What We Do
Chicago Detours is a tour company that brings curious people on walking and bus tours of architecture, history and culture. Our public and private group tours explore interior architecture, historic bars, jazz and blues, food history and more. We curate tours in both downtown and in Chicago neighborhoods from North to South.
We blog about overlooked or forgotten stories of Chicago architecture and history.
We create custom tours and day trips for private groups.
Chicago Detours History
Founder Amanda Scotese launched Chicago Detours in 2010 after a decade in Italy as a Tour Guide and Guidebook Researcher with Rick Steves’ Europe. She brought her travel expertise back home to Chicago with tour experiences that are fun, educational, and truly make us feel connected with our grand city.
We have grown from a solo operation to an entire team of employees and professional tour guides. Chicago Detours has designed more than 25 walking tours, bus tours, and other interactive event formats for fun and educational group experiences. The Chicago Detours team is passionate about Chicago architecture and history, and love sharing it with guests on our tours.
We were voted “Best Tour of Chicago” in 2019. 2020 marks our 10th anniversary as a tour company in Chicago.
Our Tour Company Philosophy
We believe that the primary role of a tour guide is to educate. So we create an interactive group dynamic and share educational tools and new perspectives for tour guests to connect with the architecture of Chicago.
We are committed to responsible travel. Therefore our tour company uses sustainable practices and immerses you in a truly local experience.
We know that history is best told with a creative approach. We use different media, like historic quotes, old photographs, and documentary film clips, to stimulate your imagination and present various perspectives.
We believe that a city like Chicago is more than “highlights.” We share forgotten stories about both famous city landmarks and lesser-known attractions.
We understand that business is about building community. Our tour company likes to connect with tour operators, conventions, destination management companies, non-profits, local community groups, universities, cultural organizations, and our fellow Chicago businesses.
We treat all our tour guests like a new friend because we believe in the importance of hospitality. We love when tour guests have chosen to tour Chicago with a small business!