Chicago's Finest Tours Blog.

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​NEW Sin, Crime and Corruption Tour a Hit!

Our 3 hour tour was the VERY BEST crime tour I have ever taken... Dan, is a talking encyclopedia about the city's history. A social or business group would be entertained, well informed and leave with a new understanding about Chicago. His newest tour, Sin, Crime and Corruption is filled with facts and history that goes beyond Al Capone" s legacy. You will be amazed and laugh at the the true stories that Dan brings to life ...Well worth your time...

Visited March 2017

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I have taken almost all of the tours offered by Chicago's Finest Tours and they have all been great. This newest tour, "Sin, Crime and Corruption in the Windy City" was no exception. Dan did a fantastic job of explaining the history behind Chicago's reputation for some infamous gangsters, politicians and criminal cases. We also had the opportunity to see some of the sites such as the Levee, the Chicago Coliseum and several others. Dan's passion for the city and it's history as well as his recall of facts, skill at story telling and helpful graphics make this a very interesting and educational tour. I highly recommend it as well as the other tours.

Visited March 2017

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A fascinating look at Chicago's history of sin, crime and corruption. Our tour guide Dan had obviously done a great deal of research. He was extremely knowledgeable and very entertaining, and the handouts helped make history come alive. I couldn't believe how quickly the time went by. We've already signed up for three more bus tours because he will be the tour guide.

Visited April 2017

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Sin, Crime and Corruption in the Windy City

“Sin, Crime and Corruption in the Windy City Tour”

Our 3 hour tour was the VERY BEST crime tour I have ever taken... Dan, is a talking encyclopedia about the city's history. A social or business group would be entertained, well informed and leave with a new understanding about Chicago. His newest tour, Sin, Crime and Corruption is filled with facts and history that goes beyond Al Capone" s legacy. You will be amazed and laugh at the the true stories that Dan brings to life ...Well worth your time...

Visited March 2017

New - Year Round VIP Tours Announced

C.F.T. is proud to announce our new - year round VIP Tours for our most discerning guests. Our VIP tours are fully customized and designed for our highly curious guests in mind. In intimate fashion, our VIP tours promise to sate even the most boundless craving for interesting and entertaining information about Chicago! Guests may choose from our "My Kind of Town" Couple's Retreat walking tour or one of our many City Wide Car Tours. From beginning to end, guests choose their start and end location, length, content and route taken. All tours are conducted by Dan O'Connell, one of Chicago's premier tour guides. Dan vows to deliver to each and every guest, a tour experience that they will not soon forget!

“Tour Company Experiences Chicago’s Finest”

5 of 5 stars - Reviewed yesterday - "We are a boutique tour company that travels all over the world all year long. We have exposure to some of the best guides in the business and Dan and Chicago's Finest are part of that club, amazing. One of the problems you have on many tours especially in busy urban centers like Chicago is hearing the guide. Dan eliminates that problem by using whisper headsets, so each person on the tour gets earphones, and Dan can speak normally into his headset and nobody misses any fascinating details.

Dan is enthusiastic, energetic and his passions for Chicago comes across as you explore the city both inside and outside of buildings. History, legend, architecture it is all covered. He held the attention of our private group of 20+ travelers for 2+ hours and will be great with all group or family sizes. No need to look any further for a walking guide in Chicago, we'll be back next time."

Mark S

Charlotte, NC

Summer 2016 Tours Announcement

Now that the weather has improved it is time to get outside and enjoy some informative and entertaining activities and as always, we have a bunch for you to choose from! FYI, Chicago's Finest Tours celebrates our 5th anniversary this summer!

1. Bus Tours - 6 total - price drops to $30 and only $25 per tour for two different tours.

2. River Walk Tours - 4

3. New Walk Tours - 2 - only $15 per tour

I wish you all a wonderful and safe summer and hope to see you soon on your next tour with us!

