Chicago is a pillar of urban glory, but beyond the massive crowds, killer cabs and towering skyscrapers lies your beach escape. Chicago has 26 miles of beaches, each offering its own personality and experience.
North Avenue Beach – 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive
North Avenue Beach is arguably one of Chicago’s most popular beaches. In addition to being a traditional beach, goers can enjoy a meal from either Castaways Bar & Grill or One Stick Puppy. This beach is the perfect place to enjoy the urban environment, as well as one of the Windy City’s most famous events: the Chicago Air and Water Show.
31st Street Beach – 3100 S. Lake Shore Drive
This beach offers an incredible view of the skyline from the south, as well as a spot to watch hundreds of boats resting in the harbor’s slips. From swimming to fishing and picnicking, this is a great place for all ages. Don’t miss the public art display or the annual Chicago In-Water Boat Show.
Oak Street Beach – 1000 N. Lake Shore Drive
Oak Street Beach has the hustle and bustle of city life in an unexpected locale. The excitement of Michigan Avenue literally spills onto this beach. While this beach boasts food service and plenty of water sports, it’s known as the optimal spot for a beach volleyball tournament.
Ohio Street Beach – 600 N. Lake Shore Drive
Ohio Street Beach is uniquely situated just north of Navy Pier, located in but sheltered from the busy downtown area. This small stretch is often less crowded and more serene than its neighboring Oak Street and North Avenue Beaches. Whether enjoying a meal at Café Olivia or just stopping on the way to the pier, those who visit Ohio St. Beach will surely have a peaceful experience.
Montrose Beach – 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive
Traveling further north up the shore, sunbathers can relax at Montrose Beach. Enjoy the waters of Lake Michigan or grab a bite at the lakeside restaurant, The Dock at Montrose Beach. If you have a four-legged friend, bring them along to the dog-friendly section of the beach.
Click here to view the full list of Chicago’s public beaches.