Chicago magazine's June issue hits newsstands Thursday, May 16. To schedule an interview with one of our writers or editors, please contact Allison Roche at

Summer Escapes (Cover Story) – Skip the planning and go straight to the fun with Summer Escapes, 15 last-minute getaways that are perfect for whether you'd like to experience outdoor adventure, urban culture, or just insanely good food. These are three-day trips you can take on a moment's notice in addition to or in place of a big summer vacation. We include options for big and small budgets alike. On the high end, try "glamping" (glamorous camping) in Big Sky Country, taste Pinot in Oregon's under-the-radar wine country, or appreciate the plentiful jazz and art of New Orleans. For a memorable weekend without the splurge, feast on Saugatuck's foodie offerings, sample Detroit's fine art scene, or experience some of the best rock climbing in the Midwest in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Best of all, each destination is within four hours of Chicago by either car or plane. 

Build the Perfect Picnic  Outdoor summer events like Ravinia and Movies in the Park are just around the corner. Learn how to plan an excellent alfresco feast with the help of some of the city's best chefs. You’ll find five easy, mouth-watering recipes (plus one boozy punch recipe) to pack for the park or to serve in your own backyard. Your friends will adore the curried potato salad, courtesy of Tavernita chef Ryan Poli, and icebox lemon cream pie, from the kitchen of Bang Bang Pie Shop’s pastry chef Megan Miller. If you don't have the time or interest to cook, the story provides "cheats" for every course—recommended shops and restaurants where you can buy tasty picnic-ready fare. Plus: Stylish, practical serving pieces and accessories to make your spread as chic as it is delicious. 

The Rise of an Unconventional Art Star – In the most in-depth article on Theaster Gates to date, we explore how one of the art world's most unusual stars became an international phenomenon and what he’s doing with all that cash. Educated as an urban planner, Gates believes that good art can rescue bad neighborhoods—and he's testing that theory in the troubled South Side neighborhood where he lives and works. Gates' latest exhibit opens at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art on May 18.

Real Estate Flash Sales Real estate expert Dennis Rodkin explains the flash sale: a mixture of tight inventory, eager buyers, and rising prices that results in a breakneck home sale. Such sales were rare for the past several years, but have suddenly become more common.

New Dining Trends East Coast-style lobster rolls have been popping up on menus around town lately; we recommend five to try. Our dining editors also took a look at the recent proliferation of thin-crust pizza offerings in Chicago and selected three standout spots that are shaking up the local pie scene.