Cheers,

Dan O'Connell

Executive Director

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Bus Tours

The Essentials Tours “Chicago – it’s not just Navy Pier!” Tours For visitors to really understand the depth and greatness of the “Windy City” they must explore Chicago beyond the “Tourist Triangle “- Navy Pier to the east, Millennium & Grant Park to the south and the Magnificent Mile to the north! Chicago is a city of over 200 vibrant neighborhoods and much of what has happened or will happen in this city takes place here – not at Navy Pier! Please join us on one of six very exclusive bus tours exploring Chicago’s compelling neighborhoods and discover what is truly "Essential" about Chicago. Click on the links below to view all tour details.

1. South Side - (dates offered: 6-19, 7-31 & 10-16) - http://chicagosfinesttours.com/bus-tours/south-side-essentials-tour/

2. North Side - (dates offered): 7-10, 8-7, & 9-11) - http://chicagosfinesttours.com/bus-tours/north-side-essentials-tour/

3. West Side - (New) - (dates offered): 8-28, 9-25 & 10-23) -http://chicagosfinesttours.com/bus-tours/west-side-essentials-tour/

4. World’s Fair Tour - (dates offered: 5-29, 8-14, & 10-30) http://chicagosfinesttours.com/bus-tours/worlds-fair-tour/ During the tour, guests will view guide books filled with carefully selected archive photos that help bring to life the glory of these wondrous feats!

5. Pullman National Monument TourNew (dates offered: 6-5, 8-21 & 11-6) -http://chicagosfinesttours.com/bus-tours/pullman-national-monument-tour/

6. Chicago History Tour - New ( dates offered: every other Thursday beginning June 9 at 10:00 am) http://chicagosfinesttours.com/bus-tours/chicago-history-bus-tour/ All Bus Tours are 3 hours and Cost = $30 and only $25 per tour if two or more different tours are purchased! (Minimum of 16 guests per tour is needed to launch tour)

All Bus Tours include; fun trivia challenge,snacks, drinks & prizes! Please visit our web site (chicagosfinesttours.com) or call 312-202-0745 for more details and reservations. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

River Walk Tours (walking)

All 4 of the following walking tours feature the newly expanded and exciting River Walk and our two Plus tours include a short boat ride at end of tour!. Click on links below to view all tour details.

1. Chicago History Tour Plus - (on the River Walk) – Wed. & Sat. - 1:00 PMT - begins at Peet’s Coffee – Wrigley Building Plaza and ends with a short boat ride down the Chicago River to Wrigley Building. Adults - $25, Seniors & Under 12 - $20. 2 and ½ hours – maximum walking. http://chicagosfinesttours.com/summer-tours/chicago-history-tour/

2. River Walk “Explorers” Plus (sightseeing) Tour Plus - Thur. - 1:00 PM - Begins at Peet’s Coffee – Wrigley Building Plaza and ends with a short boat ride down the Chicago River to Wrigley Building. Adults - $25, Seniors & Under 12 - $20. 2 and ½ hours – maximum walking. http://chicagosfinesttours.com/summer-tours/river-walk-sightseeing-tour/

3. River Walk & “Loop” Architectural Tour - Fri. - 1:00 PM - Begins at Peet’s Coffee – Wrigley Building Plaza and ends at the “Rookery” Building – 209 South LaSalle Street. Adults - $25, Seniors & Under 12 - $20. 2 and ½ hours – maximum walking. http://chicagosfinesttours.com/summer-tours/finest-of-everything-tour/

4. River Walk Brunch Tour - Sat. & Sun. - 9:30 AM - Breakfast buffet now at Filini in the wonderful Radisson Blu Hotel! Begins at 221 North Columbus – Radisson Blu Hotel – Main Lobby and ends at River Theater on the River Walk – Clark & Wacker. Adults - $70, Seniors & Under 12 - $60. 3 hours – medium walking. http://chicagosfinesttours.com/summer-tours/brunch-tour/

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New Walking Tours “Talking Statues and More Tours”

Do statues really talk? If they could talk, what stories would they tell? The only way to find out is to join us on this highly original and very entertaining tour! Chicago’s Finest Tours in proud to announce our newest summer tours – “Talking Statues and More”.

