The Top Beach Spots Around Chicago to Visit

The Top Beach Spots Around Chicago to Visit

With 26 miles of beachfront around Lake Michigan, there’s an abundance of beaches in Chicago for you to explore this summer. With the accessible Lakefront Trail, you can easily go from one beach to the next with ease. From birdwatching to playing volleyball to simply relaxing, the dozens of beaches in the city have much to offer. We’ve narrowed down a list of five of the best beaches where you can enjoy a hot summer day.

North Avenue Beach

If you want one of the best views in Chicago, North Avenue Beach is the place to go. The blue and white North Avenue Beach House along the shore has an upper deck that offers a fantastic look at the city’s skyline. In addition to the Beach House, North Avenue Beach offers an array of other amenities. For food and drinks, Castaways Bar and Grill is located right on the beach. You can enjoy cold drinks and the ice cream bar there.

Kayaks, lounge chairs, and other items are available to rent at North Avenue Beach. With lifeguards on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., going out on the water in a kayak or swimming is both safe and fun. On busy days, consider taking public transportation to the beach to avoid parking.

Oak Street Beach

Just a short drive away from Hotel EMC2, Oak Street Beach is one of the most popular summer spots in Chicago. It can be accessed from the Lakefront Trail and is marked by the Jeff Zimmermann memorial.

Oak Street Beach is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day of the week throughout the summer. Go with a group of friends and rent bikes or beach chairs. Concessions are also available to purchase. With a great view of Chicago and dozens of restaurants nearby, Oak Street Beach is one of the best places to spend a warm summer day.

Montrose Beach

Montrose Beach is Chicago’s largest public beach. Located in Lincoln Park, Montrose Beach is well-equipped with restaurants, shopping options, and other amenities nearby. Those looking for a relaxing day can lay down a towel and enjoy the sun. There are also bike rentals and volleyball courts nearby if you’re looking to be active.

Consider exploring the dunes on the eastern end of the beach. The natural area has been protected by the Illinois Department of Resources and has not been groomed since 2001. There have been over 300 bird species recorded at Montrose Beach Dunes along with rare plants and other sights to explore.

57th Street Beach

57th Street Beach is another spot to enjoy this summer. Although dogs are not allowed at the beach, it is close to Hyde Park, which is a pet-friendly area. With a large swimming area and restaurants such as the Tasty Grill, 57th Street Beach has enough to keep you occupied all day.

The beach and green areas around it are also a great spot to watch the Navy Pier fireworks throughout the summer. Make the trip to 57th Street Beach on the fourth of July to enjoy fireworks and countless other attractions near there.

63rd Street Beach

Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m, 63rd Street Beach is another spot to spend your hot summer days. With an ADA accessible beach walk and beach house containing restrooms, showers, and water fountains, you won’t need to worry about packing too much.

Food options at 63rd Street Beach include Belly Up, which offers classic Jamaican food, and Leave With a Smile, which has snacks and cold drinks. Grab delicious food and enjoy the classic, historic 63rd Street Beach House, which offers great views of the lake and city.

Planning your trip

With dozens of beaches along Lake Michigan to explore, you’ll never be bored in Chicago this summer. Take the Lakefront Trail to visit many in a single day, or plan out a different spot each weekend—either way, these five beaches have a lot to offer. If you’re seeking a trip to Chicago this summer, consider booking a room at a boutique hotel like Hotel EMC2, close to many of the best beaches in the city.

Need a place to stay while visiting Chicago? Book your reservation here.