Discover Chicago’s fascinating past as the place where the I&M Canal began. Catch a glimpse into the city’s vibrant cultural and urban history.

Start your tour at the Chicago Bridgehouse Museum


Park at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, 99 Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago, IL 60601. Go to the Museum’s website for hours, tours, and other information.
McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum – 312/997-0227

Start your day off with a visit to the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum which celebrates the Chicago River and its world-famous movable bridges. Beginning at river level and spiraling five stories up, the bridgehouse and museum provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore a historic landmark bridgehouse. Visitors can view the massive gears of Chicago’s most famous movable bridge and then journey through time as they experience the story of the Chicago River.

Continue to Navy Pier


Walk east on E. Upper Wacker Drive toward N. Michigan Avenue. Turn left onto N. Michigan Avenue and take the stairs. Board the #65 Bus to Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Check website for hours and other visitor information.
Navy Pier – 1-800-595-7437

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier has served many purposes throughout its rich history and currently encompasses more than 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family attractions, and exhibition facilities, making it one of the top leisure destinations in the Midwest.

Navy Pier brings the rich culinary tradition of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods under one roof. From Pilsen to Wrigleyville to Lincoln Square and everywhere in between, the Pier’s dining options offer guests authentic Chicago food in one of the most iconic venues in the city.


Ben & Jerry’s, 312/836-0992
Big Bowl Chinese Express, 312/546-7440
Big City Chicken, 312/546-7440
DMK Burger Bar & Fish Bar, 312/624-8017
Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice, 312/546-7440
Goddess and the Baker, 312/285-2630
Lalo’s, 312/631-3900
Porkchop BBQ, 312/624-9994
*Please click here for more delicious dining options at Navy Pier!

Move on to Canal Origins Park


Go to the Navy Pier Terminal and take the #29 bus to State & Lake streets. Take the Orange Line Midway train to Ashland Avenue. Walk heading north on South Ashland Avenue toward Marketplace Access Road. Destination will be on the right.


Park at Canal Origins Park, 2701 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60608. Check the Park website for hours and other visitor information.
Canal Origins Park – 312/747-6515

Stroll the nearly 3 acres of Canal Origins Park, an outdoor interpretive site and nature park located where the I&M Canal began in Chicago at the confluence of Bubbly Creek and the south branch of the Chicago River. View 100 concrete-relief sculptures and interpretive panels with historic images, bilingual text, and illustrations that illuminate Chicago’s heritage as a canal town. Because of the site’s historic significance, the Canal Origins Park was designated as a Chicago Landmark in 1996.

Enjoy landscaping features such as native plants, flowers and grasses. Check out the “canal cut” to envision what it would have been like to float down the canal on a canal boat. Other amenities in Canal Origins Park include a fishing station and walkways.

Make your way to Pullman National Monument


Walk south on S. Ashland Avenue toward W. Marketplace Access Road. Take the Ashland Orange Line train to Roosevelt Station. Walk to Museum Campus/11th Street and take the ME/University Park Bus to the Kensington stop. Walk heading north on S. Front Avenue toward 114th Street, then turn right on E. 113th Street. Turn left onto S. Cottage Grove Avenue and the destination will be on the right.


Park at the Visitor Center for the Pullman National Monument, 11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL 60628. Go to the Monument’s website for hours, tours, and other visitor information.
Pullman National Monument – 773/264-7431

Free parking is available in the Visitor Center parking lot at the corner of 112th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.

Take a quick trip back to the 1880s in this distinctive time-capsule neighborhood. Marvel at the tumultuous life and remarkable vision of George M. Pullman and his Palace Car train industry at this newly designated national monument. Walking tours are offered from 11am to 3pm daily, except for Mondays.

The Visitor Center features exhibits and a video presentation about Pullman, his company, and the nation’s first model planned industrial community. Listen as park rangers tell the stories of the immigrants who worked and lived in Pullman, the origins of Chicago’s labor union movement, and the development of the Pullman Company.

Finish your tour in Bronzeville


Walk north on S. Cottage Grove Avenue toward E. 111th Place. At Cottage Grove & 111th Street, take the #155 95th Road Line bus to the 95th/Dan Ryan CTA Station. Get on the Red Line train going toward Howard to the Sox-35th Station. Hop on the #35 Cottage Grove Avenue bus and take it to S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive & 35th Street. Walk to 411 E. 35th St. to reach your destination.


Park near the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center, 411 E. 35th St., Chicago, IL 60653. Check the Center’s Facebook page for more details.
Bronzeville Visitor Information Center – 773/819-2055
*You can also find out about the revitalized neighborhood’s attractions, architecture, history, and more by going to this website: Bronzeville – 312/794-4167.

Catch intriguing glimpses into Chicago’s cultural and urban past in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood, known in the early 20th century as the Black Metropolis. During the “Great Migration,” thousands of African-Americans came here to escape the oppression of the South in search of jobs and a better life. Amid newly opened coffee shops and restaurants, you’ll find spectacular displays of Victorian era architecture along with some of Chicago’s most celebrated public art works.

Bronzeville’s 20th century resurgence, which rivaled the Harlem Renaissance, is responsible for tremendous cultural and social advances. Pulitzer Prize recipient Gwendolyn Brooks, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, and legendary musician Louis Armstrong were profoundly responsible for the area’s development and subsequent cultural crusade, which included advances in civil rights, jazz, blues and gospel music as well.


Pearl’s Place, 3901 S. Michigan Ave., 877/275-5852
Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles, 3947 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., 773/536-3300
Ain’t She Sweet Café, 526 E. 43rd St., 773/373-3530
Uncle Joe’s Jerk Chicken, 4655 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Ste. 101, 773/855-8457