• Try stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Michigan
• Take a morning yoga class while balancing on the waves
• Get a unique vantage on Chicago’s skyline from the water
The Lakefront Trail, a shoreline walking and biking path running 18 miles from 71st Street on the South Side to Lane Beach Park on the North Side, is ideal for a morning run (come at dawn to watch the sunlight set the skyline aglow) or a lengthy bike ride (rent wheels at Bobby’s Bike Hike, at Lake Shore Drive and Ohio Street). But to step up your cardio game and truly immerse yourself in the lake, head to North Avenue Beach—a 35-minute walk or eight-minute cab ride from the Conrad—and try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding (aka SUP). The well-run outfit Chicago SUP rents boards, paddles, and life vests from a hut right on the sand. Spend a solo hour or two gliding over the waves, or sign up for one of the guided evening “expeditions,” timed to the Navy Pier fireworks or the full moon. Chicago SUP also offers lessons (30 minutes of instruction followed by one hour of riding, $60 per person), and, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, SUP yoga classes, where participants hold poses while balanced on their boards ($50 per person, $95 for a private class).
Chicago SUP is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in season. You’ll find their rental hut on the southern edge of North Avenue Beach, just to the right of Castaways (the beachside restaurant that looks like an ocean liner). It’s a nine-minute drive or a 35-minute walk from the Conrad.
CHICAGO SUP: 1601 N. Lake Shore Dr., on North Avenue Beach; 773-575-4787; chicagosup.com