Chicago beaches for sun and surf in the city

Chill out on the best stretches of Lake Michigan sand at these top Chicago beaches and waterfront parks

Chicago Park District's 63rd Street Beach

If you're not at a summer festival, the beach is one of the most popular places in Chicago to cool off with your friends. Whether you just want to relax, hit a restaurant or play some volleyball with your bros, there's a spot along the Lake Michigan shore for you. Get out of your apartment and find the perfect spot to hit the sand with our comprehensive list of Chicago's beaches.

When do Chicago beaches open for the 2015 season?

Chicago's beaches open on May 22, 2015.

RECOMMENDED: Best things to do in the summer in Chicago

12th Street Beach

Located on Northerly Island, this Near South Side beach is just a short walk from Museum Campus and typically hosts an array of summer events. Amenities: concessions, restrooms, life guard first aid station, non-motorized boat launch.

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South Loop

31st Street Beach

Critics' pick

This South Side beach features amazing views of the Chicago skyline in addition to a harbor for small boats. A nearby park includes a picnic area and a public fishing dock. Amenities: concessions, restrooms, lockers, life guard first aid station, playground.

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57th Street Beach

Located in Jackson Park, one of Chicago's oldest parks, 57th Street Beach is easily accessible via a pedestrian underpass near the Museum of Science and Industry. Amenities: concessions, restrooms, life guard first aid station.

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Hyde Park

63rd Street Beach

If you need a beach vacay but can't get away right this second, head to 63rd Street Beach and its beach house, where kids can kite-surf, use free volleyball equipment and go berserk in the interactive spray fountain. Amenities: concessions, restrooms, playgrounds, life guard first aid station.

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South Side

Calumet Beach

Located near the Indiana state line, getting to Calumet Beach can be a bit of a journey. The beach connects to a sprawling park that offers an artificial turf soccer field and fields for football and softball. Amenities: concessions, restrooms, lockers, playground, life guard first aid station.

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Columbia Beach

South of Loyola Beach and north of North Shore Beach in Rogers Park, Columbia Beach offers great views of downtown Chicago.

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Fargo Beach

Located on the crowded strip of Rogers Park beaches, right next to Jarvis Beach, the waters of Fargo are (thankfully) not a cold as its name implies.

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Foster Avenue Beach

This popular Edgewater beach offers a beach house with concessions and bike rentals in addition to an adjoining dog beach for everyone's favorite four-legged friends. Amenities: restrooms, water sports rentals, bike rentals, free wifi, life guard first aid station.

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Hartigan Beach

Formerly known as Albion Beach, this street-end beach has a playground and is a great spot to catch some rays and enjoy the waters of Lake Michigan.

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Howard Beach

Situated next to a park, Howard Beach gives visitors the choice of soaking up rays on the sand or relaxing in the shade. Amenities: playground.

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