, you’ll stroll west along the riverside, past what was once voted America’s Most Beautiful Bridge. After that, you’ll stop at the Chicago Vietnam Veterans Memorial for a moment of somber reflection. The next stop is hard to miss: It’s the Marina Towers, looming 600 feet over the river. Find out why people say these towers are a “city within a city,” then keep walking to the Dearborn Street Bridge. Hear the full story of why an angry mob once descended on this bridge with axes, then continue your stroll. As you walk, your audio guide will also recount the tale of one of the deadliest shipwrecks in American history… which took place right on the Chicago River! Up next is the humbly-named (but not so humbly designed) Merchandise Mart. This gorgeous example of the art deco style is sure to pique the interest of any budding architects! Next, you’ll reach Wolf Point, where, nearly 200 years ago, Chicago’s very first hotel once stood. Then you’ll get a good look at the Tribune Tower, home to the famous Chicago Tribune. This skyscraper also contains pieces of historic buildings from across the world, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Berlin Wall! After that, you’ll come face to face with NBC’s Chicago headquarters, which look suspiciously like the iconic 30 Rockefeller Center in the Big Apple… because it was modeled after that iconic skyscraper! Finally, you’ll stop by the last bridge separating the Chicago River from the great lake beyond. It’s a great place to admire the scenery, and an even better one to snap some photos for your Insta. The Riverwalk tour concludes here. This bundle is the easiest, most flexible way to see the Windy City. So what are you waiting for?

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What people are saying about Crown Fountain, Chicago

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 10 reviews

Great value! Easy to use & good information-a fun way to learn and explore Millennium Park.

Caleb was a very cool, informative, & humorous guide, made the tour fun