Chicago: The Best City to Spend Your Summer

By: Christina Han

In recent news, Chicago was ranked as the number one best college town to spend your summer in, which only makes sense. What makes Chicago so great is that the summer is a beautiful reward for the long and grueling winters it’s infamous for. If you were to ask any Chicago native what their favorite part about Chicago is, they would most likely answer with “the summer.” The second it gets a tad bit warmer, you instantly see a lot more people walking in the streets, going for a jog, or walking their dogs. It is always nice to come out of hibernation after a long and cruel winter. Granted, Chicago is the third biggest city in the United States, so there’s a ton of things to do during the summer.

When it comes to outdoor activities, Chicago has a wide variety of options. Lake Michigan, for one, is open during the summer. When on the beach, you will find lots of people laying out under the sun, playing beach volleyball, and having picnics. What’s so cool about Chicago’s “beach” is that you get the entire skyline while lying out in the sand, which you don’t see every day (or really anywhere else). If not on the beach, people are most likely walking, jogging, running, rollerblading, or biking by the lakefront (this is when you’ll probably realize just how many people were deprived of their daily exercise with the amount of people that’ll be out and about).

Aside from the beach, there are plenty of places near the lakefront that are prime destinations and, not to mention, free! The Lincoln Park Zoo, for example, is very close to the beachfront and also includes free admission! Just like the beach, it’s an interesting sight to be looking at giraffes and lions while simultaneously being able to see the city skyline in the background. Right next to the zoo is the Lincoln Park observatory, which is also free. It’s home to hundreds of different plants and flowers from all over the world! It’s a wonderful sight to see in the summer, especially since all the flowers are in full bloom.

Aside from activities held in Lincoln Park, there are plenty of events that will be held all across Chicago. When it comes to food festivals, there are more than you can imagine. The biggest and most popular is “Taste of Chicago” that takes place downtown in Grant Park and showcases the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. It’s a 3-day long festival, which includes live music performances and hundreds of different restaurants from all over Chicago showcasing their awesome food! Also, this happens to be the world’s largest food festival and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Along the lines of food, there are various food festivals that happen in different neighborhoods of the Chicago region. At the beginning of June, there’s the “Flavors of Mexico” festival held in Little Village. The focus of this festival is the authenticity of Mexican food, which is highly adored by most Chicagoans. During mid-June there’s the “Taste of Randolph”, which focuses on the neighborhood of the West Loop and all of the famous restaurants near the location. This is an event to promote the best restaurants of the West Loop region. This is just a taste of the food festivals Chicago has to offer – there’s even more festivals to be found online!

Aside from the numerous food festivals, there are plenty of music festivals all across the city. It’s great because there’s a huge musical variety (EDM, Indie, punk, etc). Chicago’s biggest music festival is Lollapalooza, which takes place this year from July 31st-August 3rd. Each year, Lollapalooza brings in the biggest names of music, from Eminem and Kings of Leon, to Drake! The festival attracts more than 160,000 people every year. Another big music festival is Spring Awakening, which specifically caters to EDM and House fans. It’s held in Soldier Field and brings in world famous DJ’s, including Tiesto, Alesso, and Calvin Harris. These two festivals are primarily the two big deals of the summer, but there are plenty others scattered around the city with smaller names that can be just as fun!

In a wonderful city like Chicago, there are plenty of things to do. With the summertime being something that everyone cherishes before the brutal winter, there are more than enough things to do and see. No wonder Chicago was ranked one of the best college towns to spend your summer!


Summer Festivities

summer2Happy Summer Blue Demons! It is so nice to say that the glory days of summer living has finally come upon us. Relaxing in the sun light  enjoying good company all in the spirit of fun, could it be anymore ideal? For those staying in the Chicago area, the word bored will never exist in your vocabulary over the summer. There are so many things going on in the city and its neighboring towns. Besides beach activities and eating countless amounts of gelato, ice cream, and frozen yogurt, there are also so many festivals going on pretty much every weekend. Here are a few favorite festivals to note:

Chicago Pride Fest – June 21 to June 23 in Lakeview 


Hosted by the Northalsted Business Alliance,this crowd-pleasing gay and lesbian celebration of community pride showcases an eclectic lineup of arts and crafts, food and other vendors. It also features entertainment on two stages with one dedicated to some of Chicago’s fine performers in the gay community.

Chicago Country Fest – June 29 and 30 at Clark & Armitage 


Do you love country music? How about barbecue from the top restaurants around? It’s time to saddle up and enjoy the ride. This event will feature the best of country, with music, food, line dancing and more… and don’t forget the mechanical bull!

Taste of Lakeview – July 6 and July 7 at Lincoln & Belmont


Join us as 40,000 people experience Chicago’s ultimate music and culinary fare. If you like to enjoy delicious food and listen to music, then this event is a must see! Artisans and crafts vendors, a wide variety of great food, and an array of street performers add to this incredible weekend. We are thrilled that this event provides so much for our community and we greatly appreciate your support. Make sure you taste Lakeview July 6th & 7th, 2013 at 3200 – 3400 N. Lincoln at Belmont.

Pitchfork  Music Festival – July 19 to July 21 at Union Park 


Three days each summer in Chicago’s Union Park, the internationally recognized Pitchfork Music Festival presents over 40 bands, highlighting the best in new and emerging music. Since 2006, this independently run festival has consistently proven to be one of the most welcoming, comfortable, reasonably priced, and rewarding weekends of music around.

Bucktown Arts Fest – August 24 to August 25 in Bucktown 


The Bucktown Arts Fest is a non-profit, all volunteer-run, neighborhood celebration of the arts— with no corporate sponsorship. Admission is free. All proceeds from the Fest go to develop and support arts and education programming at Holstein Park and in the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhoods.

Taste of Greece – August 24 to August 25 in Greektown 


Hellenic pride will take center stage when this acclaimed annual culinary fest on Halsted Street in Chicago’s happening West Loop returns for its 24th year. As most Chicagoans know, this strip of Halsted has been the epicenter of the city’s acclaimed Greek restaurant scene for decades. Quite simply, Taste of Greektown is a romantic weekend celebration for lovers of Mediterranean culture.

The Magnificent Milke Shopping Festival – August 23 to September 2


The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival returns to North Michigan Avenue, August 22 – September 2, 2013, for THE shopping event of the year! This year’s Shopping Festival includes 12 days of fashionable festivities around The Magnificent Mile district including fashion shows, celebrity appearances, culinary celebrations, in-store events, special offers and more! Plus, stores along the Avenue are beckoning with the newest merchandise – the perfect time to shop for your favorite fall looks!

Hyde Park Jazz Festival – September 28 to September 29 in Hyde Park 


The 6th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival will be on Saturday, September 29, and Sunday, September 30, 2012 with two full days of FREE non-stop jazz music in the historic center of Chicago’s Jazz community – Hyde Park.

For the full summer festival list, check out Chicago Now!