Fitness Influencer Sara Hunt Shares Her Favorite Ways To Enjoy Summer In Chicago
Courtesy of Sara Hunt

Fitness Influencer Sara Hunt Shares Her Favorite Ways To Enjoy Summer In Chicago

Life & Travel

This post is in partnership with Toyota.

Whether it's the lazy afternoons spent laying out on the beach, or nights spent sipping cocktails at your local rooftop hangout, there are so many reasons to love and look forward to summer. It's a time for respite, fun in the sun, and adventure. But as any Chicagoan can tell you, there's something particularly special about "Summertime Chi." The vibes in the Windy City are on 100 when the temperatures rise, and the city literally comes alive in the most magical way.

Chicago-based personal trainer and fitness influencer Sara Hunt knows this all too well. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native came to Chicago for college in 2008. After falling in love with Chicago, she decided to stay and put down roots in the bustling city. And the summers spent in Chicago really underscore her love for the Chi each year. "My favorite thing about Chicago is 'summertime Chi,'" she tells xoNecole. "There's just so many festivals and things to do. There's a plethora of really good food, whether it's healthy or not-so-healthy food. Summertime in Chicago is unmatched [compared to] other places, with the amount of [activities] that are available to you."

Just like the Toyota Corolla Cross, Sara is always on the move. She's a mom with a busy career who maintains an active presence in the gym. Throughout all of life's demands, Sara is diligent about showing up for herself. It was her motivation to make fitness a lifestyle in the first place. But that discipline has carried her through in so many ways. "I used to put everybody else before me. Now, I put myself in a category that I would put other people in," she tells xoNecole. "I'll even put it in my calendar that I need to book a massage or go and get my nails done. Because if I don't do that, then sometimes my own personal things will go under, be left behind."

She sees her fitness journey through the same lens: a way of giving back to herself that isn't motivated by external sources. "Before getting serious about my fitness journey, I was starting and stopping. I wasn't really doing it for myself. I had a boyfriend at the time and it felt like I was trying to look good for him. And then when I started [working out] for me, that's when I started to love it."

See Sara's Chicago city guide below:

Swallow Cliff Stairs, 8999 W 123rd Street Palos Park, IL 60464

"There is a place in Palos Hills, a suburb of Chicago, called Swallow Cliffs, and there are these massive stairs. Sarah. It's very daunting to look at. People look at it and think, 'I don't know if I'll be able to survive.' But all the extreme fitness people will drive from the city to go here. One round is up and down, and then you have to walk around [to go again].10 rounds for me takes about an hour. So there's that."

Cryobar, 1205 W Webster Ave, Suite 1 Chicago, Il 60614

"I love going here to get cryotherapy done. It's the equivalent of taking an ice bath. There are a lot of benefits to getting cryotherapy. For instance, if you did a really intense workout and your muscles are really sore, doing cryotherapy helps out with that soreness so that you can continue working out the next day and not be in pain."

Lou Malnati's, 439 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654

"I think Chicago has the best pizza, and I can agree with other Chicagoans that deep dish pizza is overrated. We like tavern-style pizza, and we have the best. Don't get me wrong, we have great deep-dish pizza too, but that's a touristy thing. There's a place called Lou Malnati's, and they're my favorite place to get pizza. I personally like veggie pizza."

Mesler Chicago, 1411 East 53rd Street | Chicago, IL 60615

"One of my neighborhoods to hang out in Chicago is Hyde Park. I personally feel like that's an area where it is pretty diverse and it's also safe. There's a lounge in there that I like to go to sometimes called Mesler. It has a nice little upscale vibe to it. The drinks are great and it's the perfect place to take someone who is visiting from out of town."

Lake Shore Drive

"Everyone's favorite place for a drive in Chicago is Lake Shore Drive. It's the perfect place to just clear your mind, see the city, and look at the skyline. And if you go when the sun is setting, it's the most beautiful time to drive down because you'll see the sun setting on Lake Michigan which is breathtaking. And then you see the skyline. I think Chicago has one of the best skylines, but of course, I'm a little biased."

Exclusive: Will Packer And Idris Elba On Putting Black Women First

Executive producer Will Packer’s new film Beast stars Idris Elba as a widowed dad caring for his two daughters (Iyana Halley and Leah Sava Jeffries) after his wife dies. While he’s trying to build a stronger bond with his daughters, the doctor encounters a ruthless lion in a South African game reserve and his daughters’ safety becomes his number one priority.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Megan Thee Stallion’s Traumazine Is For Hot Girls With “Anxiety”

“Bad bitches have bad days too.” When I heard thee Hot Girl Coach Megan Thee Stallion spit this indisputable fact on “Anxiety,” the eleventh track of her new album Traumazine, I had to pause for a moment.

Keep reading...Show less
What Is A ‘Black’ Film? Maya Cade’s Black Film Archive Has An Answer

The Black American film canon is an often untapped resource that many people, even the most ardent of film fans aren’t familiar with. That’s why film programmer and writer Maya Cade launched The Black Film Archive last year.

Keep reading...Show less
From Classical To Heart: All The Different Styles A Vagina Can Be

When was the last time you held a mirror and took a good look at your pussy? I mean a real hard look at it. What does she look like? Is your vagina normal? Several years ago, I received a DM from a young lady asking me this very question. She wanted to know if her vagina looked “normal.” She went on to explain that her pussy wasn’t as "pretty" as the ones she’d seen in porn and how insecure that made her feel. I can totally relate to her insecurities. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many jokes I’ve heard over the years from men about women and their vaginas. I would be lying if I said I’ve never pondered the same.

Keep reading...Show less
Tiffany Haddish Turned Down A $10 Million Deal Because It Didn't Align With Her Values

With what seems like a meteoric rise to fame, Tiffany Haddish has had to learn how to operate from a place where her childhood didn’t dictate her spending habits. The L.A. native grew up in the foster care system and was a struggling comedian until she got her big break in Girls Trip. In her interview with Cosmopolitan, Tiffany admitted that her broke days sometimes come back to haunt her and ultimately influence her money decisions.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts