By: Kelly McGowan
Going to the beach is a popular thing to do during the hot summer days in Chicago. Below is a short list of some of the best beaches in Chicago based on location, cleanliness, safeness, or amusement.
12th Street Beach
The nice thing about 12th Street Beach is that not many people know about this area, so it is rarely crowded. There is a large grass area to lay out on and of course, a sandy area. The downside of this beach is there is not much room for activities, such as volleyball but is quieter on some days. This beach is next to a concert venue at Northerly Island Park so it is always nice to hear live music while laying out by the lake. It is also by Adler Planetarium so you could make a whole day out of this trip to the beach.
31st Street Beach
31st Street Beach is right next to a marina with hundreds of nice looking boats – a beautiful sight to see. It is usually crowded on hot days but has a nice grassy area where many enjoy cookouts and picnics with family and friends. It is a great place to bring young children as it is very family-friendly and safe with plenty of lifeguards around. This is the beach to go to for summer holidays because it is socially acceptable to grill hotdogs and hamburgers and camp out all day long.
North Avenue Beach
North Avenue is the largest beach in Chicago. Everyone knows about it, so it is always crowded. The downside of this being the largest and most crowded beach is there is usually litter everywhere as there are places of informal dining. These are fun to have on the beach but the wind always carries food, napkins, menus, and more out onto the shore which is not ideal. Though it can be dirty, this beach has an incredible view of basically the entire skyline and is filled with happy people and positive energy. There are volleyball nets everywhere and you always see groups of people having a mini spike ball tournament, flying a kite, or playing Frisbee. If you want to meet a bunch of friends at the beach to play games and have food options close by, this is the place to be.
Oak Street Beach
Oak Street is similar to Ohio Street because it is pretty big and filled with people working out and having a great time. This area, just like Ohio Street, also has a beautiful view of the John Hancock Center. If you want to take photographs of the beach, skyline, or a combination of both, this is the place for you as it is beautiful everywhere you look.
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street is a beach filled with people lounging, biking, running, and playing volleyball. This area includes a little pavilion area with food and has one of the greatest views, right near the John Hancock Center. This particular beach hosts one of the largest swim competitions in the Midwest every year in either September or October because it is a safe area to swim and is large enough to fit everyone in the race and their supporters. There is also a place to jump off the dock into the water which is always fun and refreshing. If you want to be in a quieter place with a nice view, this is the beach for you.