Few if any other cities in the United States can boast a 26 mile lakefront with 33 beaches, 19 miles of bicycling paths, walking trails, driving ranges and golf courses, volleyball and soccer games, harbors and nature areas like bird and wildlife sanctuaries – all free and open to the public. These fabulous amenities share the lakefront with renowned museums, a world-famous fountain, a unique historic theater, cultural centers and other popular attractions.
12th Street Beach
- 12th Street Beach
- 31st Street Beach
- 63rd Street Beach
- Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary (in Lincoln Park)
- Burnham Nature Sanctuary (in Burnham Park)
- Calumet Beach
- Columbia Beach
- Fargo Beach
- Foster Beach
- Hartigan Beach
- Howard Beach
- Jarvis Beach
- Juneway Terrace Beach
- Kathy Osterman Beach
- Kayak Chicago
- Lane Beach
- Leone Beach
- Lincoln Park Cultural Center
- Loyola Beach
- McCormick Bird Sanctuary (in Burnham Park)
- Montrose Beach
- North Ave. Beach
- North Pond Nature Sanctuary (in Lincoln Park)
- North Shore Beach
- Northerly Island Prairie (in Burnham Park)
- Oak Street Beach
- Ohio Street Beach
- Rainbow Beach
- South Shore Nature Sanctuary
Located on Northerly Island, 12th Street Beach features a new beach house, and is an excellent place to explore nature with its nature center and bird sanctuary and hospital.
Free Admission | 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive | 312-742-5121
31st Street Beach
Hot beach in the summertime with excellent, unobstructed views of the city skyline and lots of available parking.
Free Admission | 3100 S. Lake SHore Drive | 312-742-5121
63rd Street Beach
The south side’s favorite beach, the 63rd Street Beach offers a large parking lot and rehabbed historic beach house.
Free Admission | 6300 S. Lake Shore Drive | 312-742-5121
Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary (in Lincoln Park)
- Parks & Gardens
Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary offers eight acres of dedicated bird habitat in Lincoln Park, just east of the totem pole near Addison Street.
Free Admission | East of 3400 N. Lake Shore Dr. in Lincoln Park | 312.742.PLAY (7529)
Burnham Nature Sanctuary (in Burnham Park)
- Parks & Gardens
Burnham Nature Sanctuary, nearly twelve acres of prairie and woodland habitat, can be found on the west side of Lake Shore Drive in Burnham Park near 47th Street.
Free Admission | 4700 S. Lake Shore Dr. | 312.742.PLAY (7529)
The southern-most beach in the Chicago Park District, Calumet Beach offers a large, expansive beach for the community.
Free Admission | 9801 S. Ave. G | 312-747-6039
Columbia Beach is one of several street-end beaches that join into the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 1040 W. Columbia Ave | 773-262-8605
Fargo Beach is one of several street end beaches which connect to the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 1300 W. Fargo Ave | 773-262-8605
Vast, spread open beach featuring lots of green space and parking.
Free Admission | 5200 N. Lake Shore Drive | 312-742-5121
Hartigan Beach is one of several street-end beaches which join the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 1031 W. Albion Ave. | 773-262-8605
Howard Beach is one of several street-end beaches that join the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 7519 N. Eastlake Terrace | 773-262-8605
Jarvis Beach is one of several street-end beaches that join the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 7400 Jarvis AVe.
Juneway Terrace Beach
Juneway Terrace is one of several street-end beaches that join the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 7751 N. Eastlake Terrace | 773-262-8605
Kathy Osterman Beach
The northernmost beach in Lincoln Park is named for Kathy Osterman (1943-1992), a dedicated public and beloved servant. She was Alderman for Edgewater, President of the Edgewater Community Council, and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events.
Free Admission | W Hollywood Ave and N Lake Shore Dr | 312.742.5121
Kayak Chicago is Chicago’s premier full service kayak outfitter, offering the highest quality instruction and trips, with their fully certified instructors and guides. There are three locations: Montrose Beach in Uptown, Leone Beach in Rogers Park and 1501 N. Magnolia Ave. on the Chicago River. Rentals available from Memorial Day weekend until September or October depending on location.
1501 N. Magnolia Ave. | 630.336.7245
Lane Beach is one of several street-end beachs that join the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 5915 N. Sheridan Rd | 773-761-0376
Leone Beach is one of several street-end beaches that join the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 1222 W. Touhy Ave. | 773-262-8605
Lincoln Park Cultural Center
- Art & Architecture,
- Cultural Centers,
- Other Attractions,
- Parks & Gardens,
- Popular Attractions,
- Theater & Dance
Located in the heart of Chicago’s lakefront – chicagoans of all ages treasure the amazing Lincoln Park Cultural Center.
