2020 Summer Chicago Bucket List | Hotel EMC2

2020 Summer Chicago Bucket List

Despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has changed most of our summer plans, summer is not canceled! Fortunately, the city of Chicago has been in the process of reopening, and—even though you can’t go see a Broadway show or concert, or go to a museum or art gallery—there are still many things you can do in the Windy City while continuing to practice guidelines set by the city and state to keep you healthy and safe. 

Here’s our 2020 summer Chicago bucket list—social distancing version.

Go to a drive-in movie

This summer, drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback. Plus, it’s much easier to social distance when you’re in your car. So grab some popcorn and drive to one of Chicago’s new drive-in theaters with your friends or family.

There are several different drive-in theaters in Chicago, including ChiTown Movies on Throop Street, CHI-Together at Soldier Field, Drive-in at Lincoln Yards, and Chicago Drive-in Theater at Bridgeview.

Experience a sightseeing cruise at Navy Pier

If you want to glimpse some spectacular views of Chicago, you’ll want to catch a sightseeing cruise at Navy Pier. While riding on a cruise, you’ll be able to take photos of some of Chicago’s best views while also learning about the history of the city and its famous landmarks.

Navy Pier has 5 different sightseeing cruises including the Seadog Lakefront Speedboat Tour, Seadog River and Lake Architecture Tour, and Shoreline Architecture River Tours.

Enjoy local food on an outdoor patio

Even though dining indoors is allowed during phase 4 of Chicago’s reopening, it’s always nice to enjoy a delicious meal on an outdoor patio. 

Chicago has many restaurants with scenic outdoor seating, including La Storia Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in Gold Coast, which has an elevated back patio with strands of lights, providing a romantic atmosphere. Or, if you want a view of the Chicago River, try eating or drinking at one of the many restaurants along it, such as Beatnik on the River.

Ride bikes down the Lakefront Trail

Peddle down the famous Lakefront Trail along the edge of Lake Michigan to catch views of the city’s skyline, parks and beaches, Navy Pier, and Museum Campus. The paved pathway is 18 miles long, so you can go for a long ride while exploring along the way.

You can easily rent bikes in the city with Divvy’s bike share program. If pedaling isn’t your thing, you can always enjoy a pleasant stroll along Lake Michigan.

Stay in a boutique hotel

Sometimes, it’s nice to have a staycation and explore a luxurious boutique hotel. Some boutique hotels are so deluxe that you may never want to leave your room! You can even order takeout to your room so that you can experience local restaurants without ever leaving.

Hotel EMC2, located in Streeterville, is a unique hotel with a remarkable science and art theme—the hotel even has robots that deliver amenities to guests! The hotel itself is currently taking extra precautions to keep guests safe and healthy, by creating no-touch zones for things like check-ins and check-outs. This boutique hotel is a fun and unconventional place to stay while visiting the city. 

Kayak on the Chicago River

Kayaking on the Chicago River is an exciting way to see some of the city’s best architectural features. It’s also a great activity for those hot summer days and a good way to avoid crowds of people. Enjoy paddling down one of Chicago’s most popular attractions and viewing the city from a unique vantage point.

Wateriders offers various kayak tours on the Chicago River, including a History and Architecture Tour, Ghosts and Gangsters Tour, or Sunset Paddle. 

Check out Millennium Park

Millennium Park is one of the most popular bucket list activities in Chicago. The park’s reflective “bean” sculpture is known for its unique shape, as well as its reflection of the city around it. The park also has other art exhibitions, sculptures and a 3.5-acre garden. 

This location is perfect for photographers of all skills to take pictures, from professional to amateur. It’s one of the most iconic parks in Chicago, so make sure you plan this activity into your itinerary so that you can show your friends and family your photos of this famous landmark after your trip.

Explore Chinatown

Walking around Chinatown, you’ll experience one of Chicago’s most diverse and dynamic neighborhoods—it’s also the second-largest Chinatown in the U.S. You’ll be able to experience lavish culture, art and view historic landmarks.

One popular spot in Chinatown is the Chinese American Museum of Chicago. The museum has reopened during Chicago’s Phase 4 with added safety measures in place. Other popular attractions in Chinatown are the Nine Dragon WallPing Tom Memorial Park, and the Chinese American Veterans Memorial. These places are all fun outdoor locations with enough space for people to properly social distance while they are visiting.

Planning your trip to Chicago

Whether you choose to visit Chicago now or in the future, you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime. While planning your trip, you’ll want to select where you’ll stay. Consider booking a hotel located in the heart of the city. You’ll also want to choose a hotel that is fully committed to cleanliness and the health and safety of guests. Remember to bring a mask with you to wear when you are in public spaces or in other areas close to people who are not in your household. Now you’re ready for your upcoming trip to Chicago filled with exciting adventures and stunning sights. 

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