Guide To North Avenue Beach

August 6, 2012 2:00 PM

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

743309081 Guide To North Avenue Beach

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Rachel Azark

North Avenue Beach
1600 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL
Season: 2012 Beach Season runs Fri., May 25 – Mon., Sept. 3
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. unless otherwise posted seasonally
Supervisor: 312-742-5121

There is a reason why Chicago is labeled as the Third Coast. With Lake Michigan at our fingertips, Chicago boasts lots of beaches up and down her shores. One of the more popular and active beaches is North Avenue. Spend a weekend there and take in what it has to offer.

25 Guide To North Avenue Beach

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Besides the obvious of sun tanning on the beach and swimming in the water, North Avenue offers a few other fun activities that you can rent or participate in at the beach.

• Rent a bike to take ride on the Lake path from Lakeshore Bike ‘n Tune
• Try beach yoga during sunrise, late morning or sunset with Sun and Moon Beach Yoga
• Try wakeboarding or paddle boarding through Great Lakes Board Company
• Rent a jetski from Windy City Watersports
• Or kayak with Kayak Chicago

Volleyball courts and equipment can be reserved up to six days in advance. The courts rent for $10 per hour and the equipment rental is $5 with a valid ID. Call 312-742-3776 to reserve your spot.

castaways1 Guide To North Avenue Beach


Where to Eat

There is something about hanging out in the sun that makes you really hungry. Luckily there’s food at the beach.


Castaways is the North Avenue Beach bar and grill. The first level features an ice cream café and beachside burgers with casual walk-up stands. The rooftop portion of the restaurant offers appetizers, sandwiches, fresh salads, great desserts and ice old drinks. You can’t miss the building either. It looks like a giant cruise ship painted in blue and white pulled up and parked itself on the beach.

How to get there

There is a paid parking lot available but with very limited parking. They highly recommend taking public transportation to the beach. CTA buses and the Brown and Red EL stops aren’t too far away from the beach. If you feel like rollerblading or riding your bike there, the Lake front path is right there.

Rachel Azark is a writer and lives on Chicago’s Northwest side. Read more of her work on her blog

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