Chicago Summer City Guide

So many of you have asked for my Chicago recommendations and since summer is an amazing time to visit I thought I’d share my favorite things to do in the city I love. All of these suggestions are strictly personal preference. There are a TON of places, restaurants, and activities that I still haven’t done/tried in this city so if you have any additional suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Where to stay:
Langham Hotel*
Public Hotel
Hotel Lincoln
Thompson Hotel
Peninsula Hotel*
Four Seasons Chicago*
Park Hyatt
*take advantage of their spa!

The best things to do around the city/to see the city:
Take an architectural boat tour on the Chicago river.
Go canoeing along the Chicago river.
Spend a day at one of many beaches: Oak Street has the best views and North Avenue is the biggest.
Rent a Divy bike and bike along the lakeshore – start at Museum park and go north.
Visit our amazing museums: Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science & Industry, and the Art Institute.
Visit the Bean in Millennium Park and walk around Maggie Daly Park.
Take a water taxi to China Town.
Check out the Sky Deck at Willis Tower.
Rent a boat and sail on Lake Michigan {most amazing views of the city!}.
Check out the Lincoln Park Zoo {it’s free!}.

Enjoy the city like a local:
Stop by Green City Farmers Market in Lincoln Park on Saturday mornings for fresh produce, breakfast and smoothies.
Rent a Divy, pack a picnic, and hang out in Museum Park.
Visit Half Acre Brewery {Daisy Cutter is my favorite!}.
Summer concerts at Ravinia or Millennium Park.
Hang out at one of the many weekend festivals around the city.

The best places to shop:
Michigan Avenue for all of the big box department stores/retailers.
Oak and Rush Street – shop high end brands, Barney’s NY, Scoop NYC, Calypso St. Barth, Sandro, Maje, Vince, Tory Burch, Madewell, Ted Baker + Kate Spade New York.
Damen Avenue in Bucktown – shop favorites like Intermix, Club Monaco, Cynthia Rowley, Steven Alan + Marc Jacobs.
Southport Corridor in Lakeview – shop local boutiques, Anthropologie, Lou & Grey, Free People + Blue Mercury.

Where to eat/drink:

Coffee Talk/Bakeries:
Intelligentsia
Floriole
Elaine’s Coffee Call
City Grounds
Heritage Bicycles
LPQ
Sweet Mandy B’s
Beatrix

Breakfast/Brunch:
Bang Bang Pie
Toast
Kanela Breakfast Club
Dove’s Luncheonette
Stan’s Donuts
Doughnut Vault
Beatrix
The Publican
Little Goat
Glazed and Infused
Milk & Honey Cafe
Perennial Virant
Birchwood Kitchen
Bongo Room

Lunch:
Le Colonial
Fred’s at Barneys
Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen
Beatrix
Lyfe Kitchen
Blue Door Farm Stand
LPQ
Shake Shack
Big Star
Tavern on Rush
Nico Osteria
NoMI
RL Restaurant

Dinner:
GT Fish & Oyster
Girl and the Goat
DMK
Au Cheval {be prepared for a long wait}
RPM Italian/RPM Steak
Sunda
Eataly
Burger Bar Chicago
Summer House
Stella Barra
Balena
Chop Shop
Nellcote
RM Champagne Lounge
Hot Chocolate
Gemini Bistro
North Pond
Parson’s Chicken & Fish
Green Street Smoked Meats
Pump Room
NoMI
Bavette’s
Piccolo Sogno
RL Restaurant

Drinks:
Terrace at the Trump {best views}
Big Star {tacos, margaritas, outdoor patio}
RM Champagne Lounge
Nico Osteria
J.Parker at Hotel Lincoln
Pump Room

Where I Frequent:
Del Seoul {the best korean street food}
Dunlay’s on Clark {american brunch/dinner}
Athenian Room
Homeslice
Bobtail Ice Cream
The Local Option {great food + awesome beer list}
Blue Door Farm Stand
Floriole
Le Colonial
Goddess and Grocer
Beatrix

Chicago is such a friendly, accessible, walkable, clean, and beautiful city! Our summer months are short but definitely the best time to visit. I don’t think people realize that our skyline sits on miles and miles of lake lined beaches that are filled with people during the summer months. It’s also outlined with miles of walkable paths, nature walks, harbors, and parks. Sometimes I forget that I live in a city because we are nestled in between the most lush parks and our beautiful lakefront. The best of both worlds.

All of these recommendations are personal preference but I wanted to give you a wide spread of options. Enjoy!

Photos by Heather Talbert.

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