What to do and see in Chicago this summer

This is a guest post by Hanna Johnson. Hanna is a free-spirited world traveler currently based in Italy. She loves nature and the environment. When she’s not behind her computer working on a new editorial project, you will probably find her browsing museums or in a local café.

It's a tough task when you try to name some of the best things to do in Chicago. With the city constantly changing during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the best sites to visit around Chicago are temporarily closed. Luckily, with the COVID-19 vaccine available, domestic travel is slowly coming back to normal.

Many may choose to stay close to home and visit sites around the US as they have much to see in the beautiful country. From Millennium Park to Riverwalk, there is so much to see. Chicago truly is a must-visit city, as it is also set to become one of the megacities of the world by 2030.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Chicago this summer.

1. Chicago lakefront trail

This is an 18-mile long trail that borders the coast of Lake Michigan. It offers all types of activities along the coast. From sandy beaches, awesome views of the city skyline to sprawling green parks. Cyclists and runners enjoy the ease and width of this trail. If you don't feel like running around, there is a lot of room where people can sit, enjoy the view and look at art installations throughout the year.

2. Riverwalk

There is a lot you can do at the Chicago Riverwalk besides just strolling the picturesque river. The Riverwalk is a unique place in Chicago where you can play, drink, eat and explore some stunning restaurants and outdoor bars, public art, boat trips, museums and pier fishing.

3. Art Institute of Chicago

If you are into culture and looking for culture in Chicago, you would love to first step into the art institute. This is the grandest museum in Chicago. Flanked by two lions, they are a symbol of the city. While visiting in this area, make sure to visit millennium park.

4. Millennium park

This is the heart of Chicago. Visitors and locals love to gather in this area for picnics, catch-free concerts, relax in the fountain and watch movie screenings all year round. There is an endless list of things to do in millennium park. And there is something for everyone, fitness fiends, art and architecture, music buffs and kids and families.

5. Architecture river tour

This is one of the most unique and fun experiences in Chicago. The Architecture river cruise takes a deep dive into Chicago’s architectural styles, starting from the origin and history that made this city. Visitors get to enjoy both day and evening tours and in 90 minutes, learn about more than 50 buildings located along the Chicago River and hear all of the secrets of the city’s topography.

6. The Bloomingdale trail- aka the 606

This trail is nearly three miles long. It's elevated and runs east and west on the Northside of the city. The trails are wide to accommodate most outdoor sports: running, cycling, power walking etc. and it’s spacious enough to accommodate everyone without running off casual strollers. It is also filled with public art installations you can admire along the way.

Chicago is a city that has something for everyone. The city is not that crowded and it's filled with activities you can do to pass the time. It also has some great shopping places that you can enjoy, like for example: Lincoln park, Andersonville, River north, State street and Roscoe village.

10 thoughts on “What to do and see in Chicago this summer”

  1. I haven’t been to Chicago since I was a kid. I definitely remember the science museum and the dinosaur bones, but that’s about it. I’d love to see the bean sculpture and walk around the river a bit. Such a fun guest post!

  2. Oh! This is good to know. My family is actually based in Chicago and had been meaning to find something fun to do amidst the pandemic. Will suggest The Bloomingdale trail to them. Happy to know that it’s spacious and the trails are wide as we’d like to avoid the crowd as much as possible. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. This list goes to show how diverse this city is. It has an amazing amount of culture and architecture that can be seen from any neighborhood. One thing I will try is the river cruise!

  4. Chicago is amazing! My absolute favorite is the Field Museum. There is so much to see there, and you can easily spend a whole day there. Riverwalk and Navy Pier is also a fun visit. I would love to do one of those river tours someday.

  5. I’ve visited Chicago in the summer and fall and love this city. I especially like doing the architecture boat cruise. And, the food was a real highlight too.

  6. Wow, Chicago looks so beautiful. I have never been to Chicago till date but have it on my list for sure. I will definitely stop by at the art institute and would also love to go for a walk around the river.

  7. You forgot to mention the “Magnificent Mile” which is so famous for shopping, in Chicago. My favorite from your list is the Riverwalk. We’ve been in Chicago several times over the years, but unfortunately the city is becoming very dangerous lately, which is too bad.

  8. We loved all the things to do we found when we visited Chicago. It was great to see all the outdoor art but we missed most indoor things and certainly would have liked to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. And we never even heard of the Bloomingdale Trail. So lots of reasons to head back.

  9. I love that there’s both a lake and a river in Chicago — I’d be walking those trails and exploring the architecture too!

  10. I love to travel, Thank you for sharing this wonderful information with us.

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