Chicago Essentials

Discover the best places for everything in Chicago.

Outdoor Essentials: Best Places to...


Bike Chicago
This bicycle rentals and guided tours company will deliver a bike to your door if you don’t have your own.

Chicago Area Runners Association
Miles of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan make it easy to just keep on going. Check out the largest running organization in the Midwest for information on training programs and ways to meet other runners.

Ice Skating at McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison streets
During the winter, Millennium Park opens up an ice skating rink that is free.

Kayak Chicago, 435 E. Illinois
Rent a kayak for $15/hour (single) or $25/hour (tandem) and enjoy the city from a whole new vantage point.


Mercury Canine Cruises, departs at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive on the Chicago River, 312-332-1353
Enjoy a cruise with the one you love -- your dog. Every Sunday in the summer, pooches and their people can view Chicago’s landmarks from the water.

Challenger Park, 1101 W. Irving Park Road, 312-742-7802
Find the dog park on Seminary along the west side of the train tracks.

Grace Noethling Park (aka Wiggly Field), 2645 N. Sheffield Ave.
An entire park dedicated to dogs.


Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Take in views of the city or the universe.

Signature Room, 875 N. Michigan Ave.
In the heart of the Magnificent Mile, this restaurant offers a panoramic view of the city and Lake Michigan from atop the John Hancock Center. Save a little money and just drop by for a drink at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor.

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