Chicago may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about beach destinations, but the city has a surprising number of beautiful beaches along its picturesque Lake Michigan shoreline. Here are five of the best beaches in Chicago that you definitely have to visit.
1. Oak Street Beach
Located just a short walk from Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile, Oak Street Beach is a popular hotspot for locals and tourists alike. With soft sand, crystal-clear water, and stunning views of Lake Michigan, this beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and even some beach volleyball. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby where you can grab a bite to eat or a cold drink.
2. North Avenue Beach
Another popular beach in Chicago, North Avenue Beach offers a wide expanse of sand and water, as well as plenty of amenities like restrooms, showers, and concession stands. There’s even a beach house where you can rent chairs, umbrellas, and other equipment. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also sign up for a jet ski or banana boat ride.
3. 12th Street Beach
If you’re looking for a quieter, more peaceful option, check out 12th Street Beach. This hidden gem is located near the Adler Planetarium and features soft sand, calm waters, and a stunning view of the Chicago skyline. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic, some yoga, or just soaking up some rays.
4. Montrose Beach
One of the largest beaches in Chicago, Montrose Beach has something for everyone. There are plenty of recreation options, including beach volleyball, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Plus, there’s a dog-friendly area where you can bring your furry friends for a swim. And if you get hungry, there’s a beachside restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat.
5. Loyola Beach
Last but not least, Loyola Beach is a lovely option for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet. Located in the Rogers Park neighborhood, this beach offers a relaxing atmosphere with soft sand, gentle waves, and plentiful greenery. There are also plenty of benches and picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy the view.
No matter which of these five beaches you choose to visit, you’re sure to have a fantastic time enjoying the sun, sand, and water in Chicago. So pack your sunscreen, grab your towel, and get ready to soak up some rays!