Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wandering On A Water Taxi



I pride myself on staying current with all Windy City events so I was shocked to discover bright yellow water taxis coasting down the Chicago River a couple of months ago. When did that start? I wondered. Apparently, in 2007, when Wendella boat tours decided to provide taxis for downtown commuters. If you never stop to gaze at the Chicago River between Michigan Avenue and La Salle, you will never see them. It looked like a fun excursion to me, even if you have no where in particular to go. So I grabbed my kids and headed toward the underground labyrinth to the water taxi stop.



We hopped a taxi, which costs $4 for rides all day. We glimpsed landmark buildings, crowded tour boats and the famously murky, green water of the Chicago River.



The boats are equipped with indoor covered seats as well as more scenic outdoor benches, which my kids preferred. On a sunny day, the ride is relaxing and breezy, there's even a bar for hardcore unwinding.



We wandered on the water taxi for 40 minutes until we decided to make a trip to Millennium Park, where we gaped at this crazy, whimsical sculpture. I think it symbolized our easygoing journey well.

19 comments:

Dominique said...

The water taxis were a fun way to get around town when we were in Chicago (we ended up riding on Shoreline).
Great way to get to and from Navy Pier from where we were staying. Great views of a lot of the cool buildings downtown, too.
Looks like you and the fam had a great time :)

marina villatoro said...

I feel the same about Manhattan, every time I come back there are sooo many new things that I'm like, when did this happen???

However, I always love a good surprise!

Great pics BTW, I am dying to go to Chicago!

Fly Girl said...

Dominique, it was while I was at Blogher that I discovered them!

Marina, You should come to Chicago. I'll be your tour guide.

jessiev said...

wonderful!! i love that statue - it cracks me up.

A Girl in Asia said...

Sounds like a lovely day out! It's fun being a tourist in your own city sometimes..

A Cuban In London said...

So now that we have the yellow taxis on water, maybe Joni Mitchell could update her version of 'Big Yellow Taxi' accordingly. Many thanks for such a good post.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Jessie, I know, it's the most bizarre scuulpture in the whole city.

Asia, I know, sometimes touring your own city gives you a whole other perspective.

Cubano, that's a good one. I don't see Joni messing up her lyrical perfection with "water" in the chorus, though.

Lola said...

that statue has to be one of the top 5 weirdest I've seen.

Sounds like a great day out on the water.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That water taxi looks a great value to get around to see the sights

Fly Girl said...

Lola, I know I thought that statue was weird, it's good to know I'm not the only one.

Jean-Luc, it is a good value, which makes it even more fun!

HereBeDragons said...

That's news to me! I haven't been to Chicago in years!

Tiffany,Ebony Intuition said...

I've never been on a water taxi, well in Toronto we have water taxi's and we also the ferri boat that takes you over to center island.

Fly Girl said...

Dragons, a lot has changed, you should come visit!

TIffany, you should give it a try. I'm not crazy about boats but I thought the water taxi was fun.

Catherine said...

they look like the yellow water taxis in NY... I loved the Architecture river tour I did in Chicago with a great guide who really knew the history of skyscrapers...

Eileen said...

I wish the river that ran through Santiago (the Mapocho, but we affectionately call it the Mastinko, wonder why) could support boat traffic. Oh well, at least the bottom 1/3 of the country is islands. That gets us some ferries. Very cool use of an afternoon, looks like. And your kids are adorable, of course.

Fly Girl said...

Catherine, that architecture tour really is impressive, it's run by the same company as the taxis.

Eileen,I think I'd be afraid to ride on Mastinko if it smells that bad!

Wendy said...

A few years ago NYC Water Taxi was launched and I try it take it once a year. Great way to check out a city from a different perspective.

Footsteps said...

I LOVE the water taxis and really need to get back to Chicago! I have a favorite photo of my daughter (at age six) riding one from the museum area back to Navy Pier.
 
How terrific to have them inland now!

Fly Girl said...

Wendy, that's a good idea, I think I'll try to take our water taxi at least once a year too.

Heather, Glad you've got great water taxi memories!