The 10 Best Guided Tours in Illinois!

You don’t just have to be a tourist to enjoy the excitement of Illinois’ many excellent guided tours. Whether you prefer the thrilling adventure of zip lining or ghost tours, or you’re more into the relaxation of a wine tasting event, you’re sure to create a memorable experience with these 10 top-rated tours in the state. 

1. Chicago Helicopter Experience, Chicago, IL

Experience Chicago from a new perspective—from above in a helicopter. These guided tours allow you to see the beautiful city during the day, evening, or night-time. They also offer a fireworks tour, allowing guests to view the beautiful displays that occur twice weekly during certain months. 

2. Shoreline Sightseeing, Chicago, IL

Explore Chicago’s rich history and architecture from the water with Shoreline Sightseeing. They offer architectural tours, classic lake tours, and fireworks tours. All of the tours are very popular with tourists and provide amazing views of the skyline. You can’t go wrong with any of the tours.

3. Spirit of Peoria, Peoria, IL

For a memorable guided tour and glimpse back into the past, look no further than the Spirit of Peoria. Enjoy a slower pace of life and relax on the Spirit of Peoria, one of the few paddlewheelers in the nation. Choose from many different cruises including one to four-night excursions to Starved Rock, St. Louis, and Hannibal. They also have themed cruises, many of these cruises include all-you-can eat dinner buffets and live entertainment. 

4. Chicago Food Planet Food Tours, Chicago, IL

If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the Chicago Food Planet Food Tours. They offer many different food tours to showcase the diverse cuisines throughout the city. These tours feature cuisines dating back to the late 1800s, iconic dishes originating in Chicago, and several tours featuring the cultures of various Chicago neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Old Town, Bucktown, and Wicker Park. 

5. Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, Makanda, IL

Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour is perfect for adrenaline junkies, thrill seekers, and nature-lovers who want a close-up experience with beautiful Southern Illinois. Visitors can zip through over 80 acres of the Shawnee National Forest using an established route of aerial bridges, platforms, and zip lines. This 100 percent tree-based canopy tour is an awe-inspiring and memorable experience. 

6. Untouchable Tours - Chicago's Original Gangster Tour, Chicago, IL

Take a journey back into the 1920s and 30s during the Untouchable Tour. Known as Chicago Original Gangster Tour, this popular tour has been showing visitors old gangster hot spots for nearly three decades. Guests ride on the comfortable “gangster bus” and learn all about what went down in Chicago during the Prohibition Era from tour guides dressed up like mobsters. 

7. Amelia's Galena Ghost Tours, Galena, IL

Explore the eerie side of charming Galena and learn the history behind this quaint town. Amelia provides several tours including ghosts, pubs, vineyards, and access into the Ryan Mansion. Ride the shuttle bus or tour the town by foot. You never know what you’re going to see, hear, or experience during Amelia’s Galena Ghost Tours. 

8. Wateriders - Chicago River Kayak Tours and Rentals, Chicago, IL

Chicago River Kayak Tours offer family-friendly fun for new and experienced kayakers alike. Choose from a variety of tours depending on your preference such as the Sunset Paddle, Ghosts and Gangsters Tour, Classic Chicago History and Architecture Tour, or Navy Pier Fireworks Paddle. 

9. Long Hollow Canopy Tours, Elizabeth, IL

This completely guided canopy tour delivers plenty of adventure for thrill seekers and nature lovers. Long Hollow Canopy Tours includes a relaxing UTV ride, a series of zip lines that get progressively longer, and 140-foot sky bridge. Learn about the native plants and animals of the region throughout the tour, as well. 

10. Countryside Tours, Galena, IL

Sample local wines and tour beautiful vineyards in Galena at Countryside Tours. Travel the peaceful rural countryside in luxury transportation and experience the best of Galena’s vineyards—tastings included in the tour prices. Countryside Tours is a popular destination for bridal showers, relaxing weekend getaways, and other events. 

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