August 2015 saw the U.S. premiere of Statue Stories Chicago when 30 statues across the city started speaking their minds. Chicago’s most celebrated writers, actors and comedians were commissioned to create monologues for the city’s iconic statues. Pass a talking statue, look for the nearby sign, and use your smartphone to get a call back from John C. Reilly as Abraham Lincoln, Shonda Rhimes as Chicago’s Miro or even Steve Carell as a man clutching a giant fish by the Shedd Aquarium.

Funded by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Statue Stories Chicago is a city-wide project delivered with Chicago’s leading cultural institutions and the Chicago Park District. British arts producers, Sing London, have worked with Chicago Park District, and Chicago’s leading theatres to create captivating monologues for a range of Chicago’s statues.

In an effort to create broader context and exposure, Chicago’s Finest Tours created two comprehensive tours featuring some of the talking statues plus additional narratives involving more of the city’s rich history and iconic architecture Chicago's Finest Tours is known for offering. Beginning Friday May 27 and every Friday this summer, two “Talking Statues and More” tours will be offered at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm and last 2 hours each.

10:00 am: “Mag Mile” & Loop Talking Statues and More Tour (Fridays)

http://chicagosfinesttours.com/summer-tours/magnificent-mile-loop-talking-statues-and-more-tour/ Departs: Tribune Building (front entrance on Michigan) – 435 North Michigan Avenue Ends: Millennium Park – “The Bean” Walking: Moderate Cost: $15 per person – 2 for $25 Duration: 2 hours Statue Monologues: 2 minutes each Required on tour: Smart Phone

Talking Statues Featured: Nathan Hale – actor – Jon Michael Hill, writer – Chris Jones; Benito Juarez– actor – Luis Valdez, writer – Octavio Solis, Jean-Baptiste Point Du Sable – actor – Harry J. Lennix, writer – Lydia R. Diamond, Heald Square Monument – actor – Bob Balaban, writer – Richard Nelson, Picasso Statue – actor – Deanna Dunagan, writer – Mickle Maher, Miro Statue – actor – Shonda Rhimes, writer – Shonda Rhimes, Bronze Cow – actor – E. Faye Butler, writer – Patricia Keeney, Cloud Gate – actor – David Schwimmer, writer – David Catlin

Additional Tour Narrative Included: Magnificent Mile, Tribune & Wrigley Buildings, Fort Dearborn, Chicago River Reversal, Hard Rock Hotel, Mather and Trump Towers, Jeweler’s Building, Marina City, Iroquois Theater Fire, Chicago Architecture, Great Chicago Fire, Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, Chicago Athletic Association.

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1:00 pm: “Cultural Mile” & Museum Campus Talking Statues and More Tour (Fridays)

http://chicagosfinesttours.com/summer-tours/cultural-mile-museum-campus-talking-statues-and-more-tour/ Departs: Hilton Chicago (front entrance on Michigan) – 720 South Michigan Avenue Ends: Adler Planetarium – Museum Campus Walking: Moderate Cost: $15 per person – 2 for $25 Duration: 2 hours Statue Monologues: 2 minutes each Required on tour: Smart Phone

Talking Statues Featured: “Spirit of Music” – actor – Renee Fleming, writer – Sing London, Aaron Montgomery Ward – actor – Bill Kurtis, writer – Sing London, Brachiosaurus – actor – Brian Dennehy, writer – Megan Phillippi, Man with Fish – actor – Steve Carrell, writer – Chris Redd, Copernicus – actor – Johnny Galecki, writer – David Saltzberg Additional Tour Narrative Included: Cultural Mile, Stephens Hotel, Lake Michigan, Grant Park, Lakefront landfill, Chicago Fire, Fort Dearborn Massacre, “Forever open and obstruction free”, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Field History Museum, Soldier Field, Chicago skyline, Navy Pier, Northerly Island

Talking Statues and More Tours!

Do statues really talk? If they could talk, what stories would they tell? The only way to find out is to join us on this highly original and very entertaining tour!

Chicago’s Finest Tours in proud to announce our newest summer tours – “Talking Statues and More”.

