Ivy-covered buildings, hole-in-the-wall cafes, and beautiful green spaces are just a few features of the UChicago Hyde Park campus, where Summer Session students get a sense of UChicago student life. Our main quadrangles, 215 acres officially designated as a Botanic Garden, offer quiet relaxation, impromptu discussions or quality people-watching. Sip a milkshake from Hutchinson Commons while watching the ducklings swim in Botany Pond. Gather up your friends for post-class topic discussions in one of our many on-campus cafes. Stop and get a bite to eat from any of the creatively-named food trucks parked nearby. And be sure to wander with friends in search of unique and notable locations. Within three blocks, you’ll find the Harper Memorial Library Reading Room (which could be the model for Hogwarts’ Great Hall), the Robie House, a heralded Frank Lloyd Wright design and a National Historic Landmark, and the Midway Plaisance, a multi-use green space that was originally part of the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Learn more about student life on campus at the University of Chicago!
Are you a current UChicago student? Learn more about how to register for summer courses and housing here.
Surrounding UChicago is vibrant Hyde Park, a neighborhood full of history and culture. Here you’ll find eclectic thrift shops, vintage record stores, and unique architecture. You can even experience a world-class museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, a twenty-minute walk from campus near Lake Michigan’s shores.
Hyde Park is no stranger to good food. Start the day at Valois Cafeteria, the well-known preferred breakfast option of former faculty member Barack Obama. That mid-afternoon coffee run will take you to one of Hyde Park’s numerous cafes, including Dollop, a cozy coffee shop right on the ground floor of Campus North Residential Commons. Dinner options dozens of restaurants within walking distance, including Medici on 57th, a restaurant whose menu selections range from appetizers, to 15+ sandwich options, to eclectic entrées and pizza.
The nearby lakefront includes Jackson Park’s Osaka Garden, a Japanese-inspired sanctuary with a waterfall, foot bridges, lagoons, lush ferns, and miniature trees. A few blocks away you’ll find the Promontory Point peninsula, where you’ll can sit on the rocks, watch Lake Michigan’s waves crash against the shore, and enjoy one of the best views of downtown Chicago in the distance.
Chicago: A City of Neighborhoods
Summertime in Chicago affords opportunities in every corner of the city. Hop on a CTA bus or train for a quick trip downtown, and soon you and your friends will be posing for selfies at Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), atop Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and at storefronts along Michigan Avenue (the "Magnificent Mile"). Wander through the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago, press your face to the glass of the 360-degree tropical fish tank at Shedd Aquarium, or ponder the cosmos at Adler Planetarium. Take in the culture and history of the city via a walking, bus, or boat tour.
"The city of Chicago has allowed me to eat amazing food and learn about a diverse group of people and cultures throughout the city."
Aaron H., 3rd year in the College
But there’s no need to limit yourself to the Loop. Are you a sports fan? Grab your baseball jersey and head to Wrigley Field to cheer on the Cubs or stay on the south side to cheer on the White Sox. Head north of the Chicago River to experience Old Town, where you’ll see historic townhomes, visit the Chicago History Museum, and take in sketch comedy at the famous Second City Theater. Head further north to Wicker Park and Logan Square, where you’ll find hole-in-the-wall art galleries, fusion restaurants, and coffeehouses. Or head to Pilsen, where you can not only find great Mexican food, but also explore the arts district and see some of the best mural art in Chicago.
The city of Chicago is truly a mosaic of culture, cuisine, and activity. Whatever your interest, you’ll find a place—or, more appropriately, a neighborhood—for it in the Windy City!