Best Midnight Stroll

The Lakefill on Northwestern's Campus

Critics' Picks

There's only one thing better than a long car ride late at night, and that's a nice long walk. Everything looks different in the dark. Things smell better. Your thoughts start moving in unexpected directions—and conversations, too. Have you ever been able to say you don't know someone better after a late-night stroll? City streets are OK for aimless meditative wandering, but on the busy stretches there's too much light and noise. And on the less busy ones, your mind can get distracted by nagging thoughts of crime statistics. The Northwestern campus in Evanston, though, particularly the stretch along the lakefront called the Lakefill, is sufficiently quiet and peaceful and marked with call boxes for summoning the campus police if anything goes wrong. Head east past the library and student center and you can walk sedately along the couple of miles of paved pathways. Or you can jump across the rocks along the shore (be careful not to land on any happy couples) and sing as loudly and as obnoxiously as you can, because the waves are so loud no one can hear you. When you get tired of walking, sit down for a while and look out over the lake. Maybe you'll see a storm breaking over Michigan. And if you stay long enough, the sunrise.