One thing that has been on my Chicago bucket list for some time is signing up for a walking tour through Chicago. I did some research and I thought I would try Free Tours by Foot. It sounded like a cool concept because the tour is essentially free but you pay what you think the tour was worth at the end. It’s a very inexpensive and great way to see Chicago on foot, perfect for visitors and locals on a budget. I say locals as well because I am a Chicagoan and I really enjoyed the tour, and I actually did learn quite a few things I didn’t know about the Gold Coast. I also really enjoy learning about the history of the city.
Free Chicago Walking Tour – The Gold Coast
My mother-in-law and I decided to sign up for the Free Chicago Gold Coast Tour. We love the Gold Coast and we thought it would be fun to learn more about some of the historical mansions. I took some photos along the way but I won’t go too much into about what we learned on the Gold Coast tour because I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who would like to do this tour.
The walking tour we signed up for started at 10 am at one of my favorite hotels in the city, The Drake Hotel. Since it’s an earlier morning tour I suggest that you have a little something to eat first and grab a coffee to walk around with.
Our tour guide was Alexander, he was awesome and knew so much history about Chicago.
This is one of the many famous mansions in the Gold Coast. Do you know why it’s so famous? It’s the old Playboy Mansion.
I love the architecture and the details on these extravagant homes, they are truly beautiful.
We were also taken into a little secret garden that is now the home of some amazing pieces that were saved from old historical buildings throughout the city.
This piece is from Marshall Field from 1885, a well-known department store which is now Macy’s on State Street. Marshall Field is still very special to us Chicagoans.
Have you heard of The Wooden Alley in the Gold Coast? It’s an alley made entirely of wood blocks and had even survived the Great Chicago Fire. It’s a cool hidden gem and I think really worth seeing if you are in the area. (It’s located between State and Astor Street behind the mansion of the Archbishop of Chicago) I had recently heard of it but I had never been to see it. I was also surprised by the location because I had walked past it many times and didn’t even realize that was where it was!
I was really looking forward to this tour and it was everything I thought it would be. If you are looking to do something fun, inexpensive, as well as learn about Chicago history, I would highly suggest signing up for one of these tours. Free Tours by Foot also has a Chicago Riverwalk tour, architecture tour, movie tour, and even a ghost tour, which I really want to sign up to do next. For a complete list of tours, locations, dates, and times you can visit their site here.