Chicago Summer: Where to Stay During Concert Season

Chicago in summer is a place like no other, and therefore attracts a wealth of tourists looking for unique places to stay and interesting things to do. If you’re looking to indulge in Chicago’s music scene this summer, then consider renting (through AirBnB or similar) in one of the following neighborhoods. Likewise, if you’re a homeowner in one of the following neighborhoods, list your abode this summer for an extra cash flow using the following selling points.
South Loop
This July, if you’re looking to celebrate the 25th annual Lollapalooza festival–a giant, four-day event featuring hundreds of bands on multiple stages–then consider staying in Chicago’s South Loop. Lollapalooza is held in Grant Park, a sprawling, 319-acre urban park featuring Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, and The Art Institute of Chicago. The South Loop is the neighborhood bordering Grant Park to the South and it boasts a fascinating amalgam of art, history, and culture. The Field Museum, The Adler Planetarium, and The Shedd Aquarium, for example, are an impressive trio of attractions housed in stunning architecture. And in the midst of Museum Campus is Northerly Island, is a 91-acre peninsula jutting out into Lake Michigan, offering stunning views of the lake and cityscape. In terms of where to actually take up residence, Printer’s Row, an adjacent city pocket, offers a hip environment full of both commercial and residential loft spaces. Named for its former prestige as the center of the Midwest’s publishing industry, independent bookstores and annual literary festivals still take place here. Though The South Loop has remained very mellow in atmosphere, it’s an area full of cultural treasures as well as plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop.

Humboldt Park
Pitchfork Music Festival, a smaller but wildly popular music festival featuring predominantly independent rock music, takes place in Chicago’s Union Park on the Near West Side. If you’re coming to town for said event, an ideal neighborhood to rent in is Humboldt Park, located about three miles northwest of the festival. calls Humboldt Park “A Caribbean escape shrouded in Urban Charm,” as it is known for its Puerto Rican constituency and rich culture. Paseo Boricua, spanning Division Street, is full of incredible Latin cuisine as well as specialty shopping. Logan Square, an adjacent neighborhood to the north is also full of bars, restaurants and boutiques worth checking out. Humboldt Park has an outstanding bang/buck ratio in terms of rentals, so grab an sprawling greystone apartment overlooking the gorgeous park (and the neighborhood’s namesake) and enjoy an afternoon run or stroll.

Located on Chicago’s North Side, Uptown is home to a handful of some of the best music venues in the city–all within a block of one another! The Aragon Ballroom and The Riviera Theatre, essentially across the street from one another, are rife with history and showcase a near constant stream of fantastic bands. Both venues are visually stunning and offer something of a time-warp inside. The Aragon, built in 1926, was designed in Moorish architectural style while The Riviera, built in 1917, is an example of French Renaissance Revival architecture. Additionally, within the same one-block radius, is the legendary Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, an absolute must-visit if you’re in Chicago. It is famous for its world renowned Jazz acts as well as its ties to Chicago mob history. During Prohibition-era, Al Capone was a frequent patron, and rumor has it that underground tunnels ran from The Green Mill’s basement to The Aragon Ballroom’s basement for alcohol trafficking. Uptown is considered an “up and coming” neighborhood, with a number of restaurants and bars popping up over the last decade and drawing a bit younger crowd. Look for apartments on the northern end of Uptown for an opportunity to also explore Andersonville, an LFBTQ-friendly neighborhood with Swedish roots, or on the eastern end, just a short walk to the lake.

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