Chicago is the Windy City. It’s the place we see in movies, where people wrap up warm in winter and the snow is crisp and even. Or perhaps that’s just my impression ever since the release of Home Alone (1990), which, yes, was filmed in Chicago. Although, going by those rules, my impression of Chicago should also be that it’s forever December and the actor Joe Pesci stalks neighbourhoods looking for easy to swipe loot. Who knows, maybe that is what he gets up to these days, but I doubt it.
If your impression of Chicago was even slightly in the same ballpark, you might be surprised to learn that the city has 15 beaches spread out along 26 miles of shoreline. I know. Weird, isn’t it. Like finding out there’s a secret room at the top of the Eiffel Tower or like the first time you see Australia with a line drawn down the middle to show that it’s a dog’s head on the left and cat’s head on the right. Crazy stuff.
Now, before visiting Chicago’s beaches, please be aware that Chicago is big. Well, for a start it has 26 miles of beaches. We’re hardly dealing with a one horse town. This means it gets congested. A lot. Always travel with the details of a local lawyer to hand. Just in case, otherwise you could find yourself far from home wasting valuable time reading Google reviews when something goes wrong. Anyway, let’s get on with it.
Ohio Street Beach
Visiting Chicago usually comes with the advice to stay on the Magnificent Mile (or close to it). This is Chicago’s tourist trap of shops, restaurants, architecture, and entertainment. The Ohio Street Beach is the closest beach to the Mag’ Mile. This little much loved beach is something of a gem, as it’s less visited due to having no on site restaurants or restrooms. But for a stroke or a midday laze? Perfect.
Oak Street Beach
Kick things up a notch with the Oak Street Beach, just north of the Ohio Street Beach. Although not swarming with visitors, you can get food here, making it the perfect beach for dining out and starting the evening off with a little culture. However, if you really want to have a good time…
The North Avenue Beach
This is where people come to have fun. Think food. Think restrooms. Think beach houses, outdoor showers, people getting a tan, and volleyball nets – basically, Rio eat your heart out. OK, perhaps it’s not quite Brazil. But Chicago is on the same line of latitude as Barcelona, Rome, and Istanbul.
For all these sandy reasons and more, why not add Chicago to your must-see travel list.