2045 N. Lincoln Park West | 312.742.7726
Loyola Beach is a large, expansive beach which offers plenty of available room and nice sights of the distant city skyline.
Free Admission | 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave. | 773-262-8605
McCormick Bird Sanctuary (in Burnham Park)
McCormick Bird Sanctuary is home to 6 acres of bird friendly habitat located along Chicago’s lakefront just south of the McCormick Place Conference Center.
Free Admission | East of 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr. | 312.742.PLAY (7529)
Montrose Beach offers a large expansive beach, green space and a designated dog beach.
Free Admission | 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive | 312-742-5121
North Ave. Beach
North Ave. Beach is one of Chicago’s premiere beaches, offering a great view of the city skyline as well as a full service beach house and several beach volleyball courts.
Free Admission | 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive | 312-742-PLAY
North Pond Nature Sanctuary (in Lincoln Park)
North Pond is a naturalized 13 acre pond in the heart of Lincoln Park.
Free Admission | 2045 W. Lincoln Park West | 312.742.PLAY (7529)
North Shore Beach
North SHore Beach is one of the several street-end beaches that join the larger Loyola Beach.
Free Admission | 1040 W. North Shore Ave | 773-262-8605
Northerly Island Prairie (in Burnham Park)
Northerly Island is a home to 30 acres of prairie habitat making it a unique place for cycling, walking, or bird-watching while taking in spectacular views of the city skyline.
Free Admission | 1400 S. Lynn Dr. | 312.742.PLAY (7529)
Oak Street Beach
Oak Street Beach has become one of Chicago’s most popular and fashionable beaches, and is definitely a place to see and be seen.
Free Admission | 1000 N. Lake Shore Drive | 312-742-5121
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach, just adjacent to Jane Addams Memorial Park and Navy Pier, offers a fine beach and distance swimming lanes which run parallel to the Lakefront paved trail.
Free Admission | 400 N. Lake Shore Drive | 312-742-5121
Located at 77th Street and the Lake, Rainbow Beach offers, arguably, the area’s most awe-inspiring view of Chicago’s skyline.
Free Admission | 3111 E. 77th Street | 312-745-1479
South Shore Nature Sanctuary
South Shore Nature Sanctuary is 4.25 acre nature sanctuary that includes dune, wetland, woodland, and prairie habitat located along Lake Michigan on Chicago’s south side.
Free Admission | 7059 S. Shore Drive | 312.742.PLAY(7529)
Dining in Hyde Park
Culinary delights are abound in Hyde Park, especially along 53rd and 55th streets. Among the restaurants to choose from are Valois (1518 E. 53rd St.), Chant (1509 E. 53rd St.), The Snail Thai Cuisine (1649 E. 55th St.), and The Nile (1611 E. 55th St.). For more dining and other attractions, visit the Hyde Park neighborhood page.
S. Lake Park Ave. & E. 55th St.
Dining in the South Loop
After checking out South Loop sites like the Museum Campus, Motor Row, and the Prairie Avenue District, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on Michigan Avenue, including Ma & I (1234 S. Michigan Ave.), Chicago Firehouse Restaurant (1401 S. Michigan Ave.), or Weather Mark (1503 S. Michigan Ave.).
1303 S. Michigan Ave.
Dining near Calumet Park
For a meal on the Southeast side, near Calumet Park, try Pucci’s Restaurant and Pizzeria (10063 S. Ewing Ave.), Phil’s Kastle (3532 E. 95th St.) or one of the other local establishments.
S. Ewing Ave. & E. 95th St.
Dining on Argyle Street in Uptown
Vietnamese Argyle Street from Broadway Avenue to Sheridan Road, in the Uptown neighborhood, is also known as “Little Vietnam” due to the high density of Vietnamese restaurants. For more information about Argyle Street and other attractions in Uptown, visit Explore Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood page.
N. Sheridan Rd. & W. Argyle St.
Dining on Bryn Mawr in Edgewater
Edgewater is not far from Lake Michigan, as its name suggests. There are many places to eat on and near Bryn Mawr Avenue, including Zanzibar (1036 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) and Francesca’s on Bryn Mawr (1039 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.). Additionally, inside the Edgewater Beach Hotel are the Edgewater Beach Cafe (5545 N. Sheridan Rd.) and Anna Held Florist and Cafe (5557 N. Sheridan Rd.).
W. Bryn Mawr Ave. & N. Sheridan Rd.
Food & Drink in East Lakeview
East Lakeview is only two blocks from Lake Michigan, and offers great options for dining or preparing a lakefront picnic. Favorite stops include sandwiches, cheese and more to take away from Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine (2945 N. Broadway), indoor and seasonal outdoor dining at Irish pub Wilde (3130 N. Broadway), and ice cream cones and other fountain favorites from Bobtail (2951 N. Broadway). For more information, visit the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce website (3138 N. Broadway).
