Chicago >North Avenue Beach
North Ave and Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.933470 -87.632138
Daily: dawn to dusk
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Park, North Side
You can't dress shleppy and go to North Avenue Beach. Prepare to be intimidated by the beach bods and drunk frat boys, but in what other big city can you lay at the beach with a lake representative of the ocean, a huge city skyline and an enormous bar shaped like a ship? Not to mention, beach volleyball, bike rides and fro-yo in the adjoining park.
"Annoying" Lifeguards? – Yes, North Beach can be crowded. Yes, parking is a hassle. It is still worth it. What better place to cool off on a hot Chicago summer day?
As for the "annoying" lifeguards - how about some real information. It doesn't have anything to do with swimming ability, or anyone worrying about you drowning yourself. Those pilings you see out beyond the swim area? There is underwater sheet steel running along the bottom between them. The sheet steel sticks up several feet above the bottom. No matter how well you swim, the chance of hurting yourself on the sheet steel is very real. It isn't soft or smooth. Kicking it would break something (and not the steel). Don't believe me? Walk out on a pier and look down for yourself.
I sense the next question - why don't they remove it? it's there on purpose! With no breakwater in that area - no rocks or walls further out to protect the area - this is what keeps all that sand that you're enjoying still there instead of washed out to the bottom of Lake Michigan.
So... let's not judge before we have the full story and just enjoy the beach!
Best of Chi – North Avenue Beach just won for Best Beach in Chicago! Check out what else won for best of Chi-Town with 1035 Kiss Fm! For more info check 1035 Kiss Fm's website!
What do you want? – So many people wish they could have access to a beach like North Avenue. Yeah, parking can be horrible if your looking to park right on the beach itself. What's the matter? Afraid of a little walk? Ever hear of public transportation? Someone dropping you off and picking you up? Parking away from the beach and walking offers you a view of a neighnorhood and community many could only wish to live in.
As for those who complain about the life guards. Not everyone is an expert, confident swimmer. And those who are, are not beyond encountering danger in the water. Hundreds and hundreds of people visit North Avenue Beach on any given beautiful day. The life guards do not have eyes in back of their heads. What will it take for you to appreciate what they do? A tragedy? We are contained so they can do their job to the fullest. So give them a break.
Bring your own food or enjoy some great food at the boathouse. Bring your chair or rent one. Ride in on your bike or rent one. Just go there with the anticipation of an enjoyable day. You are sure to have one and will come back time and time again.
I am a life long resident of chicago and have seen North Avenue beach change many times over. Right now it has reached it's apex. It definitly has something for everyone. If you can't enjoy yourself there then I don't know what you are looking for.
NAB is a good time – North Avenue Beach is a wonderful place to have a good time. The beach has a great view of the Chicago skyline and many different activities to partake in. But as I am writing this, I'd like to respond to the previous review. Although the lifeguards at North Avenue Beach may seem annoying to you, aldicks, their job is to keep the patrons in the water in front of their boat. I'm sure you are an Olympic swimmer, and probably think this rule does not apply to you. In my expirience as a lifeguard at North Avenue, I noticed that the majority of people who came to the beach could not swim. I'm asking you to please think about this. If the lifeguards were to allow patrons past their boats, there would be drownings. I'm sure you go to the beach with your yuppie friends and your cooler and your volleyball and think you own the place. Next time you are at North Avenue, respect the lifeguards, because they are sitting in their "little rowboats", baking in the sun, and putting up with your silly yuppie antics.
A sandy summertime oasis for sunbathing, picnics and some of Chicago's best people-watching. – The Experience
A cacophony of boomboxes, screaming kids and multilingual chatter fills the air, as North Avenue Beach bursts at the seams between Memorial Day and Labor Day. An even mix of extended families, couples and groups of singles occupy nearly every inch of open sand, as vendors hawk everything from sunglasses to bottled water. Cyclists, in-line skaters and joggers weave in between bikini-clad sunbathers scampering across the bike path, swarming to and from the beach via the Lincoln Park footbridge that crosses over Lake Shore Drive.
In addition to the stretch of sand that affords views of the Chicago skyline, the area offers breakwaters for fishing, beach volleyball, grassy strips for barbecues and a boat-shaped beach house. There's even a roller-hockey rink and an open-air fitness center for cross trainers working on their abs and their tans.
Lifeguards, AH – I love this beach, the only problem is the lifeguards are SO annoying. They sit in the water in their rowboats (only about thirty feet out) and yell at you if you try to swim past them. So, you can't even really get to the point where the water is above your shoulders. I like to SWIM, not stand in the water and these lifeguards are TOO uptight.
Oh, the summer crowds – This beach is huge, well-maintained and right next to the city -- that's part of the problem. On a hot summer day, it gets jam-packed. Don't even try to drive. Take the bus and walk over -- or you'll be sitting in your car for hours. My favorite summer event here is the Air & Water Show -- it's unreal.
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