8 Outdoor Activities to Do in Chicago | Hotel EMC2

8 Outdoor Activities to Do in Chicago

Fall is coming to Chicago, and while it hasn’t reached the official first day of fall, the leaves will soon be changing to hues of yellow, orange, and red. While the weather is still nice, you’ll want to take advantage of all of the fun activities that you can do outside before it is too cold. We’ve created a list with some of the best outdoor activities to do in Chicago this September. 

Sail on Lake Michigan 

Experience the thrill of sailing, feel the wind in your face, and see the sights on Lake Michigan. You can charter a sailboat—or a custom yacht—for a recreational, romantic, or educational adventure. Bring your family, a small group of your friends, or a significant other to sail alongside you. You can charter sailboats with companies like Windy City Sailing or Salty Dog Sailing Co

Watch a movie at a drive-in theater

This fall, drive-in movie theaters are offering a variety of fall flicks to watch. 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 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.

Pedal on a boat down the Chicago River

Cruise down the Chicago River on a pedal boat while listening to music with a drink in your hand. There is no denying it, pedal boats are a unique way to get around. You’ll be able to enjoy iconic scenes on the Chicago River with your friends or family, while a caption ensures that you have a safe and fun ride. Reserve your spot on Chicago Pedal Boats to have an exciting adventure on the Chicago River.

Ride bikes on Lakefront Trail

Rent a Divvy bike from Chicago’s bike share program, and ride along the Lakefront Trail. You’ll be able to see stunning views of Chicago’s skyline. Discover some of the best views on the trail near Museum Campus, outside of Adler Planetarium. The trail juts out into this lake at this point, making it a perfect spot to see the city’s entire skyline. Further along the trail, you’ll be able to ride to Navy Pier, past Ohio Street Beach, and onto Lincoln Park. 

Warm-up with a cup of coffee

Get your caffeine fix with a hot cup of joe at some of Chicago’s best coffee shops. Plus, it will warm you up as you walk around outside in the changing fall temperatures. There is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago—the largest Starbucks in the world. Try out Sip of Hope in Logan Square, Caffé Streets in Wicker Park, or Metric Coffee Co on Fulton Street, amongst many other cozy and intimate coffee shops. 

Walk on the 606

The 606 offers a unique pathway that takes you through Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown. It was formerly an elevated railway track, but was renovated in 2015. In total, the pathway is 2.7 miles long, and you can walk, run, or ride bikes on it while also enjoying seeing the city from a different perspective.

Visit Lincoln Park Zoo

At Lincoln Park Zoo visitors can experience a 35-acre zoo—one of the oldest zoos in North America—and see 200 unique species from around the world. Visitors can also walk through the zoo’s beautiful gardens, home to more than 1,200 plant species. One of the most iconic locations within the zoo is the Nature Boardwalk, where you can catch glimpses of blooming flowers, the South and North Ponds, and even a sculpture known as the Honeycomb. Along with visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, you can also go to see the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Cultural Center nearby. 

Stroll down the Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk is a popular attraction in the city where people can leisurely stroll, jog, or just hang out. This 1.25 mile-long pathway extends from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street in Downtown Chicago. During the early fall, you’ll be able to see flowers and greenery lining parts of the path, as well as open restaurant patios. You can also enjoy looking at the sights of some of the city’s best architectural features. Strolling down the Chicago Riverwalk is a leisurely activity that can help you see the city in a one-of-a-kind way.

Planning your visit

Whether you choose to visit Chicago now or in the future, you’ll have a unique and thrilling experience, not to mention the stunning landscapes you’ll be able to see. After you’ve selected your travel dates, you’ll need to decide where you’ll stay on your trip. Consider booking a hotel located in the heart of the city, close to many of these activities. Next up, pack your bags with essentials like comfortable walking shoes, a waterproof jacket in case of rain, and a face covering to keep you safe and healthy. Now you’re ready for your upcoming trip to Chicago filled with breathtaking adventures and spectacular sights. 

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