Beaches in Chicago

by Katie Hammel  

chciagobeachA city in the Midwest of the United States isn’t the first place you’d think of as a beach paradise. . . and okay, Chicago isn’t really a beach paradise, but the city does have several great beaches along the Shores of Lake Michigan.

You won’t see surfing or snorkeling at these beaches, but you will find food, music, kids playing in the sand, and young locals working on their tans. Here’s a rundown of some of the city’s best spots to hang by the Lake. Though these are by no means your only options – in fact, Chicago offers 15 swimming beaches along  the 26 miles of shoreline within the city limits – they are the easiest for most visitors to get to.

Ohio Street Beach
For those staying on the Magnificent Mile, the Ohio Street Beach will be the closest. It’s located at (no-brainer here) Ohio and the Lakefront, just north of Navy Pier. It’s a smaller beach but it tends to be less crowded because there are no dining or restroom facilities here.

Oak Street Beach
Oak Street Beach is halfway between the Ohio Street Beach and North Avenue Beach, and not just geographically. It’s more popular and built up than Ohio Street, but not as wild and packed as North Avenue Beach. It’s located between Oak and Division in the posh ‘hood of the Gold Coast, and offers one restaurant.

North Avenue Beach
Located at the corner of of North and the Lake, just south of where Lincoln Park begins, North Avenue beach is the party beach. There are restroom facilities, dining options, multiple volleyball nets, and on hot days, endless rows of tanned, toned Chicagoans roasting in the sun.  The North Avenue Beach House features multiple concessions, outdoor showers, and equipment rental offices.

Montrose Beach
The Montrose Beach area is about 20 minutes north of downtown via the el of buses.  It offers a small harbor and is more built up that some of the other beaches, with multiple restroom facilities and restaurants. For many, it is a favorite beach because it is dog-friendly.

Photo by @hicagoenergy

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