Beaches in Chicago

THE 10 BEST Chicago Beaches

Beaches in Chicago

Traveller rating
Neighbourhoods
Good for
10 places sorted by traveller favourites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

What travellers are saying

  • Tom B
    Worthington, OH462 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoyable area for a walk, jog, or bike ride when staying in the Gold Coast area of Chicago. Provides scenic views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. Adequately marked lanes for jogging/walking and bikes. Limited underground access across the busy multilane Lake Shore Drive. In summer the sandy stretches provide typical beach activities like sunbathing, volleyball, swimming, etc. Personally would have liked more opportunities for bench sitting though the more agile visitors use the stepped lake wall for taking a break or to simply enjoy the views.
    Written 14 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,228 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Follow me to the site of Chicago's picturesque postcard, a spectacular and panoramic view of the city's breath-taking skyline that dwarfs anything this side of Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Am I exaggerating just a little? Maybe so. But see for yourself. Walk east on North Avenue, past the Cardinal's mansion, go through the tunnel under North Lake Shore Drive, climb the grassy knoll, step across the concrete checkerboards, be alert for bikers and proceed along the path leading to North Avenue Beach and the breakwater in Lake Michigan. Find a comfortable spot on the grass, looking south across the water toward Oak Street Beach, the Drake Hotel, the Hancock Building and beyond. What a sight! On a clear day, you can see the high-rises along Lake Shore Drive, the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, Lake Point Tower, the Aon Building, the Willis Tower, Trump Tower, Aqua Tower, Water Tower Place and Vista Tower. No, you can't see the United Center or Millennium Park or the Chicago River. But it's Chicago. No doubt about it. It's a picturesque postcard you don't see in New York City or Los Angeles or Boston or Miami or Houston or Seattle. Do any of those cities have a beach within steps of their busiest downtown thoroughfare? With a backdrop of Lake Michigan, like a colorful prop in a Hollywood movie.
    Written 23 August 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jamie C
    3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Clean beach with great views of the city. Pretty crowded on a hot day, but we still found a spot in the shade. You may want to get there early for a beach umbrella.
    Written 4 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • kenatravels
    Chicago, IL74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Montrose Beach is right by our home so we may be a little biased about how much we love it, but nevertheless it is an incredible beach. Make sure to grab a hot dog and wade in the beautiful waves of Lake Michigan.
    Written 16 August 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sheryl S
    Brooklyn, NY1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I live across from the Osterman Beach. IT IS NOT A 6 MIN WALK from the Drake!!!!!

    Do your due diligence on a map is the lesson here.
    Written 19 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • April N
    Phoenix, AZ127 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    ...the bathrooms are atrocious! Guess that's a good thing though as opposed to folks using the lake as a bathroom right? The lake water is clean. Beach was somewhat clean until people started leaving and not picking up their trash.

    Parking in the lot right in front of the beach is not free. It's $2 per hour. I thought parking was free adjacent the lot but as I was going to put more money on my sticker I saw at least 15 cars with tickets. So if you are paying to park I suggest you keep up with the time or pay for all day which is just as much as if you paid to park at North Ave. Beach in a lot.

    Plenty of shade and picnic areas. You can grill. There are also vendors selling tacos, corn (elotes), cotton candy, etc. Lifeguards on duty until about 7pm. Swim at your own risk after that.
    Written 12 July 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Smarie
    Nebraska463 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very impressed with the professionalism and diligence of the life guards. They appeared to be in total control of the beach and its visitors. I was proud to see a predominately young African Americans staff demonstrate such a high level of care and attention to the beach and their position as life guards. I will definitely return often to 63rd street beach in the future.
    Written 31 July 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • NBentley2014
    Covington, KY559 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful lakefront walking options, offering plenty of space for social distancing and amazing views of the Chicago skyline. Busy and buzzy with lots of walkers, cyclists and people enjoying the warm and comfortable early evening air.
    Written 25 August 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • j s
    South Bend, IN20 contributions
    2.0 of 5 bubbles
    We saw the beach along Lakeshore Dr. and we had to get to it. We found Parking at 41st street beach a park and pay. Put our ticket in the window and explored this wonderful gem of a beach and park. We enjoyed our walk. Ant views were breathtaking.
    We came back to the car with our out of state plates and found our car broken into and all our luggage and personal items that we stored in the trunk were stolen. We reported this to the police and as the report was being filed another car was being broken into as I watched with dismay and fear for the people robbing them were scary and professional looking robbers. We called police and left. We won't forget the beach walk but can't get the robbery of things from our locked car out of our mind. It is a shame. Only a block away a group of kids were at a camp. It is soooo beautiful!!!!
    Written 30 July 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kristal P
    1 contribution
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    First the water is black it’s not clear, Second they don’t let you take things that float like floatis you can only take beach balls, 3rd the bathrooms are nasty all the dirty paper are on the floor, the floor is filled with mud, Forth when I was swimming a pad floating around. TRUST ME DONT EVEN WASTE YOUR TIME.
    Written 4 July 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
All Chicago HotelsChicago Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Chicago
All things to do in Chicago
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire