I’m sorry, but if you have been one of those people on the double decker bus tours in NYC, I have mocked you, refused to make eye contact with you and generally avoided you like the plague. Tourists. Nasty.

Ahh but this weekend I was served my just desserts. I was in Chicago, a new city for me, visiting a good friend who has just relocated there and somehow we were lured onto an architecture boat tour. Just picture a double decker bus on the water moving slowly while a man with a microphone points out buildings of interest.

Here’s the irony: I actually enjoyed it. A 90-minute cruise with the Official Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise takes you down the Chicago River and past iconic structures in the Chicago skyline, such as Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Trump Tower, the Civic Opera Building, the Tribune Tower and NBC Tower.

Sure, locals will hoot and holler from the bridges above and demand that you wave to them and you feel a little bit like a fish in a fishbowl, but for a $35 ticket, a seat and a full bar it’s probably one of the better touristy things you can do in the Windy City.

Other cool things to do? Check out the John Hancock Center‘s Signature Room and Lounge. From the 96th floor you will get a totally sweeping view of Chicago, and one of the best dirty martinis I have ever had.

Take things down a notch in class and grab a cheeseburger (cheezborger!) at the Billy Goat Tavern (of Saturday Night Live fame).
http://www.hulu.com/embed/8l5wNPrxjqWDF2OuqJDI2g

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