Think al fresco

Summer: when long days, plenty of sunshine and — with any luck — a nice breeze conspire to lure us outdoors. Just about everything seems better outside at this time of year. Dining is more enjoyable. Cocktails are more refreshing. And fitness sessions are more inspired. While the jury is still out as to whether or not food actually tastes better al fresco, there is science to support the idea that exercising outdoors is not only more enjoyable but also offers well-being benefits beyond those gained by exercising indoors.

In Chicago, with its long winter, the change of seasons is especially welcome, which is why our rooftop Terrace at Trump has quickly become a major player on the city’s summer dining scene. Also immensely popular are the outdoor fitness classes we offer in season on the Riverwalk. Both of these offerings capitalize on the hotel’s views of iconic downtown Chicago architecture and the dependable summer breezes along the Chicago River.

Whether or not space allows for al fresco dining and fitness programs at your own urban hotel, you can still create memorable outdoor experiences for your guests. Offer to pack a picnic basket and provide a map of nearby locations to enjoy the gourmet spread. (Get specific — highlight ideal spots for people-watching, privacy or a spectacular view.) Map out walking and jogging circuits of various lengths and mark interesting sites along the way. Arrange for bike rentals and include safe biking routes and any local trails. Leave a bottle of sunscreen at turndown with a note encouraging your guests (as our parents once exhorted us to do) to get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. After all, summer days may be long, but they don’t last forever.