It’s the time of the year every Chicagoan longs for–Summer. The sun is perfectly shining, igniting our inner child to run outside and soak it all in. But can you blame us? We could potentially spend November – April either bundled up or indoors, so excuse us for over celebrating! That said, I’ve put together the ultimate Summer Time Chicago walking tour through River North that stops at all those beautiful Chicago spots to see the sites, sip on some cocktails and enjoy all things warm weather.
Also, if you’re planning ahead, this would make for the perfect Father’s Day adventure including a stop at the official Blackhawks store, City Winery riverside and Chinatown.
Enjoy this full day walking (and riding) itinerary through Chicago’s iconic River North and Chinatown. Cute walking shoes recommended!
1. The Gage
Start your day off with a mimosa and a delicious brunch. I recommend the Scottish Egg and side salad and of course, a mimosa or two!
After brunch, walk across the street and make your way north through Millennium Park. Twirl through the Lurie Garden, The Bean and Pritzker Pavilion– sites that if toured early enough, wont be too crowded!
Head directly across the street to the new and improved Chicago Athletic Association. On the second floor, grab a beer, some bar snacks and enjoy a few free games or two in their Game Room! Enjoy some light hearted competition via pool, shuffleboard, billiards, bocci, and foosball.
One of the most beautiful additions to the Chicago parks is the Maggie Dailey Park. Walk through the winding paths to various areas including Mini Golf, Play Garden, Tennis Courts, Picnic Groves, The Cancer Survivor Garden (a must see!) and of course, the Climbing Wall. A child’s dream, twirl through the stunning areas and enjoy the beautiful skyline as a backdrop.
Opening in 2014, the new flagship store of the Chicago Blackhawks has everything a sportsman would need–from top line jerseys to shoes, hats, bags and hockey sticks for the whole family. The best feature? On your way out, be sure to stop and snap a pic in the augmented reality touchscreen, which provides you with the chance to take photos with your favorite players virtually at four United Center locations– then share on any one of your social media platforms!
Head across the street and down the steps to one of River North’s latest additions, the Chicago River Walk– a completely new way to walk the city via river access. Take advantage of many locations to drink and dine, but my favorite by far is City Winery located just across Marina City Towers, the view is spectacular and has a large area to sip
Next up, walk over the Dearborn Street Bridge to the other side of the river and walk west to the LaSalle Chicago Water Taxi stop marked with their large yellow logo. Checking their schedule is super easy, running every 15 minutes you’ll be sure to get on the right ride heading up the river to Chinatown. The Chicago Water Taxi is my favorite method of transportation and costing the same fare as the CTA, there is no reason not too! Be sure to ask your Captain or First Mate which boat you’ll need to transfer to that will get you straight to Chinatown.
Arriving at the Chinatown stop, take a quick walk to the downtown area. A thriving metropolis on its own, Chinatown hosts a variety of authentic Chinese cuisines and the most delicious spots in town. My favorite, is Lo Shanghai right in the heart of the restaurant scene. While we order pretty much the same thing every time, I recommend: start with Jasmine tea, followed by Triple Mushroom Noodle Soup, and for a main entree order the Crispy Beef (extra crispy!) and Sautéed Baby Bokchoy but ask to add garlic– it’s amazing!
The perfect little loop on it’s own, you get a wide range of city views while stopping by the top sites in Chicago. For a better idea of your trip, check out the map below for a quick guide!
Enjoy the summer in Chicago. It doesn’t last long so take full advantage of everything it has to offer!