Our guide to summer | Summer Guide | Chicago Reader

Our guide to summer 

Something summery every day, from now until Labor Day

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You might be wondering why, in the week that the NATO summit has arrived in all its diplomatic, paranoia-inducing, protester-luring glory, we at the Reader have devoted so much ink to the topic of travel.

Well, it's pretty obvious. What better occasion to break for the hills of Louisville—or break the bank at the casinos of northwest Indiana —than the clusterfuck of a weekend Chicago is (maybe) about to endure?

In fantasizing about where we might go this weekend if we could leave—and keeping that fantasy in check, meaning within a reasonable budget—we compiled three itineraries for $100, $200, and $300, along with a wildcard one. Of course, feel free to take us up on these trips all summer long. And feel free to take us with you.

As far as what to do when you're not shacked up in a southern Illinois castle or chasing butterflies in Lake Forest, we've gone to the trouble of picking out a summery thing worth exploring on each of the 110 days between now and Labor Day.

May your summer—or at least your options for enjoying it—be endless. Mara Shalhoup

Road trip: Bourgie on a budget in Lake Forest ($300)

How to fake your way into the northern suburbs' upper echelon

Wildcard road trip: Being a loser in northwest Indiana (wildcard)

How to spend 24 hours and $2,000 at Ameristar casino

Calendar: 110 things to do this summer

A summery thing to do every day, from now until Labor Day

Our guide to reaping the harvest of farmers markets

Where to support local farmers and buy groceries that taste like actual food

Starving for sunshine? Feast on these 21 restaurant patios

A few of our favorite spots if you're starving for sunshine

Our guide to summer fairs and festivals

Funnel cakes and carnies? Yes, please.

Our guide to summer music festivals

The sounds of summer, amplified

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