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Tour Company & Mission Philosophy


Chicago Detours History

Founder Amanda Scotese launched Chicago Detours, a tour company for the curious, in July 2010 after spending close to a decade in Italy as a Tour Guide and Guidebook Researcher with Rick Steves’ Europe. She decided to bring 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 a team of employees and professional tour guides. All of us are passionate about Chicago architecture and history, and love sharing it with guests on our tours.

Tour Company Mission

To bring curious people to explore stories and places locals don’t even know through guided tours of Chicago’s architecture, history and culture.

We are proud to continuously maintain five stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor.

What We Do

Chicago Detours offers guided walking and bus tours of architecture, history and culture to public and private groups.

We blog about overlooked or forgotten stories of Chicago architecture and history.

We custom-design new theme-driven tours and day trips for private groups.

Guests begin on our 1893 World's Fair Tour with Bars. Photo by Pawel Skrabacz

Our 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 you to connect with the architecture of Chicago.

We are committed to responsible travel, so our tour company uses green practices and immerses you in a truly local experience.

We know that history is best told with a creative approach, so 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,” so we share forgotten stories about both famous city landmarks and lesser-known attractions.

We understand that business is about building community, so our tour company likes to connect with tour operators, conventions, destination management companies, non-profits, community groups, senior groups, universities, cultural organizations, and Chicago businesses.

We treat all our tour guests like a new friend, because we believe in the importance of hospitality, and we love when tour guests have chosen to tour Chicago with a small business.

Chicago Detours is not affiliated with, makers of audio walking tours.


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]