Summertime in Chicago means one thing: Spending as much time as humanly possible out in the sun. While hanging on patios and hitting up summer music festivals are excellent choices, don’t forget about Chicago’s glorious beaches. With sandy lakefront hangouts dotting our city’s eastern boarder, you have no excuse not to throw on a suit and soak up the sun. They’re only open for about three months, after all, so hop to it!
When do Chicago beaches open for the 2017 season?
Chicago's beaches open on Friday, May 26, 2017. They close on Labor Day, which is September 4, 2017.
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Best beaches in Chicago
As one of Chicago's most popular beaches, North Avenue Beach features a unique beach house inspired by a beached ocean liner. Visitors can hit the volleyball courts, grab a snack or rent a bike. Be warned: North Ave is one of the busiest beaches in the city. Amenities: concessions, lockers, kayak rentals, jet ski rentals, water sports rentals, restrooms, life guard first aid station.
If your friends tell you they're going to Hollywood Beach, this is where they're headed. Located in Edgewater, Osterman Beach has a LEED-certified beach house. It's also (unofficially) the LGBTQ beach of Chicago. Amenities: concessions, water sports rentals, restrooms, life guard first aid station, wifi.
A fenced-off dog area at this popular Uptown beach provides a place for your pooch to run around. Elsewhere, visitors can play volleyball, sit under an umbrella or enjoy the free wifi. The beach is also a perfect habitat for water birds and endangered plant life. Amenities: concessions, kayak rentals, water sports rentals, restrooms, life guard first aid station.
Located within walking distance of Navy Pier and sheltered by the curve of the shoreline, Ohio Street Beach offers calm waters for open water swimmers and amazing views of downtown. Amenities: concessions, bike rentals, water sports rentals, restrooms, life guard first aid station.
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.
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, food and drink concessions.
Where to grab a drink on the lakefront
This beachfront restaurant at Kathy Osterman Beach (a.k.a. Hollywood Beach) is like a tropical paradise with rainbow lounge chairs, colorful decorations and an island vibe. Grab a half-priced margarita on Mondays and enjoy nachos, tacos, guacamole and chips. Your vegetarian friends won't go hungry either, with options like seitan chorizo tacos.