CHICAGO — New Yorkers flee the city during the summer for the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore. Bostonians leave for Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod.
Chicagoans, they stay put.
“We have three months where it’s more difficult to go outside,” says Craig Golden, principal at Blue Star Properties, which has developed many restaurants around the city. “It makes you really cherish the better weather. As soon as it hits 45 degrees out here, you start seeing people walking in shorts and T-shirts. They’re ready. I think that energy translates.”
It translates into a slew of travelers descending on this Midwestern metropolis to join locals in enjoying the many restaurants with outdoor patios, rooftop bars, parks, river cruises, and beaches.
And Chicago rolls out the red carpet for them.
“What makes summer in Chicago so special is simply the incredible variety of special events, festivals, performances and exhibits … set in one of the most visual and stunning backdrops of public space, parks and event venues,” says David Whitaker, president and CEO of Choose Chicago, the official tourism board.
Here’s what summer visitors can expect from Chicago.
Down by the river
Chicago’s buildings literally glow during the summer, and one of the most popular ways to gaze at them is on a cruise down the Chicago River.
The 90-minute twilight cruise by Chicago’s First Lady Cruises operates in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Docent Kathy Kurlick tells the stories of more than 50 buildings along the river, all built in less than 100 years.
“Chicago built more skyscrapers than anyone from 1934 to 1955,” she says.
The most famous are the Hancock Center, the Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building and the Willis Tower.
But there are many other buildings that don’t get as much attention, such as the James R. Thompson Center, the…