Chicago is a city known for its breathtaking skyline, rich history, and Magnificent Mile. Millions of tourists visit the city each year, hoping to see the sights and get a taste of Chicago’s local flavor. Amanda Scotese, founder of Chicago Detours, has found a way to put a new spin on exploring Chicago by offering a unique tour experience. These guided tours, which include a tour on Chicago’s jazz and blues history and a tour down Michigan Avenue, showcase Chicago’s architecture and culture. Amanda takes the experience a step further by incorporating technology and multimedia into her tours in order to create a multifaceted experience for her customers that shines a new light on some of Chicago’s oldest tourist attractions.
iPads and video screens packed with videos and photos dug out of Chicago’s archives allow customers to see beyond what stands in front of them and into the past. Watching footage of Studs Terkel talking to real Chicagoans gives a sense of what these pieces of history meant to people at the time. It’s great to see technology used as a tool to bring people together and help people connect with the world outside.
Amanda says her tours will take you places that locals don’t even know about, and she’s right. I consider myself a pretty big Chicago history nerd, but through her tours I learned about a chapel in a Loop skyscraper and a gem of jazz history in a South Side hardware store that I never knew existed.
Whether you’re visiting Chicago for the weekend, or a lifelong resident, Chicago Detours will take you beyond the beaten path and on a journey through Chicago as it was, is, and might be one day.