Take a cue from these top Chicagoans, who recommend the best local spots and activities perfect for enjoying the seasonal weather.
Dr. Ari Levy
“I spend so much time caring for patients and running my business, my summer bucket list is all about family and taking care of myself. An early run, followed by sunrise yoga over by Belmont Harbor helps me get perspective and some quiet time for myself. The rest of the day is all about my family. Teaching my kids to ride bikes and taking them out on the lake are two activities we have our sights set on this summer. And, as always, dinner and drinks with my wife—this summer, Homestead on the Roof is at the top of our list.” —Dr. Ari Levy, Founder of SHIFT
“My summer bucket list is simple—food! In my opinion, Chicago has the best chefs in the nation. I want to dine at all the James Beard award-winning restaurants in Chicago, at least once. So far I’ve conquered West Loop’s Girl and the Goat, Little Goat Diner, and the newest JBA winner, Monteverde—they did not disappoint. I will be hitting the West Side’s the 606 to work off all the delicious cuisine. Bon appétit!” —Alana Hohenstein, Practice Development Partner Division West Regional Director of Syneron Candela
“I’m moving to the West Loop this summer, and can’t wait to explore my new neighborhood—a few must-try restaurants for me will be Won Fun Chinese and La Josie. My ultimate goal is to be outside as much as possible once it warms up. I’m a big fan of rooftops (who isn’t?) and I am excited to check out the new spot Noyane, at the Conrad Chicago hotel, as well as the pool at Soho House Chicago. There are so many great festival lineups this year, and I want to make it to as many shows as possible—I’ve never done Mamby on the Beach before, so I’m excited to see what it’s all about!” —Amanda Hale, On Premise Sales Manager of Beam Suntory
“My summer bucket list involves anything that is in the sun! Some of the things I just can’t wait for are breakfast tacos from Cookies and Carnitas at the Green City Market, having our friends and family over for backyard barbecues, burgers on the patio at Small Cheval, relaxing in the sand on North Avenue beach, summer festivals—especially the Chicago History Museum’s Hot Dog Fest—and cooling off with Italian ices at Annette’s.” —Laura Cusick, Marketing Communications Manager of Chicago History Museum
“I can't wait to spend the summer bringing Aloha vibes to the street fests and taking puppy boy to the beach—he loves swimming! I'm excited to get some patio time in at Parson's Chicken & Fish and Phyllis' Musical Inn. I've shockingly never even seen the 606, so I should probably make that happen before it somehow starts to commercialize. I've also never been to the Chicago Jazz Festival or a Movies in the Parks night. I guess I'll need to find a date first. Is that an acceptable bucket list item as well?” —Zach Friedlander, Managing Partner of Aloha Poke Co.
“Every summer, I look forward to enjoying long walks along the lakefront, getting to a White Sox and Cubs game, playing as much golf as possible, and, of course, dining alfresco—after all, this is Chicago!” —Jerry Bern, President of Marshall Pierce & Company
“My summer bucket (list) has a lot of ice and a lot of rosé! We just opened our new patio at Farm Bar on a lovely, leafy block in Lakeview and that will be my summer afternoon go-to. Saturday mornings start with coffee at Heritage Bicycles, and then we bring the kids to the Sprouts Club at Green City Market. Next, we bike down to see the jazz at the 31st Street beach—it’s like going on vacation. This summer, the Art Institute is presenting Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist and retailers all along Mag Mile and around town will be competing in the Project Windows display contest inspired by the exhibition. I will spend a day checking out the windows, popping into the fabulous Beacon Tavern for lunch, and then head over to Eataly for the world’s greatest summer coffee drink—the Espresso Shakerato. I’ll also definitely hit RMH Design on the Southside in Beverly (my ‘hood growing up!) for some earrings—all one-of-a-kind pieces made locally.” —Nora Gainer, Director of Tourism Marketing at the Art Institute of Chicago, Co-Owner of Farmhouse Chicago, Farm Bar Lakeview, and Farmhouse Evanston
“No other city appreciates summer like Chicago. We know we have a limited amount of time to maximize warm weather and have a unique landscape to do so. I’m looking forward to days on the lake boating with friends, exploring the new riverfront, and discovering local talent at all the festivals. Staying inside is a sin. Outdoor cafés, patios, and rooftops are where you’ll find me—some of my favorites are Milk & Honey on Division, Whiskey Business on Milwaukee, Piccolo Sogno on Halsted, and I am excited for the new Viceroy Hotel to open in Gold Coast. Though I typically save my international vacations for winter, I plan on attending a family wedding in Greece, and I’m considering sneaking a quick solo trip to Portugal in. I’ve always wanted to take a trip alone, and the little city of Comporta is calling my name…” —Stacy Kolios, Senior Marketing Director of 900 North Michigan Shops