Guide to Chicago Beaches. Yeah! Chicago beach season commences Friday, May 26 through Monday, September 4, 2017. The beaches are generally open from sunrise to 11PM. Here are the highlights of all the beaches. Check the links for more details.
- Chicago has 26 miles of public beaches.
- You can walk or bike 16 miles of the Lakefront Trail from Hollywood (5800N) to 63rd Street Beach (6300S). Check out this post on the Lakefront Trail North and Lakefront Trail South
- Starting May 22, the Lakefront Trail will be closed east of Lake Shore Drive between Diversey and North Avenues for construction. Detour map
- Swimming is permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 AM to 7 PM.
- Generally there’s no smoking, alcohol and dogs allowed at the beach. Grilling and coal disposal is allowed in designated areas. See below for all beach rules and the Lake Michigan Water Trail rules.
- Current beach condition information can be found on each beaches website, through the beach hotline at 312-742-3224 and via color-coded flags at beaches (Red=swimming banned, Yellow=caution. Weather conditions are unpredictable or bacteria levels are high, Green=permitted).
- North Avenue Beach, 1600 N Lake Shore Dr, North Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, (312) 742-5121. This beach is always crowded. There’s a field house with a restaurant, Castaways, restrooms and free wifi. There’s beach volleyball available on a first-come-first-served-basis and sports equipment rental. The Pedestrian Bridge at North Avenue is reopened.
- Fullerton Beach, 2400 N. Lake Shore Dr, is technically part of North Avenue beach. The city added about 6 acres of parkland (not beach) and separated the bike and walking trail as part of the shoreline restoration project. Pics to come.
- Oak Street Beach, 1000 N Lake Shore Dr, Oak Street and Lake Shore Drive,(312) 742-5121. This is another beach that gets really crowded. There’s a beach house, a restaurant, Oak Street Beach Food + Drink, and sports equipment rental and restrooms. You can also get a massage. When you’re sitting at the restaurant sipping your cocktail and looking out at the water it’s like being in the Caribbean.
- Ohio Street Beach, 600 N Lake Shore Dr, Ohio Street and Lake Shore Drive,(312) 742-5121. This tiny little beach (some people call it Olive Beach) behind Lake Point Tower doesn’t get as crowded as North Avenue and Oak Street. It’s in a little pocket that faces north. There’s a beach house, a restaurant, Caffe Olivia sports equipment rental and restrooms.
- 12th Street Beach, 1200 S Linn White Dr, Solidarity Drive and Linn White Drive, (773) 742-5121. This beach is nestled on the northern end of Northerly Island just south of Adler Planetarium on Chicago’s Museum Campus. It has a beach house, restrooms, and a concession Del Campo Tacos.
- Juneway Beach, 7751 N Eastlake Terrace, Eastlake Terrace and Sheridan Road,(773) 262-8605
- Rogers Beach, 7705 N Eastlake Terrace, Rogers Avenue and Eastlake Terrace,(773) 262-1482
- Howard Beach, 7519 N Eastlake Terrace, Howard Street and Eastlake Terrace,(773) 262-8605. There’s a playground near the beach access point.
- Fargo Beach, 1300 W Fargo Ave, Fargo and Sheridan Road,(773) 262-8605
- Marion Mahony Griffin Beach Park, 1208 W Jarvis Ave, Jarvis Avenue and Sheridan Road, (773) 262-8605
- Leone Beach, 1222 W Touhy Ave, Touhy Avenue and Sheridan Road, (773) 262-8605. Amenities include a field house, restrooms and a playground. Leone Beach has a park that runs south and abuts Loyola Park to the south.
- Loyola Beach, 1230 W Greenleaf Ave, Greenleaf Avenue and Sheridan Road, (773) 262-8605. This beach has a field house, restrooms, a playground and a branch of the Heartland Cafe, a Rogers Park vegetarian institution. Loyola Beach has a park that runs 4 blocks to the south ending at Pratt Avenue just north of Columbia Beach.
- Columbia Beach, 1040 W Columbia Ave, btwn Columbia Ave. & Pratt Blvd, (773) 262-8605. This beach has a beach house and restrooms.
Note: What’s the difference between a field house and a beach house? A beach that has a field house also has an adjacent park. The field house is where park activities occur, where the employees of the park are stationed and contains the restrooms. A beach house is a structure that houses the beach’s restrooms.
- North Shore Beach, 1040 W North Shore Ave, Between Albion Ave and North Shore Ave,(312) 742-7857
- Hartigan Beach, 1050 W Pratt Ave, Sheridan Road and Pratt, North Shore, Columbia or Albion,(773) 262-8605. Hartigan Beach is just north of Loyola University’s Lake Shore Campus.
- Tobey Prinz Beach, 1050 W Pratt, at Sheridan Rd in Rogers Park, (312) 742-7857.
- Lane Beach, 5915 N Sheridan Rd, Thorndale Avenue and Sheridan Road,(773) 761-0376. Lane Beach is connected to Osterman Beach to the south. Lane Beach has a playground. Waterfront Cafe, 6219 N Sheridan Rd, (773)761-3294.
