The Chicago Riverwalk is a continuous walkway and recreation zone that runs along the Chicago River, connecting the Lake Michigan lakefront with the heart of downtown Chicago. The Riverwalk was opened in phases, and it contains restaurants, bars, kayak and boat rentals, bike rentals, concert stages, and general park facilities.
In mid-2015, the second phase of the total Riverwalk plan opened, and the Chicago Riverwalk now extends from Lakeshore Drive to La Salle Street. This phase contains a number of food vendors on both banks of the Chicago River, providing visitors, residents, and nearby office workers plenty of options for a meal, a cup of coffee, or glass of wine. Food vendors along the new section of the Riverwalk include O'Briens Riverwalk Café, City Winery, and Flander’s Belgian Beer & Fries.
The last phase of the Riverwalk, which extends to Lake Street at the confluence of the Main Stem of the Chicago River with the North Branch and the South Branch, is scheduled to be open by the end of 2016. It will include a zero-depth fountain for children, an ecology classroom, and a boardwalk surrounded by floating gardens and landscaping.
The Chicago Riverwalk is free to access, and many of the natural and park facilities are free as well. The Riverwalk can get crowded, so try to plan your visit accordingly.