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North Avenue Beach

Things to do Lincoln Park
4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
Photograph: Max Herman North Avenue Beach

Time Out says

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. Amenities: concessions, lockers, kayak rentals, jet ski rentals, watersports rentals, restrooms, life guard first aid station.



Address: 1600 N Lake Shore Dr

Cross street: North Ave
Transport: El: Brown to Sedgwick, Red to Clark/Division. Bus: 22, 36, 72, 73, 151, 156.
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  • Quirky events Saturday June 27 2020

Users say (6)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

I think my opinion of this beach might be slightly skewed since I went on the 4th of July. Nonetheless, highly recommend for anyone looking for an inexpensive, fun time. The cons of this beach are the millions of teenagers blaring music and partying, if that's not your thing. The biggest pros for me? Renting a Divy bike for easy transportation to and from, and the ice cream man selling on the beach all day long! It also offers anything you might need that day if you didn't come prepared - tiny shops selling Chicago souvenirs, sunscreen, etc. and a bar/restaurant (Castaways) right along the beach. Plus .... you can't go wrong with some good people watching.


The reviews show that different beaches appeal to different Chicagoans. For me, North Ave beach is full of bros trying to impress pretty girls. It's crowded to the brim with the drunk early-twenties crowd, which is no longer my community of choice. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, walk a couple hundred yards north and set up closer to Fullerton. You can still easily reach the bathrooms and food service options nearby at North Ave, but you'll have more space and less fear of drunken fights around you. 

Yes. This is the beach of all beaches in Chicago—a perfect view, plenty of sun and lots of friendly faces. Sometimes a few too many, so be sure to stake out space for a towel or two early.


Yes, it can get a bit crowded in the summer, and even though its summer, the water is still freezing, but its pretty sweet that we have a beach right next to the heart of downtown Chicago. The view of the skyline is absolutely amazing and its never so crowded that you cant find a nice spot to sit with your friends.


This is the beach to go to if you want to see and be seen. It's also got an unparalleled view of the Chicago skyline, as it's basically in the heart of it all. It's a great beach to take a stroll on the pier. Just note: it gets super packed.

DO NOT MISS the Chicago Air&Water Show!

There are huge crowds on Sat. & Sun., so here's a Chicago secret: you can see almost the same show on Friday, when all the planes rehearse - but, without the 1.5M people each day on the lakefront. Take the afternoon off!

If you don't mind huge crowds, you may find yourself going BOTH days - Sat. & Sun., the event is that great!!