Amid the city's towering skyscrapers, you'll find a lakefront stretch of sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. Each one has a unique vibe, so use this brief cheat sheet to catch a glimpse into some of our favorite Chicago spots to soak up the sun.
Neighborhood: Gold Coast
The vibe: Chic see-and-be-seen
Perfect for: Showing off your new swimsuit
Amenities: The North Ledge (concrete running/biking/skating path), volleyball nets, deep-water swimming
Get there on CTA: 'L' Red Line to Clark/Division
Motorcoach Info: Chicago Avenue – 200 East (loading only)
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
The vibe: High-energy and busy
Perfect for: Playing a game of pick-up volleyball
Amenities: Volleyball nets, Castaways Bar & Grill, concession stand, bike path
Get there on CTA: 'L' Brown Line to Sedgwick or 'L' Red Line to Clark/Division
Motorcoach Info: Clark Street – 1635 North (loading only)
The vibe: Casual and fun
Perfect for: Bringing the family — and a portable grill!
Amenities: Free parking, dog beach
Get there on CTA: 'L' Red Line to Wilson
Motorcoach Info: Montrose Harbor (parking)
The vibe: Quiet and laid-back
Perfect for: Soaking up the sun with a good book
Amenities: Food vendors, open-water lap swimming, bike path
Get there on CTA: 'L' Red Line to Grand
Motorcoach Info: Chicago Ave. – 200 East (loading only)
Neighborhood: Burnham Park
The vibe: Playful and peaceful
Perfect for: Getting great views of the city
Amenities: Playground, fishing pier, concession stand
Get there on CTA: 3 Bus to 31st Street
Motorcoach Info: McCormick Place Marshalling Yard (parking)
Chicago beaches are free and open daily to the public for the season beginning Memorial Day through Labor Day so plan for a swim, build sand castles, join a game of volleyball or just catch some rays.
For detailed information on Chicago's 26 great lakefront beaches, including daily weather advisories and lifeguard hours, please visit the Chicago Park District online or call (312) 742-PLAY.
Looking for other warm-weather activities for your urban adventure? Check out the Chicago Like a Local blog for insider recommendations or sign up for the What's New in Chicago monthly newsletter.