The best attractions and things to do in Edgewater

With beautiful beaches and historic architecture, there's no shortage of excellent attractions in Edgewater
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Photograph: Sara Mays Foster Ave. Beach
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Edgewater has enough attractions and things to do to keep you occupied for weeks. The neighborhood is brimming with critically-acclaimed theater, some of the city’s best beaches and an oft-forgotten slate of beautiful architecture that’ll keep your neck craned up. While Andersonville (technically a sub-section of Edgewater) gets a lot of the attention on the North Side, we’ve rounded up our favorite things to do in the neighborhood outside of the Clark and Foster drag.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Edgewater

The best attractions and things to do in Edgewater

Things to do

Osterman Beach

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If your friends tell you they're going to Hollywood Beach, this is where they're headed. Located at the northern end of Lake Shore Drive, Osterman Beach has a LEED-certified beach house. Amenities include concessions, watersports rentals, restrooms, a life guard first aid station and free wifi. Osterman is also Chicago's unofficial gay beach—though, perhaps the rainbow-painted breakwall makes it official.

Sports and fitness, Cycling

Broadway Armory Park

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Edgewater is lucky to be home to the Chicago Park District's largest indoor recreational facility. The massive, 87-year-old faciity was home to the National Guad for military purposes until 1998. Now, it houses five gynmasia, home to citywide sports leagues, a trapeze school, a gymnastics center and more.

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Theater

Raven Theatre

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Established in 1983, this non-Equity company is primarily known for its productions of mid- to late-20th-century chestnuts. Since 2002, Raven's made its home in this two-theater Edgewater space, a converted former grocery store; the complex's second space is regularly rented to itinerant troupes.

Things to do, Literary events

Berger Park Cultural Center

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One of the earlier Park District beautification projects on the North Side, Berger Park Cultural Center is situated right on Lake Michigan. The center offers an array of arts and cultural programmming for people of all ages, and is available for rent for special events. The Waterfront Cafe is located on the same property.

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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Things to do, Walks and tours

Bryn Mawr Historic District

Bryn Mawr Historic District is a patch of Edgewater chalk-full of gorgeous, early 20th century architecture, once home to the Chicago elite. The most recognizable building is the Edgewater Beach Apartments (built in 1928)—that giant pink building right along Lake Shore Drive. Other notable sites include the Bryn Mawr & Belle Shore Apartment Hotels (a Chicago landmark), the Manor House and the Renaissance (both on the National Register of Historic Places).

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Photograph: Sara Mays
Things to do

Foster Beach

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At the tip-top of Lincoln Park, Foster Beach is a favorite of humans and canines alike. In the summer months, people enjoy bike rentals and concessions at the comparatively low-key, family-friendly beach. The northeast end of the beach is a popular dog beach year-round.

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Steep Theatre Company
Photo: Grace Wiley
Theater

Steep Theatre

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Founded in 2001, Steep moved in 2008 from its former Lakeview shoebox to a slightly larger shoebox in Edgewater (capacity rose from 40 to 60). The new space is well-appointed, though, and provides the troupe much greater flexibility in staging the meaty, intense panoramas it favors.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Things to do, Talks and lectures

St. Ita Church

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Whether you're attending a service or admiring the architecture, Edgewater's St. Ita Catholic Church is worth seeing. The Neo-Gothic church was designed by Henry J. Schlacks and completed in 1927. With gorgeous stained glass and stone detailing, stop and marvel at this classic sturcture next time you're in Edgewater.

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Photograph: Joe Mazza
Theater

Rivendell Theatre

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The Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is an award-winning, critcally acclaimed theater group dedicated to the work of women theater artists. The group moved into its current, full-time space in 2010, and offers free parking at the Senn High School parking lot.

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