Everyone jokes that you give up 8 months of grey, terrible weather in order to live in the bliss that is summertime in Chicago. While I disagree (Autumn and Spring here are also beautiful), I will say there “magic in the air” in the summertime. Or that’s just the sangria. Either way, I love it here.
I mean, if you live here, you know what I’m talking about.
And if you don’t, you have to make a special trip to visit the city in the summer.
We talk a lot about “patio weather,” which basically means it’s a gorgeous day and we need to find a restaurant or bar that has a patio so that we can all hang outside in the sun.
The lakefront is bustling—people running, biking, laying out, swimming, walking their dogs, fishing off the walkway, taking pictures, playing beach volleyball on North Avenue Beach, taking out their sailboats or cruisers or waterskis. And when it’s a sunny day, you can expect this sort of crowd all day.
If you do visit for the summer, here are a few must-visits (ranging from predictably touristy to more local flavors):
- Walk (or bike using a Citi bike) the Lakefront.
- Grabs some drinks at Cindy’s–the rooftop of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.
- Visit Grant Park (walk around the gardens).
- Take the Brown Line across the city. While the train isn’t a luxurious experience, the view from the brown line is gorgeous and will make you feel like a local.
- Take an architectural boat tour. I recommend the First Lady who partners directly with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF).
- Workout in Millenium Park.
- Eat a donut. Or two. Or three. Or four. Okay, or five.
- Visit a farmer’s market (my favorite is the Green City Market in Lincoln Park).
- Visit the Art Institute of Chicago and be sure to check out the gardens that bookend the museum—they’re gorgeous.
- Grab tickets to a Cubs game.
- Kayak down Chicago’s river.
- Grab brunch at Ann Sather’s. Ordering the cinnamon bun is a necessity. And be prepared: they’re huge.
- Have a slice of deep dish. Or mac’n’cheese.
- Catch an outdoor concert.
- Or a free movie.
P.S. If there are any other Chi-town peeps out there, leave your favorite Chicago spots in the comments below. I’ve lived here a few years, but definitely need more places to explore. Especially during the summer.