CHICAGO (CBS) — Dan O’Connell  always dreamed of being a teacher. And that dream has come true — sort of.

“I created my classroom along the riverwalk,” he says.

Every day, he gives tours featuring the rich history and stunning architecture of downtown Chicago. Unlike the architectural boat tours, these are walking tours and take advantage of the Chicago riverwalk tucked beneath much of the Loop and Streeterville.

“It’s just beautiful. It’s really beautiful,” says Denise Liss, an avid riverwalk visitor.

Liss says she has never taken O’Connell’s tour but she walks the riverwalk every lunch break.

“I can walk from Michigan Avenue all the way up to Navy Pier,” she says. “It’s about a mile there and a mile back, and I lost about over 40 pounds over a period of two years.”

She also gained some peach of mind.

“I work at a law firm,” she says. “I work for several attorneys and I like to come down here at lunch time because it’s like being on vacation. I come down and I can hear the sounds of the water and it’s very peaceful.”

Right on the edge of the riverwalk, kayak rentals are available. Restaurants offer al fresco dining with beautiful views and a short walk takes you to the Vietnam memorial.

“Did you know all of downtown when Marquette and Joliet came here in 1673 was nothing but a swamp?” O’Connell asks while giving one of his tours.

He gives tours through Chicago’s Finest Riverwalk Tours. Click here for more information.