Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company Night Tour Review – Lights, Stars, and History

Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company's acclaimed Hop-On/Hop-Off city sightseeing tours offer a plethora of options for residents and tourists alike. Back this summer is the Night Tour that allows passengers to view Chicago's greatest sights with the glittering city lit up in all of its glory and with five highlighted stops. This is a trip not to be missed. Starting and ending at Willis Tower, the tour takes you on a one and a half hour journey through Chicago’s downtown seeing some of the most history-filled places in the city.

 

As the tour begins at Willis Tower, the bus travels down Jackson Avenue to Clark Street, where the real adventure begins. Right as you begin to head down Clark Street, you see a large tan building known as the Metropolitan Detention Center in Chicago. This may seem like nothing special, but in reality, it was featured on Netflix’s award winning series Orange is the New Black. This is just the beginning of the interesting facts one learns while taking this trip. As the bus continued south you discover that in the 1920s, Chicago’s South Loop was considered “China Town” but now houses many of the area's colleges as well as the Harold Washington Library Center which was named after the first African-American Mayor of Chicago. The tour continues as the bus takes passengers through Grant Park and over to Chicago’s famous Buckingham Fountain.

 This 1,500,000 gallon landmark is said to symbolize Lake Michigan and contains four sea horses that represent the states that surround the lake, which included, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

Many people enjoy sailing on Lake Michigan in Chicago

 The next stop on the trip is Chicago’s number one tourist attraction, Navy Pier.

Navy Pier is Chicago's number one tourist attraction and offers many exciting things to do

 A symbolic location in Chicago is home to many fun activities and experiences. One that is not to be missed is the 146 feet tall single Ferris wheel. When it premiered at the World’s Fair in 1893, it was 264 feet tall and had two wheels. It was announced recently that in 2016, the Ferris wheel will be expanding to 196 feet, closer to its original height. Following the lakeside travel, the Night Tour takes its passengers into the city and down the Magnificent Mile and then through River North.

The Water Tower Water Works building on the Magnificent Mile still is used to pump water into Chicago

 These locations hold a great deal of history from mobsters to shoppers and have some of the oldest architecture in the city. As the tour comes to a close, the bus travels through Chicago’s theatre district and winds its way back to the Willis Tower. 

Chicago's Theatre District is home to five notable theatres that present Broadway shows year round

Everyone aboard enjoyed their trip around the historic city of Chicago and left with a great deal of Windy City trivia. I would highly recommend anyone, whether you are in Chicago for a day or for life,  should plan on taking a Night Tour with Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company. The Night Tour runs May 1 - Sept. 26, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. (last boarding time is at 9 p.m.). Tickets for The Night Tour are included in the All Tours Ticket or can be purchased separately ($20 for adults; $18 for children 15 and under; children under 5 ride free).

 

Photo Credit: Allison Taylor and Meghan Taylor 

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