When you go on a vacation, or have a long layover planned, it’s always fun to search for great restaurants, shopping, and touristy things to do at your destination.  I tend look for something fun and active to do.  Whether it be hiking in Tucson Arizona (this past week), good places to run in London, or where the best paddle boarding rentals are in Hermosa Beach, California, it’s always fun to ‘get down & dirty’ wherever you are exploring.

As busy travelers, we tend to become enthralled by new places, new sights, and new adventures.  We go out and explore, and then come back to our hometown to crash and repair (mentally and physically).  It got me thinking: “What about active adventures in my hometown?  What are fitness inspired, adventurous things to do in Chicago, I may, or may not have done yet?”

So- I created a list.  Top 5 Fit & Fun Things To Do on a vacation, or a layover in Chicago, Illinois.

1. Bike & Roll Bikes at Night Bicycle Tour–  This 2-3 hour evening bike tour takes you all around the best attractions of Chicago with an amazing night view of the beautifully lit skyline. Familiar with the city, but want to check out the sites on your own? Chicago offers a bike-sharing system called Divvy (www.divvybikes.com) where you can rent bicycles in various parts of the city per hour, or by membership. Chicago is an extremely bike friendly city, and it is a great way to get around to see the sights!

Chicago at Night

2. Chicago Kayak Architectural Tour–  Kayak Chicago offers several interesting kayaking tours on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.  However, the architectural tour takes you through a really neat part of the city.  The pricing usually runs around $65.00 per person, but they are commonly found on Groupon during certain days and times for a great rate.  All of my friends who have done this tour have had a fantastic time and captured some really amazing photos of the city.

Beach view

3. Chicago Walking Tour–  This group offers many different walking tours in the city (indoor or outdoors) ranging from art themed, to the history of the great Chicago fire.  Most tours are about $15-20 a person and range from 2-4 hours.

4. Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary– Forest, woodland, and wetland all just minutes away from the downtown loop area?  Yes! This gorgeous bird sanctuary off the famous Lake Shore Drive is great for walking, rollerblading, or cycling.  This is a beautiful, peaceful, and fun place for both natives and tourists.

5. Chicago Beaches-  Oak Street Beach, Montrose Beach, and North Avenue Beach are all hip, happening places during the warmer months in Chicago.  There are always beach volleyball games, segway tours, rollerbladers, cyclists, and runners everywhere you look. Hop on the lakefront path anywhere off the many beaches in Chicago and walk for miles along the shore for a beautiful view of the city skyline.


I may be a Chicago native, but there are still so many things I haven’t done or seen.  Sometimes some of the most fun, active activities are in your own backyard.  So, before your wanderlust starts to take over on your days off, and when you are low on extra travel funds, enjoy your own city as if you were a tourist.  I bet you will find new adventures just a few miles away.  For those of you who are looking for a new adventure- consider visiting Chicago.  As a native, I can personally guarantee that you will love this city.

I’ll be back next week for another Fitness Friday.  Until then, make sure you like Fit Fly Gal’s Facebook Page, and follow me on Instagram.



Jacqueline Bio

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