August 2015 saw the U.S. premiere of Statue Stories Chicago when 30 statues across the city started speaking their minds. Chicago’s most celebrated writers, actors and comedians were commissioned to create monologues for the city’s iconic statues. Pass a talking statue, look for the nearby sign, and use your smartphone to get a call back from John C. Reilly as Abraham Lincoln, Shonda Rhimes as Chicago’s Miro or even Steve Carell as a man clutching a giant fish by the Shedd Aquarium.

Funded by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Statue Stories Chicago is a city-wide project delivered with Chicago’s leading cultural institutions and the Chicago Park District. British arts producers, Sing London, have worked with Chicago Park District, and Chicago’s leading theaters to create captivating monologues for a range of Chicago’s statues. statuestorieschicago.com

In an effort to create broader context and exposure, Chicago’s Finest Tours created two comprehensive tours featuring some of the talking statues plus additional narratives involving more of the city’s rich history and iconic architecture Chicago's Finest Tours is known for delivering.

Beginning Friday May 27 and every Friday this summer, two “Talking Statues and More” tours will be offered at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm and last 2 hours each.

Please click on summer tours to check out all the tour details!

“Best tour I’ve taken”

This lively active Pedway Brunch tour is the best i've done. Our guide, Dan O'Connell, was fun, informative, knowledgable, patient, good with questions, caring about all the tour participants, and just overall great! We learned so much and had a blast doing it. The buildings were beautiful.

There were also a number of secret "Shhh! -- Don't tell the boss" extra goodies! We all had fun with the trivia questions, which covered historical facts, art, and public figures of all types.

The brunch was delicious & plentiful, and the servers were attentive. The buffet had all sorts of good food: omelettes to order, a couple of different sorts of eggs, thick bacon, chicken sausage, cheeses, pancakes, potatoes, yogurt, all sorts of fruit, juice, teas, veggies, chocolate and plain croissants! Definitely left well-satisfied.

Based on this, i will definitely do another tour with Chicago's Finest Tours.

Visited April 2016

Custom Bus Tour - Perfect!

5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 5 days ago

Chicago's Finest Tours was the perfect way for me to show off my beautiful city to family visiting from France. I was hosting about 15 aunts and uncles who were in town for my sister's wedding and wanted a way to show them around the city without having them walk around too much. Dan worked hand in hand with me to provide a custom tour of the downtown area as well as the north and south sides of Chicago. We had a four-hour tour which felt like the perfect amount of time to see everything. The bus was large enough to see the buildings and we did not feel like it obstructed the views at all. Dan sat with us at the front of the bus and gave us tremendous information and facts about the sights around us, all with letting me enough time to translate all he was saying to my family in French. Dan's knowledge of the city is unparalleled, he seemed to have answers for all of our ridiculous questions. My family could not stop talking about how wonderful the tour was for the remainder of the weekend. I would not hesitate to book another large tour with him in the future and will definitely be coming back for some smaller and more intimate tours of the city.

Adrien B

Chicago, IL

2016 Bus Schedule Announced!

“Chicago – it’s not just Navy Pier!” Tours. For visitors and locals to really understand the depth and greatness of the “Windy City” then they must explore Chicago beyond the “Tourist Triangle “, Navy Pier to the east, Millennium & Grant Park to the south and Magnificent Mile to the north! Chicago is a city of over 200 vibrant neighborhoods and much of what has happened or will happen in this city takes place here – not at Navy Pier! Please join us on one of three “Exclusive” and very limited bus tours exploring Chicago’s compelling neighborhoods and discover what is truly "Essential" about Chicago.

1. South Side - (dates offered: 3-20, 5-15, 6-19, 7-31 & 10-16) - On this tour, we promise our guests that they will experience and sense the varied texture and diversity only the south side offers to its visitors. Guests will learn about and view some of the following sites: birthplace of Gospel Music, Sunset Café, President Obama’s home, site of 1893 World’s Fair, University of Chicago and home to the first sustained nuclear reaction, Union Stockyards, Bronzeville, Kenwood, Hyde Park, Bridgeport, Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy, Ground Zero – Great Chicago Fire, Hull House and so much more!

