Summer Urban River Cruises

If your group is from the big city, sometimes you aren't interested in leaving the hustle and bustle for too long. A relaxing day at the beach? But where are the sweet sirens and hoot-n-hollers calling cabs?! We understand. You crave a busy atmosphere, and you always have. Fear not -- there's a way to keep your big-city climate while enjoying some water-themed leisure.

Many cities offer river cruises that take your travel group through your city of choice, just far enough away to see the skyscrapers but be able to take solace in a few moments of quiet. Here are five great river cruise tours that may just be the perfect short activity to break up your group's hectic lifestyle.

Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruise (St. Louis)

Hop aboard either the Tom Sawyer or the Becky Thatcher, aptly named for the characters' trip down the Mighty Mississip', for as low as $14 to get the best view of the Gateway Arch. Enjoy a simple hour-long daytime cruise or a romantic sunset cuisine for a Mound City getaway unlike any other.

National Mall Water Taxi (Alexandria, VA to Washington, D.C.)

Another under-$20 river cruise, this much-anticipated water taxi takes riders from the home of George Washington past American icons such as the MLK and FDR Memorials, at a safe distance from the rest of the tourists. This trip through the Smithsonian/National Mall corridor will allow you the luxury of relaxing those busy feet while still enjoying the capitol's sites and sounds.

Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise (Chicago)

The Windy City just got a little windier on this river cruise exploring the finest architecture in the city that invented skyscrapers. At a slightly higher price than smaller cities, you get a 90-minute span through a highlight of some 50 buildings ranging from the gothic and art-deco to modern and postmodern. With this city's status as an aesthetic masterpiece, it's worth the price.

Classic Harbor Line (New York City)

On the Schooner American 2.0, you'll be taken through the New York-New Jersey Harbor, where you'll pass everything from the iconic Chelsea District to Lady Liberty herself. This elegant liner shows you modern Manhattan is the finest way you could imagine.

Charles Riverboat Tours (Boston)

From $15, Boston tourists and dwellers alike can enjoy an hour-long narrated river cruise past monuments ranging from Beacon Hill and the elegant Back Bay quarter to America’s university titans Harvard and MIT. You'll also enjoy picturesque views of historic Boston architecture.