- Osterman Beach, 5800 N Lake Shore Drive, Hollywood Avenue and Sheridan Road,(312) 742-5121. This beach (most people call it Hollywood Beach) has a beach house, sports equipment for rent, restrooms, free wifi and a food concession Nacho Mama’s Burrito Bar. A nearby nature area attracts migratory birds during spring and fall seasons. Osterman beach is at the northernmost point of Lincoln Park. This beach is really nice and has great views of the city. Edgewater Beach Cafe, 5545 N Sheridan Rd,( 773) 275-4141.
- Foster Beach, 5200 N Lake Shore Dr, Foster Ave and Lake Shore Dr,(312) 742-5121. Amenities include a beach house, sports equipment for rent, restrooms, and free wifi. A popular dog beach is also located at the northeast end of Foster Avenue Beach. Learn more about Chicago Park District Dog Friendly Areas. There’s ample free parking.
- Montrose Beach/ Montrose Harbor, 4400 N Lake Shore Dr, Montrose Avenue and Lake Shore Drive,(312) 742-5121. Amenities include a beach house, sports equipment for rent, restrooms, free wifi and a restaurant The Dock at Montrose. South of the recreational beach, is a wetlands, dunes and a bird habitat. You can also take sailing lessons at Montrose Harbor. Dogs are permitted only within the designated dog beach. A new self-service dog washing station will open this summer where owners can wash and dry their dogs for $10 for every 10 minutes. Learn more about Chicago Park District Dog Friendly Areas. There’s ample pay parking.
South Also check out this post on Lakefront Trail South
- 31st Street Beach, 3100 S Lake Shore Dr,31st Street and Lake Shore Drive, (312) 742-5121. This beach has a beach house, restrooms, and a food concession stand. It’s part of Burnham Park.
- Oakwood Beach, 4100 S Lake Shore Dr, Oakwood Boulevard and Lake Shore Drive, (312) 742-5121. This beach has a beach house and restrooms. Hyde Park Lake Shore Cafe, 4900 S Lake Shore Dr, (773) 288-5815.
- 57th Street Beach, 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, (312) 742-5121. This beach has a beach house, restrooms, and food concession stand Tasty Grill (no website).
- 63rd Street Beach, 6300 S Lake Shore Dr, Lake Shore Drive and Hayes Drive, (312) 742-5121. This beach has a beach house, restrooms, sports equipment for rent and three food concession options The Leaf Bar & Grill, Gussie’s, and Leave with a Smile (no websites). A spray pool play area is located in the west courtyard of the beach house, and there is play equipment right on the sand in front of the beach house.
- South Shore Beach, 7059 S South Shore Drive, 71st Street and South Shore Drive, (773) 256-0149.South Shore Beach is part of the South Shore Cultural Center. This facility features a solarium, formal dining hall, Paul Robeson Theater, Washburne Culinary Institute, the Parrot Cage Restaurant, and the Dr. Margaret Burroughs gallery. The site is a 65-acre park with a 9 hole golf course, tennis courts and a circular beach house with restrooms and showers. The beach house is located just to the east of the Cultural Center on the beach. The site is also home to the Chicago Police Department’s mounted unit. South Shore also has a nature sanctuary with sand dunes, a small wetland, the prairie landscape, woodland and a variety of wildlife in the area.
- Rainbow Beach, 3111 E 77th St, 79th Street and South Shore,(312) 745-1479. This beach has a beach house, restrooms, free wifi, a playground, and food concession Lamont Puckett (no website). Rainbow Beach and Park totals 60.98 acres and features a gymnasium, fitness center and multipurpose rooms, handball courts, and one of the oldest community gardens in Chicago. A natural area located at the northeast end of the beach includes 9.18 acres of dune habitat.
- Calumet Beach, 9801 S Avenue G, 100th Street and Avenue G,(312) 747-6039. This beach has a beach house, restrooms, and three food options Concession Salgado, La Chapparitta, and Lucy’s Concessions(no websites).
- Humboldt Beach, 1400 N Sacramento Ave,North Avenue and Sacramento Avenue, (312) 742-7549. This beach is inland and in the Humboldt Park lagoon. Humboldt Park features a field house with fitness center, two gymnasiums and meeting rooms. soccer field, junior soccer field, a replica of the Chicago Cubs stadium, “Little Cubs Field,” the Puerto Rican Arts and Culture Museum, baseball fields, tennis courts and playgrounds.
Please follow the rules while you’re at the beach:
- Swim only when lifeguards are on duty.
- Follow lifeguards’ instructions.
- Only Coast Guard approved flotation devices are permitted.
- No smoking.
- No alcohol.
- No dogs on the beach.
- Do not feed birds or wildlife.
- Dispose of trash and recycling in appropriate containers.
- Grill in designated areas only and dispose of coals in red barrels.
- Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.
- There is no paddle or board sport access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail at Oak Street Beach. For information on beaches with launch points for accessing the Lake Michigan Water Trail, visit the rules page.