Chicago makes the most of every minute of sunshine summer has to offer. Locals seem to worship the sun, taking every excuse to get outside, and the city gives no shortage of opportunities to get outdoors and appreciate summertime in a way that only those who have lived through a winter of subzero temperatures can.
Chicago has a whole lot more to offer than the deep dish pizza it’s famous for (although that is delicious too). I’m a big fan of eating my way through new cities – a sort of taste bud tourism. Chicago boasted some of the best sushi I’ve had stateside as well as the best burger. From Argentinian to Vietnamese food, Chicago has virtually every type of cuisine imaginable and no shortage of outdoor dining space to enjoy it. Lakeview was one of my favorite places to grab an affordable bite and enjoy it on a flowerbed lined sidewalk table.
With over 40 microbreweries saturating the city with tasty craft beers and hip places to drink them, Chicago is a beer-lover’s paradise. I very much enjoyed visiting Lagunitas, Revolution, and Goose Island’s hip taprooms to enjoy the local brews. Goose Island made a cucumber, mint, lime Radler beer that embodied the deliciousness of summer sunshine!
Summertime in the windy city is hot, but with the average highs in the low 80’s and lows in the mid 60’s, the weather gets this LA girl’s seal of approval as pretty much perfect for the majority of days.
- Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan’s bustling activity makes you forget that it’s a lake and not a major coastal beach. Sailboats tack back and forth while kayakers paddle away and on the shore, sun worshippers work on their tan. The sand is alive with volleyball games, and joggers and bikers huff their way along the paved shoreline path. It is the perfect place to go to for a splash, an impromptu afternoon picnic, or just to daydream and watch sailboats.
- The Parks
Innovative green space blends Chicago’s art scene with nature in such a unique way. 500 parks and gardens offer a great place to chill out on grass and so much more. Grant Park, Millennium Park, and Lincoln Park are my top picks; offering art, architecture, nature, and Lincoln Park even has an expansive free public zoo!
Lollapalooza has put Chicago on the map for summer festivals, but locals will tell you that there are countless amazing festivals to be experienced the city. Almost every weekend brings new artists into the city in a variety of outdoor music festivals ranging from blue grass, to electronica, to folk and everything in between. I stumbled upon a free Blues Festival in Grant Park that was amazing and of course, had to do Lollapalooza
- The Museums
There are so many incredible museums in Chicago for the hot days when you feel the need to expand your summer soaked mind. The Shedd Aquarium, Art Institute, The Field Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art all make my list of must-go-to’s. Their collections are uniquely impressive and huge.
Chicago has it’s transportation on down. You can get to Chicago by plane, train, or bus, and when you get there the CTA is incredibly easy to use and makes the many neighborhoods of the city so accessible. My favorite part is that no matter how far you’re going, your transit ticket is the same price so you don’t have to stand in front of the ticket machine for what feels like an hour figuring out your fare.
Shopping in Chicago is amazing. Not only do they have every major clothing store downtown peppered with some high end boutiques, but personally my favorite shopping was the numerous vintage consignment stores in East Lakeview. You could get some Macklemore level thrifting done on Broadway Street.
Chicago has some legendary sports teams and the die-hard fans to back them up making virtually any game you end up at sufficiently lively. Be it the Cubs, Bulls, Black Hawks, or White Sox, you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
Visiting Chicago in Summertime is something that I can’t recommend enough. It is such a fun city full of things to do and see. In fact, I loved it so much, I’ve decided to make Chicago my home next May!