For all the years I have lived in Chicago I had never taken the Double Decker Bus Tour. My friends and I have been doing some fun touristy things throughout this summer and we thought that the Chicago bus tour would be a fun and different way to see the city. I always try to look for discounts whenever doing something like this and we ended up getting a Groupon so our pass for the day was $30 (regular $40) which I thought was a great deal and worth it. We ended up staying on the bus the whole time, for both the red and green routes so the bus tour lasted about three hours.
I have to admit after being on the bus for three hours I was ready to get off and do something else but I really want to see the whole tour and experience both routes. Because I saw the whole tour I have a good idea of what I think would be the best place to start the bus tour, where to get off, and where to end the tour.
This girl’s guide will help you plan out your whole Double Decker Bus Tour along with some great places to stop along the way. It’s a perfect day to explore so much of Chicago with your girlfriends.
*Please note that the times are only estimates and buses arrive at stops about every 15 to 20 minutes. Use this link to track the next bus.
The bus tours begin at 9:00 am and I suggest making sure you ate breakfast and have a cup of coffee. You can start your tour at the Skydeck (stop #3 on the Green Route). It’s across from the Skydeck entrance on Jackson. It’s a great way to see the loop and the financial district which has some really interesting historic buildings.
You will arrive at the Art Institute and Millennium Park around 9:20 am (stop #4 on the Green Route). If you have never been, hop off the bus and I highly suggest walking through Millennium Park, The Bean, and the park gardens. It’s truly beautiful throughout the year and there’s plenty of places to take some great photos. If you are not in a rush the Art Institute opens at 10 am and you can spend an hour and do a quick walk through. Or spend a few hours exploring this museum. It’s one of my favorite museums in the city and really worth going to.
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Hop back on the bus across from the Art Institute at Michigan and Adams and ride the bus over to the Museum Campus and get off the bus at the Adler Planetarium (stop #6 on the Green Route). I would hop off here and walk around the Lake. It’s absolutely beautiful and one of the best views of the Chicago skyline. You will be able to get some really amazing photos.
You can get back on the bus at the Field Museum/Shedd Aquarium (stop #7 on the Green Route) which is close to the CTA bus stop. You can ride the bus to the Sheridan Hotel which at this point in the bus tour turns into the Red Route but you can stay on the bus and continue on.
The next stop is Navy Pier (stop #2 on the Red Route) you can hop off here if you have never seen Navy Pier or you can stay on the bus because the next stop is the Magnificent Mile.
Hop off at the Magnificent Mile (stop #3 on the Red Route), this is a great time to get some lunch and enjoy some shopping. You can use my girl’s guide to Michigan Ave for some fun lunch and shopping suggestions.
Hop back on the bus at Water Tower at Pearson and Michigan (stop #4 on the Red Route). You will ride the bus for about 40 minutes to continue the rest of the Red Route, which actually switches back to the Green Route at the Sheridan Hotel. You will stay on the bus and get off at the next stop (stop #2 on the Green Route) which is Michigan Avenue Bridge. This is the perfect place to hop off the bus and end your tour!
Now it’s time for a drink!
So, I suggest ending your day with a drink on the Riverwalk. Head down the stairs to the Riverwalk and enjoy a glass of wine from City Winery or a fun cocktail from the Island Party Hut.
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A Girl’s Guide to the Chicago Double Decker Bus Tour