From the winding Chicago River to the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan, it’s no secret that Chicago has some of the best kayaking in the Midwest. And here’s even better news: you don’t have to own a kayak to enjoy it. Rental shops offer a variety of kayaking tours in Chicago ranging in length and difficulty. So, whether you’re new to paddling or a seasoned expert, take advantage of summer with an aquatic adventure! Here are the 7 best kayak rentals and tours in Chicago.
435 E Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago, IL 60601 | 110 N Lakeshore Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
Looking for a leisurely paddle? The Lakefront location at Monroe Harbor is great for beginners with calmer conditions. Consider yourself more advanced? The Riverwalk location is a more challenging option. Heads up, renters will be given a quick skills assessment to make sure they’re ready. Newbie kayakers should opt for a tandem kayak with a more experienced partner. Reservations must be made online, in advance and prices start at $30/hour per person (one per single or two per tandem).
500 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60654
Since 1997, Wateriders Kayak Tours have led adventure-seekers through the concrete canyons of downtown Chicago. You can choose from several different tours ranging from an architecture tour, moonlight paddle, ghosts and gangsters tour, plus more. Need some quick coaching? Everyone gets a kayaking lesson on land but the friendly folks at Wateriders will provide additional training on water, at no cost! Prices start at around $40.
1220 W Lemoyne Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Escape your house and get active with the best social distancing activity there is: kayaking (duh). The team at Kayak Chicago is taking every precaution to ensure all equipment is clean. They’re sanitizing each kayak and paddle after each tour and continue to enforce strict social distancing guidelines. Prices start at $30 per hour but use code Openair20 to snag 10 percent off now!
1603 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60642
Experience a breathtaking sunset on the lake! Your evening will start with the basics: rules of the water, safety, and paddle strokes. Then you will launch from the beach with your boat lights on. From there, enjoy a relaxing paddle and watch the sun sink into the horizon!
1601 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60614
Want to try something different? Check out Chicago’s “Stand Up Paddling.” Their rentals include everything you need for an easy, breezy paddle! Perfect to take in Chicago’s lakefront and skyline, without the need to lug around a heavy board. Also great for expert paddlers visiting the Windy City, or just about anyone searching for fun! Rental prices start at $35 per hour.
3400 N Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60618
Channel your inner nature-lover! Paddle along the soothing shorelines of Busse Reservoir or take on the calming waters of Lake Tampier. Heads up, both locations are a bit of a drive but the destination is worth it. The Busse Reservoir location is open Saturdays and Tuesdays and the Lake Tampier site on Sundays and Wednesdays. Kayaking hours are 9 am until 4 pm and the team operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Kayak rentals start at $20 per hour.
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6014 N Mill Dr, Wonder Lake, IL 60097
Enjoy nature at it’s finest, just outside of Chicago. Choose from two different journeys. A 4-hour, 7-mile paddle begins at Keystone landing in Richmond and will take you through Glacial Park. Or opt for a 6-hour, 11-mile kayaking tour that starts at Keystone Landing and winds down Nippersink Creek. Both offer scenic views and plenty of wildlife to observe. Single kayaks start at $55.
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Featured Image Credit: Wateriders Facebook Page