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2. North Side - (dates offered: 2-14, 4-3, 7-10, 8-7, & 9-11) - On this tour, we promise our guests that they too will experience and sense the varied texture and diversity of this great city and discover what is truly "Essential" about Chicago's North Side. On Chicago’s unequaled North Side Essentials Tour, guests will learn about and view some of the following; Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast, Original Playboy Mansion, Old Town, Great Fire Cottages, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Park Zoo & Conservatory, Bucktown, Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Graceland Cemetery, Wrigley Field, Essanay Studios (motion pictures including Charlie Chaplin), Green Mill, Lakeview, Lake Shore Drive, site of St. Valentine’s Massacre and so much more! Essanay Studios Wrigley Field

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3. West Side (New) - (dates offered: 4-10, 5-8, 8-28, 9-25 & 10-23) On this unparalleled bus tour, we promise our guests that they too will experience and sense the varied texture and diversity of this great city and discover what is truly "Essential" about Chicago's West Side. On the West Side Essentials Tour, guests will learn about and view some of the following; Garfield Conservatory, Illinois Medical District, United Center, Maxwell Street Market, Little Italy, Greektown, Haymarket Riot, S.S. Eastland Disaster, Sears Complex, Douglas Park, "Skid Row", University Village, South Water Market and so much more!

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World’s Fair Tour (dates offered: 3-13, 4-24, 5-29, 8-14, & 10-30)

“The White & Rainbow City Tour” is the only tour in Chicago to feature the best of both Chicago World’s Fairs (1893 & 1933) for the price of one! Take “Devil in the White City” and multiply that by a “Century of Progress” and the result is one amazing tour experience! As guests walk along both fairgrounds, they will relive what people saw for the first time during these exciting fairs including; oBurnham’s architectural wonders illuminated at night with Edison’s incandescent bulbs. oSitting atop the 25-story tall Ferris Wheel overlooking the world’s first “Midway”. oSally Rand’s alluring fan dance capturing the desires of men from all over the world. oRacers in “rocket cars” traveling between 628-foot towers overlooking today’s Northerly Island. During the tour, guests will view guide books filled with carefully selected archive photos that help bring to life the glory of these wondrous feats!

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Pullman National Monument Tour - New (offered: 3-6, 4-17, 6-5, 8-21 & 11-6)

Far into the second half of the 20th century, the south side of Chicago was an industrial powerhouse. Meatpacking, luxury trains and steel production were three of the great economic engines driving what seemed at the time, the city’s endless prosperity. Pullman National Monument is the story of American opportunity. The diverse people whose stories intertwine here all sought opportunity. Some succeeded; others found opportunity limited by race, gender, economic status, or position. Their stories came together in the town of Pullman, a planned community famed for its urban design and architecture. It was designed as a utopia—a place to provide workers with a safe community, a better standard of living, and an environment free of social ills.

For many, the name Pullman is synonymous with luxury train cars. While this is accurate, the Pullman legacy extends well beyond these elegant mansions on wheels. As guests will discover, Pullman became a doorway to Civil Rights, Unionization, Planned Communities and so much more. This 3 hour tour will journey to the city’s far south side and immerse guests into a thoughtful discussion of Chicago’s inimitable past and endless contributions to the American way of life. It promises to be informative, fun and above all, entertaining.

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All Bus Tours are 3 hours and Cost = $40 – Group discounts available

"Earlybird" special - reservations made by 3-15 are only $35 per person - buy two tours and pay only $30 per tour!

All Bus Tours include; fun trivia challenge, snacks, drinks & prizes!

For reservations visit our web site – chicagosfinesttours.com or call 312-202-0745

“Best tour Ever”!

5 of 5 stars

Reviewed 1-9-2016

I took the pedway brunch tour. It was so much fun and very informative, definitely one of the best I've ever had. Our tour guide Dan was a special treat. He was very knowledgeable, entertaining, and kept us involved the whole way through. The lunch buffet included was also delicious and the surroundings were beautiful. I learned a lot about not just the pedway but about Chicago and the people who made important contributions to the city. It was the perfect tour during winter since it was all indoors. I actually can't wait to schedule more tours with Chicago's Finest Tours, I'm planning on bringing my family and friends on upcoming tour adventures. Very highly recommended!!!

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