Believe it or not, Chicago has fantastic beaches! Don't be fooled by Chicago's location in the middle of the USA. We are situated on the west side of Lake Michigan, which is wide enough to feel like an ocean (without the salt in the water).
One of the best memories of the beach is leaving the office at noon, taking a 20 minute stroll to reach Oak Street Beach with snack in hand, relaxing on a bench with people playing volleyball then heading back to work after absorbing the summer sun.
Take a long walk down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago Il during the spring and summer, the view is great, especially with Soldier Field, the Alder Planetarium and Museum of Natural History down the path, and the skyline behind you is awesome!
There arent too many big cities by a lake (Lake Michigan) like Chicago and its skyline at night is the most prettiest.
Go rollerblading along the shore of lake Michican
On a beautiful day this is really wonderful. The shoreline has a good pavement. A lot of people are jogging, cycling, walking and rollerblading. A unique way to be sportive and enjoy some great views of lake Michican area
Rent a bike (or go for a run) and ride up and down the path by Lake Michigan.
You get a terrific view of the Chicago skyline in different areas and plus you get to people watch all the people laying out on the beaches during the summer.
Take a boat tour onto Lake Michigan
We used Wendella Boat Tours... it first takes you on a tour of the Chicago River as you meander between the skyscrapers on both sides of you. Then you go through the locks and out onto the lake for some great opportunities of pictures of the city.
The beach a long Michigan is something many first time visitors do not know about. Probably because it's only useful during the Summer. However, all of Chicago's lake front is public property which is pretty rare for a large city.There are plenty of parks and beaches that span from the south to north end of chicago. I prefer the North Beach/Fullerton Beach areas because it's usually the most populated during the Summer.
Lincoln Park, John Hanckock observatory, Shed Aquarium, Industry Museum, Obersvaroty, bla bla bla.... Another unique experience one should do is check the Navy Pier, man!!!
The aquarium for those water sports fanatics, should be a great deal! Lincoln Park has a interesting view of the city as well as the people and should be nice if Chicago isn't ice cold.
Tour the waterfront by automobile.
Take a drive down Lakeshore Drive, and see the downtown buildings and Lake Michigan. I don't recommend trying to take pictures while you're driving though, as I did with this photo!
The city has a number of beaches all along the lakefront, but I would venture to say that this is probably the most popular. It's striking because right behind you is the skyline. This picture doesn't quite do it justice, but you get the idea. There's sand, concrete for those who don't like sand, volleyball nets, and a long path that goes all along the lakefront (watch out for those cyclists and rollerbladers). The water is usually freezing until August, but you get used to it once you get in there. Or you can just lie there and soak up the rays, ahh. Before or after, you can go shopping--Michigan Avenue is right there.
Lincoln Park is Chicago at it's very best. It's a huge spance of parkland that runs from Magnificent Mile/Gold Coast and goes all the way up the coast of Lake Michigan. It's positively teeming with things to do, it has some of the most breathtaking Chicago scapes you can find, and many activities are free of charge. If you're trying to keep expenses low, you can spend at least one whole day hanging out in Lincoln Park and not spend a dime. The world-class Lincoln Park Zoo is open to the public free of charge. The Conservatory is right next door; an indoor, horticultural paradise, and it's also free of charge.
If you golf, there's a great 9 hole course up around Waveland Avenue on the north side. It's called the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course, and it's a part of the Chicago Park District.
Michigan Lake Sightseeing Boats
The boats will show and introduce you the famous buildings along the Chicago River. After that, the boat will sail into the Michigan Lake where is the best spot to watch the Chicago skyline in my opinion.
Lake Michigan is an awesome site that challenges the word lake because it really is more like a beach. In the summer you walk along the beach watching the sail boats, lay in the sun, play volleyball and even rollerbade. Although a little chilly the lake is even impressive during the winter where you can see small iceburgs and huge waves crashing on the shore.
Rent a bike and stroll along Chicago's beaches. Magnificent views of the city and of the Lake. Take a swim or just stop for a bite or sunbathing.
The park is located in the middle of the city right off Michigan Lake. Pretty park nice and quiet. Linocoln Park Zoo and the Conservatory along the Nature is located in Lincoln park.
We went sailing on the Windy again in August of 2001, and we had another perfect day--clear skies and sparkling water.