When you think of the Windy City for your honeymoon, the first thoughts that jump to your mind might not be sunshine and sand. But with 28 miles of land and 33 beaches resting right up against the salt-free shores of Lake Michigan, we think you should think again. These public beaches line the lake’s shore all the way to the Illinois state line and provide countless white sand options for sunbathing lovers, swimmers, and beach volleyball fanatics alike – and just to simplify your search for sun worship, we’ve got a few of our favorites to share.
Oak Street Beach
Far and away Chicago’s most popular beach, Oak Street Beach is no stranger to the masses – although not without reason. The beach is conveniently near the north end of Michigan Avenue and an easy walk from downtown Chicago’s biggest attractions. It is also home to the largest sunbathing space in the city, and nearby restaurants mean you don’t need to worry about packing a picnic lunch.
North Avenue Beach
North Avenue Beach combines all the best elements of a Chicago beach: the best lakefront view of the city, a winning combination of sunbathing space and sand volleyball, and a handful of desirable amenities. Among the benefits are a beach house with showers, a sandwich shop, and a bike rental shop replete with traditional beach cruisers.
57th Street Beach
Free street parking and quick, easy, beachfront access make the 57th Street Beach a breeze. The somewhat secluded location – and lack of volleyball pits – mean that this beach is also a break from the city crowds on even the busiest of summer weekends. Nearby Promontory Point Park is a good break from the sunshine with its shade trees and view of the city.
Illinois Beach State Park
Although this beach is well removed from the Chicago city limits (and a 90 minute drive from downtown), its expansive, six and a half mile shoreline and the acres of adjacent hiking and biking trails make Illinois Beach State Park completely worth the extra effort – and almost impossible to overcrowd. Entry and parking are both free, although amenities are limited.