Oak Street Beach

Oak Street Beach, Chicago: Address, Phone Number, Oak Street Beach Reviews: 4.5/5

Oak Street Beach
4.5
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Great place for water sports and biking.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Near North Side
How to get there
  • Chicago • 8 min walk
  • Clark/Division • 10 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
357 reviews
Excellent
160
Very good
151
Average
33
Poor
6
Terrible
7

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,720 contributions
Oak Street Beach is a fashionable place to see and be seen. Located at 1000 North Lake Shore Drive, at the curve that divides the Gold Coast neighborhood from the Streeterville neighborhood, in the shadow of the famous Drake Hotel, across the street from the north end of North Michigan Avenue or the Magnificent mile and the glitzy Oak Street shopping district, it is a popular gathering place for residents and tourists as a summer social spot amidst the hoopla and hubbub of Chicago's downtown. Food and beverage items are available at the Oak Street Beach Cafe. Beach-goers also can take advantage of many amenities, including swimming, chair rentals, bike rentals and volleyball rentals. The Lakefront Trail runs through Oak Street Beach, allowing joggers and walkers and bicyclists to go as far north as Montrose Beach and as far south as Navy Pier, even farther. In 2011, a mural measuring 260 feet in length and nine feet tall at the very center was created by Jeff Zimmerman entitled "You Know What You Should Do." It is located along a wall running parallel to the Lakefront Trail and is the access point to the Oak Street Beach underpass. It helps raise awareness of beach health and water quality issues. Its message reminds the public to help keep the beaches clean by not littering or feeding wildlife. The only downside to all of this is parking, or lack of it. There is no parking adjacent to Oak Street Beach, only street parking (if you can find a space) across Lake Shore Drive. Neighborhood residents walk to the beach while others take public transportation.
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

B H
Arkansas46 contributions
Couples
The bus stop was nearby. To reach the beach, we had to cross the street and use an underpass beneath the highway. There is a wide paved area with two designated lanes for walking or running and two lanes for biking. Pet friendly. There is a “shelf” that we used as a bench. It was nice to sit there instead of in the sand or having to carry a blanket or chair. Many were swimming, but we used the time to relax, listen to waves,and read a book.
Written August 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MayfieldParrish
Denver, CO1,054 contributions
This beach is surprisingly clean for being located in the middle of a large metropolitan area. The large city buildings make for some awesome background for your pictures. Nice hotels and restaurants surround the beach so even if the weather is not ideal you can have a nice day. Great activity for families as well as couples.
Written May 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jimmidor
Chicago40 contributions
Family
There are many beaches in Chicago, but they are by no means equal. If you want large crowds and are a jock go to North avenue Beach. If you are an animal lover go to the doggy beach at Montrose. If you want to barbeque with family go to Wilson. If you want the best of Chicago with the best skyline views, vibe, sand, and access to downtown and Navy pier then go to Oak Street. You can start your day on the beach, then walk a few minutes along the shore and go for a deep swim off the ledge ladders just across from the gold coast. Oak street is also the best for people watching or meeting if that is your purpose. If you are coming from North Ave along the lakefront you know you are there when your turn the corner and see the Hancock building in front of your face.

After the beach you have many options for lunch, dinner or shopping. You are literally a 3 minute walk from the Mag Mile where you can shop or dine to your hearts content. You can also stroll up to Navy pier which is a nice 15 minute walk.

I have lived in Chicago as a northsider for 40 years and for many years have jogged from Addison to Grant park passing by all different beaches and lake front attractions and Oak street has always stood out as the true vibe of Chicago's lake front for me. Take in the vibe and enjoy.
Written July 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The_Loup_Garou
Phoenix, AZ166,281 contributions
Couples
We had only ever driven past Oak Street Beach, or seen it from one of our hotel windows, so this was the first time that we actually got to “experience” it. We were dining at Spiaggia, across the street from it, and arrived rather early for our reservation time. We strolled the area, and along the beach, itself, on a lovely Spring evening.

There were only a few walkers, that we could see, though quite a few cyclists were on the Lakefront Trail, which passes the actual sand of the beach. Though the weather was very nice, Chicago had been in the grips of a lingering Winter, until just before our arrival. I anticipate that few were out using the beach, at least not yet.

Though the sun was setting behind us, the sand was taking on a warm glow, and the Lake, plus Oak St Beach were quite beautiful.

The sand looked clean, and actually well-groomed. I grew up on a man-made beach, which was groomed weekly, and though Oak Street Beach is much, much smaller, it had that look. And, unlike “my beach,” Oak Street has the beautiful skyline of Chicago, as a back drop!

Though the beach activities had not yet started for the year, I would think that due to its location, right at the end of the Magnificent Mile, this would be a very, very popular attraction, and probably just a few weeks after our journey.

In a city of concrete (though there ARE some lovely parks), having a sandy beach, right on the Lake, is very nice.
Written June 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris H
Gloucester, UK170 contributions
Friends
An idyllic sandy beach in the heart of Chicago on Lake Michigan. Just on the North side of Navy pier this location along with the beach bar with excellent draft beers and superb fresh food. An excellent for the whole family, the sun seekers, the bathers and those who can't stand sand but are happy to sit at the bar and watch
Written June 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelAdapter
Delhi, in, National Capital Territory of Delhi, India82 contributions
Solo
I can understand that it is popular with the locals in the city as it does the job.

As a tourist would not recomend anyone to waste their time with this excuse of a beach. Overpriced drinks and dirty sidewalks.
Written January 31, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ElectricMayhem
New York City, NY519 contributions
Couples
OK. Maybe I'm just ill informed. I knew that there were beaches along the Great Lakes. And that many were quite nice. And I guess that I had heard that there were beaches in Chicago. But when I heard that there was a beach a few blocks from my Near North Side hotel, I had to see it to believe it.

Yes, this beach exists. And yes, its actually pretty darn nice. We went on a summer weekday afternoon and the beach was busy, but not too crowded. There is also a small restaurant/bar space at one end of the beach. If you didn't know better, you might think that you were in San Juan instead of the Windy City.
Written July 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Misonix
Cleveland, OH668 contributions
Family
This is too good to be true, especially during the week. Walking distance from Gold coast, rent a chair for 10 per day, great walking place right in the city. Its great for a few hours on a nice day.
Written June 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hbrow022
Virginia Beach, VA827 contributions
Friends
Oak Street Beach is a larger beach within walking distance from magnificent mile hotels. Has volleyball, lifeguards, bathrooms, and restaurant on the beach. The restaurant/bar on the beach was great! It had cold drinks and a great view with outdoor seating.
Written June 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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