Chicago Summer Hot Spots

Photography courtesy of Justin Harrington

Photography courtesy of Justin Harrington

The first time we were in Chicago, it was late January and it was cold, windy (obviously) and snowy. But we still loved the city and everything about it … the shopping, dining, hotels and neighbourhoods. The city was alive with culture even in the dead of winter. But little did we know that Chicago was even more amazing in the summertime. We didn’t think it could be possible, but we ended up loving this mid-west city even more and we think you will too. Here are some of our must-see and must-dos for a summer (or spring, or fall) weekend in the Windy City.

Photography courtesy of Justin Harrington

Photography courtesy of Justin Harrington

The Beach
Yes, Chicago has a beach on the waterfront … and yes, it is pretty incredible. In the winter the waterfront looks a bit bleak and grey, but in the summer it’s the happening place — the sand covered in towels and girls in bikinis, people taking a dip in the water (it’s war, trust us!), a little bar area, small palm trees and multiple games of beach volleyball. If we didn’t just step off of the Magnificent Mile, we would have sworn we were in Miami.

Patios
Like most cities that trudge through long, bitter cold winters, come warm weather the patios at bars and restos are a welcoming sight. Chicago’s are lively, packed and situated under the tree-lined streets. Our fave spot for brunch was at Feast (25 E. Delaware Ave.) — they have an extra large patio perfect for nibbling on eggs benny and a cup of java.

Photography courtesy of Justin Harrington

Photography courtesy of Justin Harrington

Navy Pier
The people of Chicago really know how to take advantage of their gorgeous waterfront once the warm weather hits. Navy Pier is  filled with quaint shops, bars, seafood restaurants, a Ferris wheel and mini carnival rides and a spot to catch a boat for a water excursion — perfect for a summer weekend afternoon. It gives great views of Chicago’s impressive skyline and a walk along the pier is a must on a hot summer day.

Observatory
Normally we wouldn’t suggest such a touristy thing, but on a warm summer night a trip to the top of the John Hancock Tower to see the city’s lights and skyline by night can offer a welcome and cooling breeze in the open-air observatory. It’s open until 11:00 pm, so the later you go, the less people are usually there and less children, making it a bit more romantic after a cozy dinner.