Gifts for Curious People: Gift Cards Now Available

Our blog is primarily for giving our dear readers new insights into Chicago architecture, history and culture. But every once in a while we will indeed use it to toot our own horn. Consider this some tooting. We now have gift cards for people you love who love Chicago! You can buy these gift cards for virtual tours and events like “Innovations at the 1893 World’s Fair” or “Badass Women of History.”

When you order the cool gift of a Chicago walking tour, you can choose if you simply want an email code, or you can receive a gift card via mail, either to you or directly to the recipient. They’ll have one year to take advantage of their tour gift.

For either visiting loved ones or well-seasoned locals, this Chicago gift card gives the chance to explore city architecture, history and culture comfortably as tour groups stay mostly inside with help from the Underground Pedway and other short cuts taken by our expert guides. Our walking tours are offered almost daily through the holiday season and make for a cool gift for mom, for dad, and for friends and co-workers.

Who Goes On a Chicago Walking Tour?

Our walking tours of Chicago cater to people who:

Are architecture or history buffs.

Think they already know everything about Chicago (We’ll prove them wrong! No one can know everything. We do all kinds of archival research to come up with forgotten stories.)

Work or live downtown. The Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour shows them perspectives on things they’ve walked by a million times.

Are recent transplants to the city. The tours will give a solid understanding of Chicago architecture and history for their new life here.

Enjoy exploring new restaurants and bars. The Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour covers both familiar and hidden gems of downtown’s entertainment history.

Are family and friends who you know will come to visit over the next year. They’ve done the architectural boat cruise, so why not dig a little deeper and go inside the buildings?

Chicago Tours Indoors Underground Cultural CenterIf you think some of your favorite people might be geeked on the gift idea of a fun and educational walking tour, then we are here for you!

 — Amanda Scotese, Executive Director


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Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”


Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”


Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
Wade K


Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
Katie K

Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
Shelby F

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