Jun 4, 2012 — Famous for its jazz and blues history – with major local acts like Buddy Guy continuing to draw huge crowds – Chicago also has an indie rock scene that is arguably second only to New York’s.
Major annual music festivals like Pitchfork, Lollapalooza, and the Chicago Blues Festival call Chicago home, and even tourist-oppressed Millennium Park has a free weekly series for independent acts from rap to reggae. Throw a dart and you’ll hit a bar that has live music, and Chicago staple The Hideout is just one of the independent players that puts on shows nearly every night.
Chicagoans also take their drinks very seriously, and the often overdone speakeasy craze doesn’t feel forced here, especially in Wicker Park, which also has some of the best record stores and used bookshops in the city.
When the weather is nice, Lincoln Park is just one of the city’s several hundred outdoor escapes, and even northerly beaches like Montrose and Foster Avenue let you rock a three-month tan away from the crowds. Come the torrid winter, eclectic coffee shops in Logan Square will warm you up with a bowl of organic, fair-trade coffee before you hit the next late-night underground concert.