Summer’s here, but most long-awaited vacation plans have been put on hold or canceled with Covid-19 cases still rising in many areas. According to the industry group U.S. Travel Association, leisure travel accounted for 80% of all U.S. domestic travel in 2019, but in March, travel within the U.S. virtually came to a standstill. Yes, you should be packing for that long awaited trip to Napa, a week on the beach in Miami, or your great American road trip, but now it’s time to embrace a staycation.
Illinois has entered phase four of its reopening plan, so make the best of the situation and grab your mask and explore Chicago. Get out of the house and take a hike on the The 606 or lakefront, which have reopened with limited access. Catch a classic film at an urban drive-in like the Chicago Drive-In Theater in Bridgeview, or at Soldier Field’s South Lot, or head to the University of Chicago’s campus and tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style masterpiece Robie House.
Here are a few more great ways to vacation in your own backyard:
1: Have an oyster fest like you’re on Cape Cod
From sweet Pemaquid’s to briny, cucumber-infused Kusshi’s. Real Oyster Cult curates sustainably farmed oysters from over ninety farms across North-America, delivering an oyster bar experience to your door. Starting at $45.95 for 20 oysters.
2: Go backyard camping like you’re at Yosemite
3: Make a splash like you’re in Miami
The Soak In Some Watercolor pool from Minnidip’s line of bold, inflatable pools will keep you cool this summer. Add the That’s Banana(leave)s Minni-Cooler and Sip Sip Hooray Can Coolies, lay back and chill. $54, $19.99 and $12, minnidip.com and urbanoutfitters.com
4: Drink a peach cocktail like you’re in Savannah
Mix up the flavors of Georgia in the summertime with Trisha Yearwood’s Peach Summer in a Cup. $18.95, williams-sonoma.com
5: Have a spa day like you’re at Canyon Ranch
Start your at home spa day with refreshing fruit infused water from Crate & Barrel’s glass cold drink dispenser, then pamper yourself with Herbivore Botanicals Detox Soaking Salts, Coco Rose Body Polish and Instant Glow Mask. $59.95, CrateandBarrel.com, $18, $36 and $48.nordstrom.com and herbivorebotanicals.com
6: Rock a pair of retro shades like you’re on the French Rivera
Go on a colorful trip with Futuremood’s Aura sunglasses. The brands shades are designed to elicit different mood altering feelings: green to calm, relax and sooth, red for energy, yellow for focus, clarity and awareness and blue to refresh, uplift and recharge your mind. $175, futuremood.com
7: Go tropical like you’re in Tahiti
Create a jungle at home with Tempaper’s self-adhesive Tropical Jungle wallpaper, then set the table with Graf Lantz’s monstera leaf trivets and Blue Pheasant’s palm leaf melamine plates.
8: Sip frozen cocktails like you’re in Cozumel
From frozen watermelon lime margaritas to Wine Slushies, the Rabbit Freezeable Cocktail Maker transforms your favorite cocktail into a delicious frozen slushy. Simply fill the silicone carafe with your drink of choice, freeze, squeeze and serve. Complete with a neoprene sleeve to protect your hands from the cold. $9.99, bedbathandbeyond.com
9: Sport a straw hat like you’re on Sardinia
Summer dressing is all about accessorizing the basics. A crisp T-shirt, shorts, canvas sneakers and a killer hat is all you need. Paul Smith blue straw trilby hat with ribbon trim $90, paulsmith.com, and Chicago’s Goorin Bros. Envie Trilby with ribbon trim, $45, nordstrom.com.
10: Sleep in, like you’re on a holiday in Brussels
Breathable, lightweight Belgian linen sheets are perfect for sleeping in the hot summer. Linen wicks away moisture, plus the soft, slightly wrinkled look adds a not-to-fussy style to your bed. Belgian Flax Linen Sheet Set, $250, westelm.com