/ The Chicago Traveler
Chicago — By Lisa Davis on February 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm
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Start Your Spring Off Right with a Walking Tour of Chicago

With March 1 next week, it’s not too early to start thinking about being outside.

Soon the snow will melt and blue skies will prevail.

In honor of the start of spring just around the corner, why not consider getting to know Chicago by foot. Walking a city can be one of the greatest ways to experience it.

And, because Chicago is clean, manageable to get around, and looks beautiful in the spring with thousands of tulips blooming in Grant Park (map it); gardens growing in front of the Lincoln Park Zoo (map it); and boating on Lake Michigan, it’s one of the best cities in the U.S. for walking.

Below is a guide to some of Chicago’s top walking tours.

Chicago native Terry Sullivan does private and personalized walking tours through  Walk Chicago. Tours include Public Art in the Loop, Wrigley Field, and Chinatown. Costs range from $25 to $40 per person based on the tour’s length – two to four hours.

The City of Chicago puts on several tours throughout the year including a Summertime Sampler Tour (3 hours; $20) that covers three unique Chicago neighborhoods (Greektown, Little Italy, and Ukranian Village).  The city also does special interest tours such as Chicago’s Magnificient Churches and the Great Cemeteries of Chicago (approximately 4.5 to 5.5 hours; $50).

Chicago Food Planet offers food and cultural walking tours  where you admire the city’s history and architecture while sampling some of its famous ethnic foods and food shops (think deep dish pizza and fudge). Tours are approximately 3.5 hours and cost $40.

The Chicago History Museum does two-hour walking tours of some of Chicago’s famous neighborhoods such as the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park. The tours are free if you buy a Go Chicago card, which gets you into many city attractions for free or at a discounted price.

See Chicago’s famous skyscrapers and modern architecture on one of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s walking tours. They also have Happy Hour tours Monday through Friday at 5:30 p.m. that include a free drink at a local bar.

Photo credit: SXC

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