JULY 2018 – Chicago really is one the best places to be in the summer — taking a dip into Lake Michigan or a pool sounds pretty delightful right about now! Thankfully Chicago, one of the most bustling urban centers in the world, sits along a big, beautiful body of water with 18 miles of paved lakefront path. Just beyond that? Miles of groomed beaches just waiting for you. North Avenue and Oak Street are two of the most popular beaches and tend to get packed during summer. Why not go a bit farther north to Montrose Beach, where you can rent kayaks, hit the Dock for food and drinks and take your dog to romp; Hollywood beach (frequented by Chicago’s vibrant gay community); or Columbia Beach, a hidden gem in Rogers Park? Venture south to Oakwood Beach, 57th Street Beach or Rainbow Beach Park at 77th street — all of which have wide swaths of sand, activities and concessions to keep you satisfied all day.
And if you’re staying with us at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, did you know you can borrow bikes right from the property? We’ve once again partnered with super-cool local outfit Heritage Bicycles to give you two-wheel access to explore the city – just ask our concierge or In The Know desk! Chicago has dedicated bike lanes all over the city and that’s no exception when you want to get to the beach. You can ride straight across Millennium Park and into Grant Park to connect with the lakefront trail. From there, decide if you want to head north or south — many beaches are quickly accessible so you can get set up on the sand pretty quickly to enjoy your day of fun in the sun.
If you don’t love the sand, many neighborhoods around the city have public pools. They’re not heated, but when the temps climb over 90, does that matter? You want to cool off so check out the pools at Union Park at the far end of the West Loop, Pulaski Park in Wicker Park, Hamlin Park in Roscoe Village or the pool in Humboldt Park, which has waterslides — what’s better than that?