Boating in Chicago

Chicago Boating Events
  • Chicago River: Boaters find some of the most beautiful views of the city and architecture
  • Northerly Island Concerts: Check out some of the latest bands from the water.
  • July 3/Weekly Fireworks: Dock at Navy Pier every Wednesday and Saturday night to see the show and major fireworks display from Monroe Harbor on July 3.
  • Chicago Sites: Check out the ferris wheel at Navy Pier or the lighthouse just east. There are must-see sites that can be viewed throughout the city from a boat.
  • Summer Solstice (June 21): Cool off on the hottest day of the year by taking a cruise around Lake Michigan.
  • Race to Mackinac Island (Monroe Harbor, July 24): The premier sailing event in the Midwest, this annual race brings sailboats from around the world to compete. See the boats depart from the Chicago Yacht Club.
  • Chicago Scene Boat Party ("Play Pen" just north of Ohio St. Beach, TBD) Join hundreds of boats in this annual "raft up" party. Runs 12 - 6pm.
  • Air & Water Show (North Avenue Beach, August 14-15): Experience all of the action from the water. On the water side of the event, the Shell Extreme Water Show entertains the crowd with some of the world's finest wave riders cruising along the waves of Lake Michigan.
  • Beer Can Races - Wednesdays May 13-Early Sept. (approx. 6-7pm): Enjoy watching the Sailing Races from the Burnham Park, Columbia and Chicago Yacht Clubs.
  • Chinatown Dragon Boat Race for Literacy (Chicago River, July 24) Come and experience the excitement as teams compete in a fast paced race along the south branch of the Chicago River on beautifully decorated dragon boats.

About DiscoverBoating is a national awareness campaign developed by the North American recreational boating industry and managed by the industry's trade group, the National Marine Manufacturers Association. programs focus on improving the boating experience and building interest in recreational boating by providing a resource for Americans to explore the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle.

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