Finding a New Obsession: Kayaking Downtown Chicago

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I am a nature girl who resides in a concrete jungle; a concrete jungle which drives its inhabitants into their nests for 4-5 months of hibernation each winter. When the heat rises and the sun shines, I’m on the instant look out for opportunities to get outside, breathe in fresh air,  get a little exposure to nature + work on my fitness too. Kayaking the Chicago river provided opportunity for all of the above, and it made me oh. so. happy!

If you’re living in Chicago, or just visiting for a weekend – kayaking the Chicago River is something that you should definitely do! There are a few companies who offer rental kayaks, tours and lessons at various locations throughout the city.

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Kayak Chicago | Goose Island

I went over Memorial Day Weekend. My roommates and I headed down North Avenue to our closest Kayak Chicago location. Surprisingly, even on a holiday weekend with absolutely gorgeous weather we didn’t need to make a reservation to secure our rentals. It was incredibly convenient as we didn’t need to be there at any particular time, or start/end at a certain time. We were 100% on our own schedule.

Kayak Map
Kayak Rental Companies | Chicago, IL

After signing a liability release, getting life jackets and a quick instructional demo – we were off.

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Kayak Chicago

My roommates opted for taking the tandem kayak, which left me with the single. I preferred it because I know from many a cabrewing trips in Michigan that navigating with multiple rowers is more of a challenge than taking on the river on your own. This was proven true as Emily and Sam’s kayak zig-zagged across the river and into mine repeatedly for the duration of my rental. 😉

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Sam & Emily Being Onboarded | Kayak Chicago
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Sam wasn’t loving it. | Kayak Chicago

We were out for an hour and did the loop around Goose Island which was a pretty decent arm and core work out. I was absolutely loving it – Sam, not so much. So we opted for going back in short of making it to the thick of downtown. I will make it down there this summer, and so I decided to buy a 10-pass so I can get out a few more times. If you decide to go and need a partner-in-crime, I’m your girl!

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Kayak Chicago

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