North Avenue Beach


Chicago's most popular strand of sand gives off a bit of a Southern California vibe in summer. Buff teams spike volleyballs, kids build sandcastles and everyone jumps in for a swim when the weather heats up. Bands and DJs rock the steamboat-shaped beach house, which serves ice cream and margaritas in equal measure. Kayaks, Jet Skis, stand-up paddleboards, bicycles and lounge chairs are available to rent, and there are daily beach yoga classes.

A short walk on the curving breakwater yields postcard-perfect skyline views. Swimming is permitted when lifeguards are on duty, which is every day (11am to 7pm) throughout the summer.

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