Beaches in Chicago

THE 10 BEST Chicago Beaches

Beaches in Chicago

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  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,316 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    My wife and I live closer to North Avenue Beach but we often taken Sunday strolls along the lakefront from North Avenue to Oak Street Beach. Located at 1000 North Lake Shore Drive, across the street from the Drake Hotel, at the bend in Lake Shore Drive at Oak Street and Michigan Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Gold Coast, Oak Street Beach is one of the city's most popular beaches. Also one of Chicago's oldest parks, it dates to the late 1800s and has become one of the city's most popular swimming and volleyball destinations. Street parking is limited, however. Beach-goers are encouraged to access public transportation via the CTA's Clark/Division Red Line station or one of three CTA bus routes -- 22 Clark, 36 Broadway or 151 Sheridan. Once you're there, there are plenty of amenities to choose from to enjoy a full day at the beach, including chair rentals, umbrella rentals, concessions, bike rentals, volleyball rentals, restroom facilities, access to the Lakefront Trail via the Oak Street Beach underpass, Wi-Fi, even a massage at Coup De Main. Finally, you can engage in the lively art of people-watching and admire Chicago's spectacular skyline and views of the lakefront and Lake Michigan. Is the view more stunning looking north from Oak Street Beach to North Avenue Beach or looking south from North Avenue Beach to Oak Street Beach? Judge for yourself. It' just another example of the wonderful things that Chicago has to offer.
    Written 17 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • sanju_222323
    New Jersey16,024 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chicago has 26 miles of beaches, yes you heard it right, 26 miles of beaches. when you hear Chicago, you imagine the Chicago skyline with the river, and tall buildings, downtown but it also has a fab beach just north of the Mag mile (Michigan Avenue).

    North Avenue Beach is one of the most popular swimming spots in Chicago. it is a great one for families. Looking onto the water at North Avenue, this beach has it all. To the right is the city view we all know and love, The sandy beach has volleyball courts (like 100s of courts), plenty of space for visitors to stretch out, and multiple things to do nearby.

    It is a nice spot perfect for relaxing, biking, and running. the beach features a unique and popular beach house which has something for everyone and is permanently docked along this popular beach

    view from here is amazing and it's other side of the Chicago skyline (opposite to what you see from the Museum campus). John Hancock building dominates this skyline

    The parking fee is too much though.
    For 2 hours or less- it was $21
    2-4 Hours = $28

    Time: 7 AM- 11 PM Daily
    Written 12 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jamie C
    3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Clean beach with great views of the city. Pretty crowded on a hot day, but we still found a spot in the shade. You may want to get there early for a beach umbrella.
    Written 4 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • kenatravels
    Chicago, IL74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Montrose Beach is right by our home so we may be a little biased about how much we love it, but nevertheless it is an incredible beach. Make sure to grab a hot dog and wade in the beautiful waves of Lake Michigan.
    Written 16 August 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sheryl S
    Brooklyn, NY1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I live across from the Osterman Beach. IT IS NOT A 6 MIN WALK from the Drake!!!!!

    Do your due diligence on a map is the lesson here.
    Written 19 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • April N
    Phoenix, AZ127 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    ...the bathrooms are atrocious! Guess that's a good thing though as opposed to folks using the lake as a bathroom right? The lake water is clean. Beach was somewhat clean until people started leaving and not picking up their trash.

    Parking in the lot right in front of the beach is not free. It's $2 per hour. I thought parking was free adjacent the lot but as I was going to put more money on my sticker I saw at least 15 cars with tickets. So if you are paying to park I suggest you keep up with the time or pay for all day which is just as much as if you paid to park at North Ave. Beach in a lot.

    Plenty of shade and picnic areas. You can grill. There are also vendors selling tacos, corn (elotes), cotton candy, etc. Lifeguards on duty until about 7pm. Swim at your own risk after that.
    Written 12 July 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Smarie
    Nebraska463 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very impressed with the professionalism and diligence of the life guards. They appeared to be in total control of the beach and its visitors. I was proud to see a predominately young African Americans staff demonstrate such a high level of care and attention to the beach and their position as life guards. I will definitely return often to 63rd street beach in the future.
    Written 31 July 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • NBentley2014
    Covington, KY555 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful lakefront walking options, offering plenty of space for social distancing and amazing views of the Chicago skyline. Busy and buzzy with lots of walkers, cyclists and people enjoying the warm and comfortable early evening air.
    Written 25 August 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • j s
    South Bend, IN19 contributions
    2.0 of 5 bubbles
    We saw the beach along Lakeshore Dr. and we had to get to it. We found Parking at 41st street beach a park and pay. Put our ticket in the window and explored this wonderful gem of a beach and park. We enjoyed our walk. Ant views were breathtaking.
    We came back to the car with our out of state plates and found our car broken into and all our luggage and personal items that we stored in the trunk were stolen. We reported this to the police and as the report was being filed another car was being broken into as I watched with dismay and fear for the people robbing them were scary and professional looking robbers. We called police and left. We won't forget the beach walk but can't get the robbery of things from our locked car out of our mind. It is a shame. Only a block away a group of kids were at a camp. It is soooo beautiful!!!!
    Written 30 July 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kristal P
    1 contribution
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    First the water is black it’s not clear, Second they don’t let you take things that float like floatis you can only take beach balls, 3rd the bathrooms are nasty all the dirty paper are on the floor, the floor is filled with mud, Forth when I was swimming a pad floating around. TRUST ME DONT EVEN WASTE YOUR TIME.
    Written 4 July 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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