Dean Boyer leads a South Side History Bike Tour


Feel like getting some exercise while learning a little bit more about the city of Chicago? Chicago Studies has you covered! Browse our variety of walking and biking tours, curated by Chicago Studies staff (as well as Dean Boyer himself!). From an exploration of South Park, our Hyde Park neighborhood east of campus, to a spooky exploration of the city in our Chicago Haunted Ghost Tour, we'll have an opportunity for you to learn a little more about the city we call home while you stretch your legs.

We will continue to develop and add more tours to our catalogue—if you have any tour ideas, email us and we'll take your idea into consideration!

Quick Links

Exploring Chicago's Neighborhoods

Join Chicago Studies for a series of tours focused on the diverse neighborhoods of Chicago. Created and curated by Chicago Studies intern Akwe McDaniels, each of these seven tours contains a brief account of the history, important locations, and cultural traditions of each community—and a great restaurant to try to boot!

When participating in these tours, please remember that we are visitors in these communities and be respectful of each neighborhood's unique space and traditions.

Tour Listing

Let us guide you through a little piece of Chicago History

Campus Philanthropy Tour

In celebration of Alumni Weekend 2021, Chicago Studies is proud to collaborate with the office of Alumni Relations and Development and College Dean John W. Boyer (noted historian of the University and the author of The University of Chicago:  A History) to offer a brief history of the people whose generosity built our institution...narrated building by building! 

Campus Utility Plant Sustainability Tour

Interested in campus sustainability? Join Chicago Studies and Environmental Frontiers for a tour of the campus utility plant! This virtual, self-guided exploration includes information on the many sustainability features of the plant that powers our Hyde Park campus. Check out the tour now!

Great Chicago Fire Walking Tour

Walk the footprint of the Fire of 1871, based on stories told by Carl Smith ("The Resurrected City") in his 2020 book.  Integrating research from Smith's digital exhibition at Chicago History Museum (including maps by UChicago's own Michael Conzen!), our tour will help you understand the scale AND the narrative of the event that nearly ended Chicago's story 150 years ago.

Find our tour here.

Historic Running Routes

Hit the ground running during Week 1 of the Winter Quarter, literally! Chicago Studies has created multiple jogging and biking routes to encourage students to step outside and explore the city through a historic lens. Routes range anywhere from 0.5-10 miles and are all within the greater South Side community.

Spooky Chicago Tour

Join Chicago Studies for a spine-chilling tour based on true stories (and a few urban legends) from Chicago's sordid, tragic, and even gruesome past. Restless spirits, unsolved mysteries, and tragic endings haunt many of Chicago's historic buildings, neighborhoods, and streets.

Find our tour here!

South Side Bike Tour

Join us on this 20-mile self-guided tour as Dean Boyer and Professor Hansen take us on deep dives into the stories of key figures and significant places across the South and Near West Sides.

Find our tour here!

South East Chicago Bike Tour

Join us on this 20-mile self-guided tour as Professor Hansen guides us with stories and archival photos to help participants understand not only the history of South-East Chicago. Bikers will visit sites from Jackson Park to the Calumet in a roughly 20-mile self-guided loop (with optional side tours of Whiting, Indiana, and other Calumet sites).

Find our tour here!

South Park Walking Tour

Our South Park Walking Tour introduces participants to South Park, the section of the Hyde Park neighborhood that borders campus to the east.  Curated by historian and political science professor John Mark Hansen, the tour includes stories about the people, places, and politics behind the buildings and boulevards many of us walk every least, while we're in Chicago!  

View the tour here.

Navigating Chicago

Need a little help getting where you're going?