What Are the Best Beaches Near Chicago?

Are you planning a trip to Chicago and looking to relax on the beach? Well, you’re in luck because Chicago is not only known for its iconic skyline and vibrant city life, but it is also home to some beautiful beaches. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there are plenty of options for you to enjoy the sun, sand, and waves near Chicago. In this article, we will explore the best beaches near Chicago, so you can make the most of your beach vacation.

Oak Street Beach

Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Oak Street Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the city. It offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline, making it a favorite spot for both locals and tourists.

Oak Street Beach features soft sand, crystal-clear water, and a range of amenities, including restrooms, a concession stand, and volleyball courts. Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or play beach volleyball, Oak Street Beach has something for everyone.

When you visit Oak Street Beach, don’t forget to take a stroll along the Lakefront Trail, which stretches for 18 miles and offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. You can also rent a bike and explore the trail at your own pace.

North Avenue Beach

Another popular beach in Chicago is North Avenue Beach. Located in Lincoln Park, this beach attracts a large crowd, especially on weekends and holidays.

North Avenue Beach offers a wide sandy shoreline, perfect for sunbathing and building sandcastles. The beach is also known for its iconic beach house, which features a terrace with panoramic views of the city.

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If you’re feeling active, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard from the beach and explore the waters of Lake Michigan. And if you’re a thrill-seeker, don’t miss the chance to try jet skiing or flyboarding, which are available for rent at North Avenue Beach.

Montrose Beach

For those looking for a quieter and more secluded beach experience, Montrose Beach is the perfect choice. Located on the North Side of Chicago, Montrose Beach offers a peaceful retreat away from the bustling city.

This beach is known for its tranquil atmosphere, expansive sandy shoreline, and beautiful views of the lake. It is also home to a natural area called the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, where you can spot various bird species.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Montrose Beach is a great starting point for exploring the nearby walking and biking trails in the Montrose Harbor and surrounding park area.

Promontory Point

If you’re looking for a unique and picturesque beach experience, head to Promontory Point. This hidden gem is located in Burnham Park and offers stunning views of the lake and the Chicago skyline.

Unlike other beaches in Chicago, Promontory Point is a rocky beach, perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and watching the sunrise or sunset. It is also a popular spot among photographers due to its scenic beauty.

Keep in mind that Promontory Point does not have the same facilities as other beaches, so make sure to pack your own food, drinks, and beach essentials.

Ohio Street Beach

If you’re looking for a beach that is easily accessible and located near downtown Chicago, Ohio Street Beach is the perfect choice. This beach offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere compared to other popular beaches.

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Ohio Street Beach is known for its soft sand, clear water, and beautiful views of the city skyline. It is a great spot for sunbathing, swimming, and even picnicking, as it has picnic tables available.

The beach is also conveniently located near Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s top attractions. After a day at the beach, you can head to Navy Pier for a variety of entertainment options, including rides, shops, and restaurants.


Chicago may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of beaches, but it offers an array of beautiful and enjoyable beach options. From the lively Oak Street Beach to the iconic North Avenue Beach and the tranquil Montrose Beach, there is a beach near Chicago for everyone.

So, whether you’re a local looking to escape the city or a tourist looking for a beach break during your Chicago trip, make sure to check out these best beaches near Chicago. Pack your sunscreen, beach towel, and a sense of adventure, and get ready to soak up the sun while enjoying the stunning views of Lake Michigan.

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