The weather is hot and vacation time is here. Why not pack your bags and come to Chicago? Summer is a great time to see awesome sights and experience fun happenings with all the locals. There is so much to do and lots of events. Just in case you are having trouble deciding, I’ll give you ten good reasons to consider a visit to the Windy City in the summer.
The Magnificent Mile
Of course I had to start with one of the most enjoyable activities there is–shopping. And, there is no better place to go than the Magnificent Mile, right in the heart of downtown Chicago. From the north end at Lake Shore Drive to the south at the Chicago River, the avenue is lined with all types of boutiques, popular chain stores, eateries, and hotels. Some of my favorite places to go are Garrett’s Gourmet popcorn, (go here), hey by the way, it’s finger-licking good; Niketown, Burberry, Aldo, Coach, Nordstroms, Gucci and the Water Tower Mall. It’s a marvelous mecca of stores!
The boulevard is beautiful with trees and lots of flowers everywhere. Street performers will entertain you, so have some spare change ready to toss in their hats. Make sure you have on a good pair of walking shoes as you check out those great bargains or visit a museum. To locate places to stay near the “Mag Mile” go here.
The Taste of Chicago
Don’t miss this popular annual event that runs from June 25 until July 4 this year. Local restaurant vendors offer over 200 different food items to sample. Yummy! Tickets are sold in strips of 12 for $8. Larger “tastes” will require 12 tickets, smaller “tastes,” two to four tickets. Local bands and performing troupes will appear at the Petrillo Band Shell and two other nearby venues. Admission to The Taste of Chicago and the Petrillo Band Shell is free. For more info go here.
The Fourth of July and Navy Pier
Come celebrate the Fourth of July in Chicagoland at Navy Pier. Located right on Lake Shore Drive just east of the downtown area and Michigan Avenue, (an easy walk). You will find lots of entertainment, dining, amusement rides, or take a cruise on Lake Michigan to watch the fireworks on the water. The show starts at 9:00p.m., but plan to arrive early because this is a popular event in our city. Information and accommodations available here.
Music, live entertainment, food, and free workouts on the Great Lawn are a few of the fun activities you can get involved in at Millennium Park. It large, it’s pristine, and it’s beautiful. Independence Day celebrations are underway on July 3. Also located on Michigan Avenue, just a few blocks south of the river and the Magnificent Mile. This is a must see, take it from me! Get the scoop here.
Grant Park Music Festival
Presenting an exceptional variety of classical music, this festival runs all summer long. Hear such works as Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Brahms performed by the Grant Park Orchestra. Dates, performances, and venues are here.
The Botanical Gardens
For all you nature lovers, this is another wonderful place to see, the Botanical Gardens. View 24 gorgeous gardens spread out over 385 sprawling acres of flora and fauna beauty. Enjoy concerts, farm dinners; participate in Nature Nights, photo contests, and teaching programs. Open from 7a.m. to 9p.m. through September 6. This is a great place to relax and take it slow. Botanical Gardens information here.
Chicago offers a plethora of great beaches that go for miles along Lake Shore Drive. The only problem is you may think you’re swimming in the Caribbean Sea with our beautiful turquoise blue waters and calm wave action. Choose from 33 beaches to bask in the sun, play volleyball, rollerblade, or just watch the sailboats go by. Oak Beach is a popular spot and it’s minutes away from the Magnificent Mile, just walk east to the water. Don’t forget your suntan lotion, hat, and water to stay hydrated. All beaches are free and open daily from 9a.m.- 9:30p.m.. Other beaches are listed here.
There’s fun for the whole family at Adler Planetarium. They offer exciting summer programs such as Planet Explorers, Adler After Dark, and One World, One Sky, Big Bird’s Adventure. A real cool place to see! Check out the fun here.
Buddy Guy’s Legends Blues Club
Buddy Guy just moved to a new location on 700 S. Wabash. This is where the young and old come together to hear the blues–sweet! The food is good, the people are lively, and the bands are rocking. Blues info here.
August 6-8 is when one of the most happening festivals around takes place here in Chitown. This three-day event on eight stages grooves in Grant Park. Acts include Sound Garden, Lady Gaga, Green Day, Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Phoenix, and others. A Regular Three-Day Pass is still available for $215. Ticket purchases are here. The lineup is here. Check out the aftershows, too.
Summertime is fun time here in Chicago, and I only gave you ten good reasons to come. When you get here, you will see there are a whole lot more. So, what are you waiting for? Hop a plane, get in your car, and come join us here in the Windy City. See you soon!
garrettpopcorn.com, travel.aviewoncities.com, explorechicago.org, navypier.com, millenniumpark.org, grantparkmusicfestival.com, chicago-botanical.org, about.com, adlerplanetarium.org, buddyguys.com, lollapalooza.com