N. Broadway & W. Wellington Ave.
Lincoln Park Neighborhood Dining
Lincoln Park is known for its many high quality restaurants, including several that are quite close to the park, the zoo and Lake Michigan. For a romantic meal, try Geja’s Café or Terragusto , both located at 340 W. Armitage. The restaurants Mon Ami Gabi (2300 N. Lincoln Park W.), L2O (2300 N. Lincoln Park W.), and RJ Grunts (2056 N. Lincoln Park W.) all sit across the street from the park. Many restaurants are within a short walk of the park on Clark Street, including Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Company (2121 N. Clark St.) and Riccardo Trattoria (2119 N. Clark St.). For more information, please visit Explore Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood page. Accessibility limitations at some sites. Please contact site for more information.
N. Clark St. & W. Armitage Ave.
Taking its name from the adjacent pond, this fine dining restaurant specializing in local, seasonal ingredients, sits in the middle of Lincoln Park, allowing diners to enjoy a magnificent view with their superb meal.
2610 N. Cannon Dr. | 773.477.5845
The Parrot Cage Restaurant
The Parrot Cage Restaurant, located in the South Shore Cultural Center and operated by the Washburne Culinary Institute, serves gourmet American cuisine in a beautiful restaurant overlooking Lake Michigan.
7059 S. South Shore Dr. | 773.602.5333
Waterfront Dining in Streeterville
The entire neighborhood of Streeterville is within a short walk to the lake; there are many restaurants for hungry travelers. Wave Restaurant (644 N. Lake Shore Dr.), located in the W Hotel, overlooks the lakefront. Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) is home to numerous dining establishments on Lake Michigan, including dinner cruises. To learn more about the restaurants and other attractions near the lake in Streeterville, visit the Streeterville neighborhood page.
644 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Bookstores on 57th Street in Hyde Park
57th Street in Hyde Park, west of Jackson Park and the Museum of Science and Industry, has a great selection or new and used independent bookstores. Stop into: O’Gara & Wilson Ltd. (1448 E. 57th St.), Powell’s Bookstore (1501 E. 57th St.), and 57th Street Books (1301 E. 57th St.) for a relaxing read. Accessibility limitations at some sites. Please contact stores for more information.
1448 E. 57th St.
Oak Street Shopping in Gold Coast
Oak Street from Rush Street to Michigan Avenue is lined with many high end shops, including the recently relocated Barneys New York (15 E. Oak St.), Prada (30 E. Oak St.), Hickey Freeman (114 E. Oak St.), and other designer boutiques . For more information on these shops, visit the Gold Coast neighborhood page or www.oakstreetchicago.com. Accessibility limitations at some sites. Please contact stores for more information.
N. Michigan Ave. & E. Oak St.
Shopping and More on North Michigan Avenue
The Magnificent Mile at North Michigan Avenue, located west of Lake Michigan, is a prime place to shop while visiting downtown. Three large malls with hundreds of shops along the mile include: The 900 Shops (900 N. Michigan Ave.), The Shops at Northbridge (520 N. Michigan Ave.), and Water Tower Place (835 N. Michigan Ave.). For more complete information on shopping on Michigan Ave., visit.
N. Michigan Ave. & E. Chicago Ave.
Bobby’s ‘Tike’ Hike: Family Edition Bicycle Tour
Our kid-friendly version of our most popular bike tours of Chicago is perfect for beginner riders and families.
465 N. McClurg Ct. | 312.915.0995
Gray Line Bus Tours: The Land and Lake Tour
Enjoy a Sightseeing Coach Tour for two hours followed by a boat tour through the Chicago From the Lake boat company.
17 E. Monroe | 312.251.3100
Tall Ship Red Witch
Lakeshore Sail Charters offers a variety of tours on The Red Witch, a 77-foot, 2-masted sailing ship. This traditional sailing adventure aboard a wooden schooner appeals to all ages.
500 E. Waldron Ave., near Soldier Field | 312.451.2700
Tall Ship Windy
Tall Ship Windy, Chicago’s official tall ship, offers a variety of tours from Navy Pier aboard a 148-foot, 4 masted sailing ship. Most tours are themed, with onboard story telling that appeals to all ages.
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. | 312.731.9689
Wine and Waves Tour
Wendella Boats’ two-hour wine tasting/architectural boat cruise features a variety of different wines by Kafka Wine Company, along with a sampling of Italian dishes by local Chicago restaurant, Buca di Beppo.
400 N. Michigan Ave. | 312.337.1446