Welcome to the Windy City, where towering high-rises meet sandy shores! Chicago is a city that’s famous for its lively cityscape and stunning architectural designs and also has beautiful beaches on the shores of Lake Michigan.
If you’re a resident looking for some peace and quiet or a traveller looking to soak in the sunshine, the beaches of Chicago offer an ideal escape from busy city streets. With everything from family-friendly areas with play structures and picnic spots to bustling beaches featuring beaches with volleyball courts, as well as water activities, there’s something for all to take pleasure in.
This guide will examine the most beautiful beaches Chicago can offer and highlight their distinctive characteristics, stunning views as well as the variety of options offered. Grab your sunblock and beach towels and set out to explore the best beaches, which provide Chicago with the perfect destination for beach lovers.
Here’s a list of the 10 best beaches to visit in Chicago.
North Avenue Beach
The Beach will always find its appearance on the listing of Chicago beaches, and with reasons that are well-founded! It’s located to the north of downtown Chicago within a beautiful neighbourhood that is known as Lincoln Park and houses a famous $7 million beach house.
Visit Castaways Bar and Grill, which is loved by visitors as well as locals and resembles an elegant ocean liner with shades of white and blue, as well as offering some of the most stunning perspectives across the city. There are numerous volleyball tournaments like Volleywood, as well as AVP Chicago, are also held in this area, which makes it one of the city’s most sought-after central Chicago beaches.
Oak Street Beach
If we asked the people who live in the area about their preferred Beach, it is a chance they would refer to Oak Street Beach in Chicago! The Beach is an oasis with palm trees that are located close to downtown and offers a wide range of activities. If you’re hungry after relaxing on a beach and having a dip in the ocean, then head over towards Oak Street Beach Food + Drink. If you’re a lover of art, particularly street art, make sure to look at the mural of Jeff Zimmermann.
Hollywood Beach/Osterman Beach
The official title of this Beach is Kathy Osterman Beach, and this Beach is very well-known among Chicago’s LGBT community. It is well-known as an Edgewater attraction. In addition to the sand beach and clear, crystal-clear waters, the Beach is also known for its concession stand, which serves food and drinks with great value!
It is among the top public beaches in Chicago and covers a large area to the east of the Rogers Park neighbourhood. It’s situated near the famed Loyola Park, known for its amazing tennis and basketball courts, as well as a garden for the community and a natural dune environment in the vicinity of the lighthouse. Long-distance swimming is accessible here, running parallel along the shoreline. This makes it one of the most beautiful places to swim in Chicago.
12th Street Beach
The site that was once the home of Meigs Field Airport is today the 91-acre peninsula that is located near the Adler Planetarium. The lake is known as a renowned beach located in Chicago due to its close connection to Lake Michigan, making it a well-known hangout spot for birds that migrate to the area.
The Beach is famous for its numerous summer events, which are held nearby in the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion, so make sure to check it out while planning your excursion to the Beach. It’s one of the most popular Chicago beaches with families because of its location close to and close to the Museum Campus, and it will guarantee an enjoyable time for you as well as your loved ones!
Tobey Prinz Beach
The best of Chicago beaches during summer. The Beach was previously called Pratt Beach; this Beach was renamed in honour of Tobey Prinz, who was a well-known activist in the field of social activism and founder of the Rogers Park Community Council in 2014.
If you’re looking at the stunning view of the city skyline, make your way to the area of the pier that separates it from the south part of Loyola. Be sure to have a camera on you!
This is the perfect place you should be at for all dog lovers as it is among the two Park District-run dog beaches within the city! If you think that the ideal day at the Beach is watching your pups play swimming in the ocean, it is your favourite spot! Additionally, it is one of the most popular Chicago beaches, with parking for free as well as other facilities available. Are food, concessions for kayaks and volleyball rentals, bathrooms and showers.
The 22-mile-long lakefront is among the most beautiful beaches in Chicago and is especially popular during the summer months, in which people are able to forget the long, stressful work days and lay back on a comfy daybed. There are a variety of recreational pursuits that can be enjoyed there, such as swimming, biking, running, or simply taking a stroll around the beautiful natural surroundings. It has a parking lot for free nearby so that you don’t have to pay additional money every time you are there!
Ohio Street Beach
A lot of people say that this is their favourite one in Chicago as it has each of the items that are on their list! The water is clear and calm, making it the perfect place to swim, and there are numerous cafes along the lake that serve beverages and live entertainment. Additionally, there’s valet parking on the other side of the road, so you do not have to look for parking!
If the hustle and bustle of crowds isn’t the way to go, then head over to lane Beach, which is a peaceful and relaxed alternative to nearby Osterman Beach. It also has a playground situated on the Western shore, which makes an ideal stop when the bells ring for numerous families who live in the area. Go to Moody’s Pub when you are in Lane Beach to grab a hamburger and drink or visit Berger Park’s Waterfront Cafe, which is literally the most adorable waterside bar located in Chicago.
In the end, Chicago offers a range of stunning beaches worth a trip. From the bustling and vibrant North Avenue Beach, with a beautiful view of the city’s skyline, to the serene and tranquil 63rd Street Beach, there’s an option for every person. Oak Street Beach provides relaxing water sports, whereas Montrose Beach offers a more natural and peaceful setting, as well as dog-friendly spots. Each Beach comes with its own distinctive charm and attraction, including beaches with volleyball courts, bicycle rentals, and waterfront eating choices. If you’re looking for sunbathing, water sports, or just soaking in the beautiful scenery of Chicago, its beaches offer a memorable experience both for tourists and locals alike.
Also read: 15 Best Water Parks in Illinois