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Chicago Riverwalk Offers Dining, Arts, Music and More along City's Magnificent River Waterfront

Chicago Riverwalk, a 1.25-mile promenade through the heart of downtown, has quickly become one of the city's most popular destinations. Replete with art, music, dining and the enjoyment of beauty -- both natural and architectural.

The six-block Riverwalk was officially completed in 2016 and features six blocks, divided into area partitioned by one of the City's iconic movable bridges. These sections include:

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Here's the guide to what to find and where:
  • The Marina Plaza: restaurants and outdoor seating with views of vibrant life on the water, including passing barges, water taxis and sightseeing boats. (From State to Dearborn.)
  • The Cove: a restaurant, a kayak information center and docking for human-powered crafts, enabling physical connections to the water through recreation. (From Dearborn to Clark.)
  • The River Theater: a sculptural staircase linking Upper Wacker and the Riverwalk offering pedestrian connectivity to the water's edge and seating, while trees provide greenery and shade. (From Clark to LaSalle.)
  • The Water Plaza: a zero-depth water feature with playful fountains for children and families to engage with water at the River's edge. (From LaSalle to Wells.)
  • The Jetty: a series of piers and floating wetland gardens with interactive learning about the ecology of the river, including opportunities for fishing and identifying native plants. (From Wells to Franklin.)
  • The Riverbank: an accessible walkway and new marine edge creating access to Lake Street and featuring a public lawn at the confluence. Providing an accessible route from lower to upper Wacker and Lake Street, it will be utilized for art installations in the future.
Restaurants, many of which offer live musical entertainment, include Chicago BrewHouse, City Winery Chicago, Frost Gelato, Island Party Hut, The Northman Beer and Cider Garden, O'Briens and Tiny Tapp and Cafe.

History and engineering enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, where they can learn about history of the River that helped establish Chicago as a business mecca and marvel at the technology involved in the movable bridges.

Public art installations, changing seasonally, are scattered throughout the Chicago Riverwalk for sightseers to enjoy. Guided walking tours, let by the Chicago Architecture Foundation or Chicago Greeters, as well as birding tours led by Audubon are available.

The Chicago Park District's Fishing at the Getty program lends anglers free poles and lures.

Beginning Fall, 2018 the Chicago Riverwalk will become the prime location for the enjoyment of Art on theMART, a large-scale lighting installation projected across nearly three acres of the southern facing facade of theMART, the building formerly known as The Merchandise Mart.

Access to the space is free and open to the public daily from 6 AM to 11 PM For more information about the Chicago Riverwalk and a complete schedule of events, visit Chicago Riverwalk

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July 4, 2018

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