7 Favorite Things To Do Around Uptown Chicago
Find yourself on the far north side of Chicago exploring, looking for something cool to do? Uptown is an underrated spot in Chicago, full of things to do. If you’re in the mood to see a show, dance to jazz music, or eat Vietnamese food – look no further; Uptown is the perfect spot for you. Check out our list of the best things in Uptown and why it’s worth a visit!
With a 2500 capacity, the Riv is the sister spot to the Aragon Ballroom, just a block away. Hosting shows and artists year-round, this is one of the most iconic spots to catch a show in all of Chicago. Off-Broadway and Racine, the location is ideal if you want to cross the street and head into the Green Mill after your show to catch some more live music. If you want to see a show, buy tickets in advance, and check out their fall and winter lineup here.
Right next door to the Rivera, the Green Mill has been around since 1907. For over 100 years, this place has been standing! According to TimeOut.com, it “was once frequented by the likes of Al Capone and his gangster squad during the Prohibition era (you can still spot Capone’s preferred booth, conveniently placed within eyeshot of both the front and back exits, inside the joint)”
Still, as popular as ever, the Green Mill includes a “music-focused roster of bebop, free jazz and slam poetry nights.” Check out their schedule and lineup here!
Argyle Street is a massive attraction in Uptown and one of the many reasons people travel up there to visit. While Chinatown might be the spot to get the best Chinese food, Argyle is the spot to get the best Thai and Vietnamese food. Walking down the street, you will encounter Boba stands, Vietnamese pastries, Peking Duck and Bahn Mi.
For those who enjoy the peculiar and the creepy, with October coming up, many people will be taking walks through Graceland Cemetery, one of the biggest in the city. Timeout.com states – “Since 1860, the massive Graceland Cemetery has served as the final resting place for hordes of famous Chicagoans, from pioneering architect Daniel Burnham to Bauhaus giant Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Spookiness aside, though, Graceland is just a beautiful green space—it’s a certified arboretum with more than 2,000 trees spread across 121 acres.”
More popular and populated than Foster Beach, Montrose is about a mile south and provides excellent lake views. It is slightly farther out, near the harbor, including a bird sanctuary, a dunes area, and even Montrose dog beach! Don’t forget to bring your furry friend along when visiting this beach.
There is a parking lot quite close and tons of street parking to make this an easily accessible trip. Chicagoparkdistrict.com says, “This popular beach offers patrons amenities that include food concessions, kayak, and volleyball rentals, showers, and restrooms. There is a non-motorized boat launch. An ADA-accessible beach walk is available.” Visit Montrose and all its local amenities, and don’t forget to bring your furry friend!
Clifton Ave Street art
One of the most extensive displays of street art in Chicago is outside the Wilson Red line in Uptown. You will “find an outdoor gallery of more than 24 murals and sculptures produced by an international cohort of artists, capturing scenes both local (like Chicago-based artist Liz Flores’ “For the Bears Fans” or Christian Paz’s homage to the Uptown lakefront) and universal (Mitch Reardon’s colorful Seascape, for example) in scope” according to timeout.com.
Koval popped up in 2008 as the first new distillery in Chicago since prohibition. It produces a variety of small bath spirits, including “whiskey and gin. The distillery recently moved to a new (and much larger) production facility in Ravenswood, not far from breweries like Dovetail and Begyle” according to Timeout.com.
And the feature everyone has been waiting for, the tasting rooms and patios are open now, and guests “can enjoy house cocktails, flights, coffee and a small selection of baked goods. The bright, airy space features a bar backed by a display of Koval’s products and a row of overstuffed ’70s-inspired Italian leather couches to sink into while you sip an Old Fashioned.”