Our contributor, Kaleigh Glaza, is certain that Chicago is the best city to be in during the summertime, and she’s here with her reasons why.
Yeah LA, I see you with your ocean and your palm trees. I see you, too, New York City and Miami with all your fancy people and fashion shows. But my hot take for the season is simple: Chicago is the best summer city in America. The Midwestern hotspot welcomed 58 million tourists in 2018 alone, and I’m willing to bet that a large portion of those came during the summertime.
Why? Well, first, because Chicago can be a bit rough in the wintertime (they don’t call it Chiberia for nothing). But secondly, because Chicago is truly in its prime during the summertime. The city, and its people, come alive in the warmer months in a way that no other city in America quite does. To prove it, here are just some of the truly multitudes of reasons that you should visit Chicago before the weather turns cooler and fall hits.
No, Chicago does not have an ocean. But we have a lake! And dangit, we make the most of it! There are sailboats, there are river cruises, there are beach parties and more. Castaways bar along the lakefront is always a fan favorite, especially during the Air & Water Show in August. And every tourist has to visit Navy Pier (though every local knows to avoid it), so while you’re there, make sure to check out its new expansive bar, Offshore, too. It’s the least touristy part of this tourist spot.
As with most cities that don’t have a ton of warm weather months, Chicago makes the absolute most of patio season. Long before many people would consider it “hot,” Chicagoans are out under heaters, cozied up under blankets and dining al fresco. Once those heaters and blankets aren’t needed, everyone is hitting those patios and rooftops to soak up the sun. The first few warm days of the year are some of the best in the city, as everyone heads outside to celebrate.
Some of the best outdoor dining spots in Chicago right now are:
- Pizzeria Portofino
- Beatnik on the River
- The Hoxton
- Small Cheval
- Cabana Club
- iO Godfrey
- Hotel Zachary
Whether or not you’re a baseball fan, Chicago’s ballparks are each an amazing day in their own way. Foodies will drool over Guaranteed Rate Field’s options like Nashville Hot Chicken, Bacon Popcorn and Elote Nuggets. They’re enough to make anyone a Sox fan!
The Cubs, and Wrigley Field, get a whole neighborhood of fun! You could spend an entire weekend visiting the bars and restaurants and fun activities in that neighborhood, including an entire Cubs-themed pop-up bar at Deuces Major League Bar.
Plus, if you come later in the summer, you can take in a Bears pre-season game at Soldier Field. The team might not be great, but the city views sure are!
Though not 100 percent proven by science, it’s totally possible that Chicago has the most street fests of any city ever in the whole wide world. Not to be dramatic about it or anything. But truly, every neighborhood, many single streets and lots of specific foods (from beer and burgers to tacos), each gets their own summer weekend festival in Chicago. There is live music, stand-up comedy, local art and plenty of opportunities to eat and shop your way through the city. It’s not so much which festival to go to…but more a matter of figuring out which ones you’ll have to skip just purely based on time!
Think your city is actually the best in the summer? I’m open to hearing your arguments in the comments! But if you’ve ever visited Chicago in summer, you know that it really is the best.
A lifelong Chicagoan, Kaleigh currently works in the Windy City’s food social media and marketing world, which is perfect for her cheese and chocolate-obsessed self. She is your go-to girl for recommendations on travel, champagne, the best Beyonce songs to sing in the shower and the latest in thriller fiction reads. In addition to Glitter Guide, her work has also appeared in Refinery29, The EveryGirl, Lux and Concord, DiningOut Chicago Magazine, and others. Follow her on Instagram at @kaleighglaza and work with her on food, blogging, and social media at https://www.kaleighglaza.com/.
Make sure to also check out Planning Your Essential Girls’ Night In and Why You Should Look For Natural Beauty Treatments At Spas, Too!
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