Oak Street Beach
Oak Street Beach
4.5
About
Great place for water sports and biking.
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Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Oak Street Beach and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: Near North Side
How to get there
  • Chicago • 8 min walk
  • Clark/Division • 10 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles362 reviews
Excellent
163
Very good
152
Average
34
Poor
6
Terrible
7

MayfieldParrish
Denver, CO1,087 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jimmidor
Chicago37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The_Loup_Garou
Phoenix, AZ166,145 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris H
Gloucester, UK174 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelAdapter
Delhi, in, National Capital Territory of Delhi, India76 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ElectricMayhem
New York City, NY555 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Misonix
Cleveland, OH629 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hbrow022
Virginia Beach, VA803 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveling_Gebhard44
Mountain Home, AR2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Friends
Spent my teen and early 20's going to lay out on the crowded, but fun beach. With the beautiful towering buildings of lake shore drive behind us. And Drake Hotel next to us, where we stayed..

People riding bikes, skating, jogging, walking hand in hand. A pavilion where built in cement chess tables are there for the folks of Chicago to meet up daily with their fellow chess loving friends.
Oak street is not for strangers. You're there? Everyone belongs. Everyone is a friend.

The water is cool, but lovely in the summer. The lake and boats are stunning, and Lake Michigan is so enormous, it looks like an ocean.

Few years later, I was proposed to there, with a man on bended knee, as drivers on the LSD drove by and saw.

Oak Street brings together the best of the diverse people of Chicago. Summer is the best season.
Spring and Fall? If you love walking and jogging, you must go then and enjoy the weather, and the scenery of the buildings on one side, and the gorgeous lake on the other.

Will always be my favorite place to go, to be, and to experience on all of Earth. <3
Written April 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DiverDaveMinneapolis
Saint Paul, MN215 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Family
Oak Street Beach is located along the shore of Lake Michigan just east and north of the Miracle Mile on Michigan Avenue. It features a south ledge approximately a mile long with shallow water, a large sand beach in the middle opposite the Drake Hotel and a north ledge with much deeper water and excellent swimming conditions. The views from the north ledge are stunning- the downtown skyline, the Gold Coast residences, and the lake itself. The sand beach can get crowded on a warm day and the north ledge is typically quieter and better for swimming. There is great people watching as well. The path beyond the beach tends to be very busy with bikers, skaters and runners, so paying attention to traffic and your children is a must. If you are a runner or walker, there are few better venues than the two and one half mile trek from North Avenue to Ohio Street along the shore.
Written May 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Oak Street Beach - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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