Grosse Point Lighthouse Curious (and comfortable with heights) tourists climb 141 steps to the top of the 1873 Grosse Point Lighthouse on guided weekend afternoon tours. (grossepointlighthouse.net)
Clark Street Beach The busiest beach in Evanston includes sand volleyball courts and paved running and biking paths. Buy a day pass for $8 at the beach entrance. (cityofevanston.org)
Clark Street Beach; photo courtesy of Chicago's North Shore Convention and Visitor Bureau.
Few Spirits Tours begin with a lesson in Evanston’s temperance history (the town was dry until 1972), move through the distilling room and end with sips of gin and whiskey in the tasting room. (fewspirits.com)
Northwestern University campus The 1,000-seat Pick-Staiger Concert Hall hosts Chicago Philharmonic concerts. Also on the Arts Circle, the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts contains a recital hall where faculty and students perform. (northwestern.edu)
Edzo’s Burger Shop A small shop without much curb appeal belies bright flavors inside. Locals love it for burgers made from hand-pattied beef, hand-cut fries, and shakes in flavors like spicy Mexican chocolate. (edzos.com)
Boltwood Order tapas-style plates of grilled Brun-uusto (a Wisconsin-made baked cheese) with prosciutto, or hanger steak with cherries and pine nuts. Bartenders craft inventive cocktails, like the El Mescalero Del Norte featuring tequila, mescal, grapefruit and Campari. (boltwoodevanston.com)
Stone Porch By the Lake Skip the chain hotel options and find personal service at a bed-and-breakfast in an 1889 Tudor mansion. Guest rooms feature cherrywood beds with ultrasoft mattresses. The namesake stone porch, complete with comfy chairs, overlooks the Lake Michigan shore. (stoneporchbb.com)