The Five Best Beaches in the Chicago Suburbs
When the sun comes out in Chicago, there’s no better place to be than the beach. Whether you’re looking to go for a swim, play some beach volleyball, rent kayaks, or just enjoy some amazing views while kicking back with an ice cream, the city’s suburbs have a great range of options to choose from on those scorching summer days.
From the golden sands of the Lake Michigan shore to the woodland feel of some of the smaller lakes, there’s all kinds of different experiences to be had. Whether you’re looking for adventure or for a relaxed day out with the family, there’s a beach for everyone in the Chicago suburbs.
Here we take a look at some of our favorite beaches in the ‘burbs, along with a few tips on where to hang out once you’re done at the waterside.
Located just 12 miles north of downtown Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, Evanston is a busy and thriving college town suburb with lots to offer. It also has a number of beautiful beaches that are perfect for a great day out.
Lighthouse Beach, Evanston
If you’re looking to escape the busy urban life for some relaxed fun, why not head to Lighthouse Beach? This intimate and pretty beach is surrounded by beautiful woodland and is perfect for those looking for a more tranquil experience. It’s noted for its cleanliness and picturesque views - a great place to walk the dog or enjoy a relaxed evening stroll.
Once you’ve sampled the sand and surf, check out downtown Evanston for more fun. With great outdoor spaces like Dawes Park, amazing cultural venues like the Space theater where you could catch a band, and great museums like the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, you’ll be sure to have a memorable day out here. Plus, our favorite chicken wing shop in the whole Chicago suburbs is right here in Evanston.
With a sense of fun and freedom in the name of the suburb, Libertyville is a great place to head to when the sun is shining this summer. Located in Lake County 35 miles north of downtown Chicago and 5 miles west of the shore of Lake Michigan, the area has a number of beaches to choose from. One popular destination is Lake Minear beach.
Lake Minear, Libertyville
Close to the Des Plaines river on its eastern edge, this 72-acre lake is perfect for a family day out in the sun. Here you can while away the summer hours with a picnic or a bbq on one of the charcoal grills provided, go for a swim in the lake, and even go fishing year-round. Of course, if you’re feeling peckish, there’s a great range of tasty snacks and treats available from the lakeside vendors. Our 2nd favorite pizza place in the North ‘burbs, Pizzeria Deville, is here in Libertyville.
That’s not all that the suburb has to offer. Once you’re done at Lake Minear, head into town to enjoy the full Libertyville experience. With its cute downtown and established cultural destinations, it won’t disappoint. You could go for sushi at Starfish Sushi on Milwaukee Avenue, or if you’re in the mood for something more intellectual, head to the renowned Bess Bower Dunn Museum, an interactive museum of history, art and popular culture. Whatever you decide, we’re certain you’ll have a great time in Libertyville.
If you’re looking for a luxury beach experience, the affluent suburb of Glencoe is your perfect destination. With its scenic trails and stunning views, it’s no surprise that Glencoe Beach is regarded as one of the most beautiful spots, not just in Glencoe but in the entire Chicago metropolitan area.
The extensive beach amenities here include a sprayground for kids, areas for beach volleyball, paddleboard and kayak rentals, and sun shelters. There is an admission charge in the summer months, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, of $20 for non-residents. With such glorious views and wonderful amenities, we believe it’s worth the price.
Once you’re done at the beach, Glencoe has a huge amount to offer those looking for more fun. Why not head to the prestigious Chicago Botanic Garden, with its renowned water lily and rose gardens, or catch a play at the popular Writers Theatre in the center of town? Whatever you choose, you’re certain to find the finer things in life in Glencoe.
Located in the north west of the Chicago metropolitan area, Lake Zurich is a suburb that’s well worth a visit this summer. When the sun is shining, there’s no better place to be than Paulus Park, on the shore of the lake.
This family park, with its popular beach, is a perfect destination to take the kids for a great day out. With its children’s play area and splash pad, numerous walking trails, and picnic areas, you’ll be certain of a super fun time.
Once you’re done with the aquatic fun at Paulus Park, you could head to the nearby Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve for some more outdoor adventure. This beautiful area of gently rolling hills with marshes and scattered groves is great for nature lovers and would be perfect for a summer evening stroll when the sun is going down. It features three miles of scenic trails and allows for hiking, cycling, and dog walking. It’s certainly not to be missed for those who want an outdoor adventure in Lake Zurich.
For an aquatic experience to remember this summer, you could try heading to the ever-popular Naperville. Located 30 miles west of the downtown Chicago area, this beautiful western suburb is famous for its Riverwalk. This tranquil 3-mile stretch of the DuPage river is well-known for its variety of walkways, fountains, and outdoor sculptures, not to mention the great selection of bars, shops and eateries.
Centennial Beach, Naperville
What is less well-known is that, over in Centennial Park, there’s a great little beach where you can have some fun with the kids and make the most of the summer sun. At Centennial Beach, you will find a great opportunity to enjoy some river swimming, with a good selection of slides and diving boards to keep the whole family entertained.
Once you’ve seen all the fun that can be had at Centennial Beach, why not treat the kids to a movie at the nearby Hollywood Palms Cinema? This popular theater shows all the latest blockbusters with a great selection of snacks and treats.
Posted by Rafael Velasco