Discover Summer in Chicago

A Magnificent Season on the Magnificent Mile

A summer in Chicago is like no other. From must-see fireworks to lakefront beaches, we’re breaking down some of our favorite things to do once the season starts to sizzle.

Fireworks at the Navy Pier

Kick off a summer in Chicago by celebrating Independence Day with the annual fireworks show on the iconic Navy Pier. Enjoy the patriotic festivities along the waterfront, or embark on a 4th of July cruise for unparalleled views.

Music Festivals

Often called the capital of summer music festivals, Chicago has been known to host a wide array of multi-genre concerts that will please any music fan. Perhaps the most popular is Lollapalooza, a four-day event that draws crowds with some of the biggest names in the industry. Equally hot, yet unequally mainstream, the Pitchfork Music Festival brings together a lineup of indie rock and hip-hop from the underground music scene.

Beer and Food

Two things are essential to a summer in Chicago: an ice cold beer and a Chicago style hot dog. The Chicago Craft Beer Festival at the end of July is set to show off both local and regional breweries. Once thoroughly hydrated, make your way to some of our favorite spots for a traditional Chicago dog. Portillo’s is a classic and longstanding chain in the city, while the Superdawg drive-in puts its own spin on the classic frankfurter by gracing the usual toppings with hot and spicy pickled tomatoes. When you’re really in a pinch for that classic sandwich, head to Downtown Dogs, located just a few blocks from the Intercontinental.


Just because Chicago is landlocked, don’t count out its glorious lakefront beaches. The golden sand and pristine fresh water on Lake Michigan make it the perfect venue for sunbathing, volleyball games, swimming, and more. Head to Ohio Street beach, just a short walk from the Intercontinental, for beautiful views of the city and plenty of coastline to soak up the sun.