Credit: J Gavin Bruce

McFetridge Sports Center

Chicago isn’t what anyone would call a tennis town—and that’s not totally our fault. How could we match sun-blessed cities like Atlanta, San Diego, and Charleston, South Carolina, which serve up leagues aplenty, multiple private and public courts, and, yes, year-round decent weather? Facilities-wise, Midtown Athletic Club talks a big game (billing itself as “More resort than club. More club than gym”), but despite being well equipped, it has the major disadvantage of cost-prohibitive membership and court fees. That’s why I’m partial to the McFetridge Sports Center, the Chicago Park District’s only indoor tennis facility, which offers six hard courts, a pro shop, ace programs for all ages, and much more affordable booking fees. A yearly membership will set Chicago residents back $25, which allows you to schedule court time over the phone up to six days in advance. Nonmembers can test their luck and walk up for same-day bookings. You definitely won’t mistake McFetridge for a resort or club (and a more 21st-century online booking system would be nice), but there’s a spirited community vibe to the place, making it a real sweet spot for even the casually tennis curious.