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A Guide to Chicago's Lakefront Beaches


Located on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago summers are hot, humid, and sunny. And knowing where to spend those hot summer days is key! Luckily, the 26 miles of Chicago beachfront will help you forget you’re in the third most populated city in the US. So, as soon as Memorial Day rolls around get ready to swim, jet ski, paddleboard or relax with a cocktail and your favorite book at the best beaches in Chicago!

North Avenue Beach
1600 N Lake Shore Dr Chicago, IL 60613

North Avenue Beach, the most popular lakefront beach destination in Chicago, is perfect for a warm summer day with a great view of the city’s skyline.  Rent an umbrella and chairs for the day or bikes and ride down the shoreline.  You can also spend the day wakeboarding, paddleboarding, jet skiing or playing volleyball.  Take the pedestrian bridge that leads you to Lincoln Park Zoo to see all kinds of animals.

Oak Street Beach
1000 North Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60611

Head to Oak Street Beach to rent beach chairs and bikes for the day, or play volleyball.  This is a great area for sunbathing and swimming. When you need a bite to eat there are many restaurants, bars, and cafes located within walking distance of the beach.  Oak Street Beach is an awesome place to enjoy the sunset after spending the day on the beach!

Rainbow Beach

2873 E 75th St Chicago, IL 60649

Is located in the Southern part of Chicago and has outstanding views of the skyline.  Rainbow Beach is a great spot to spend the day swimming and playing water sports.  There are also several grills available for a cookout or family picnic to end the day.

Montrose Beach

4400 N. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60613

Montrose beach is nothing but fun! Rent kayaks or jet skis for a day of water sports and adventure.  Montrose Beach also offers a marina, bird sanctuary, and a dog beach on the North end.  Or just spend the day relaxing on the beach in a family-friendly environment.

Leone Beach

1222 W Touhy Ave Chicago, IL 60626

Leone Beach Park, Chicago’s largest beach, is located in Rogers Park Community.  Outside of the beautiful sandy beach, Leone Beach Park has an open grassy area that can be used for picnics and outdoor activities.  Enjoy this quiet and clean beach for activities or just a low key day outdoors.

Ohio Street Beach

600 North Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60611

This is an awesome spot for beachgoers of all ages with a large area for open water swimming.  Just a short walk from downtown Chicago, you get the best of both worlds at Ohio Street Beach with Lake Michigan on one side and skyscrapers on the opposite side.  As the waves roll in, enjoy the clean beach while having fun in the sun!

12th Street Beach 

1200 S Linn White Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

12th Street Beach is a great place to swim, walk, and spend the day relaxing.  This beach has an awesome setup with Chicago’s museum campus situated directly behind the beach.  12th Street Beach is a great place to just enjoy your surroundings and take long walks along the shoreline.

However you choose to spend your summers in Chicago, a day at the beach should not be overlooked!

Posted on July 14, 2020

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