Live Like a Local Triathlete: Things to Do in Chicago

The time of year is once again upon us where triathletes from all over the world flock to Chicago, IL to compete in the one of the sport’s most iconic races — the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon. If you’re heading to the Windy City for a late summer racecation, we’ve got some go-to hotspots that will have you feeling like a local.

Food and Drink

The must-stop coffee shop.

Intelligentsia, styled like an Italian espresso bar, is known for its strong coffee and fair trade business practices. Stop by for an aromatic espresso to reenergize yourself while exploring the city. If you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes action, their West Fulton Street location offers public tours that include a live demonstration of the roasting process.

Quick, reliably healthy eats.

Yolk is the perfect breakfast spot to post up before a day of sight-seeing or after a final early morning training session. We recommend their Santa Fe Frittata for a healthy option with a kick of flavor. If you’re craving lunch, the kale salad tossed in a blueberry pomegranate dressing hits the spot.  

Best post-race celebration spot.

The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen features a unique, global-inspired menu and full bar with nice patio seating and a spacious dining room for your whole entourage. They’re known for their signature foot-long grilled cheese offered in five different flavors — ‘nuff said. If signature Chicago-style deep dish pizza is calling your name, Lou Malnati’s is the best the city has to offer. Wrap up your perfect Chicago trip with some classic blues tunes at Buddy Guy’s Legends, where icons like B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan have graced the stage.

Fitness Finds

Sneak in a workout.

Maggie Daley Park is the ideal if you’re traveling with kids, offering one of the city’s newest playgrounds and a 19,000-square foot rock climbing wall that’s sure to entertain and exhaust the whole family. Additionally, the paths and trails provide the perfect setting for a scenic run.

Your local tri shop.

Live Grit is your ultimate one-stop shop for all your triathlon needs and the best resource for any last-minute race day necessities. Their knowledgeable staff has seen its fair share of finishes at Chicago Tri and will be able to make the perfect recommendation so you have a successful swim, bike and run.

The Transamerica Chicago Triathlon has hosted triathletes on the shores of Lake Michigan for more than 30 years, and is one of the largest triathlons in the world. The action-packed race takes you through one of America’s signature metropolises and provides epic scenery along the city’s iconic Lake Shore Drive.

Many thanks to National Account Manager, Partnership Marketing and former Chi Town resident Colin Cybulski for helping us put this list together!