North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach, Chicago: Hours, Address, North Avenue Beach Reviews: 4.5/5

North Avenue Beach
4.5
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Write a review
Top ways to experience North Avenue Beach
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
258 reviews
Excellent
121
Very good
103
Average
20
Poor
9
Terrible
5

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,720 contributions
One of the advantages of living where we do on Chicago's Gold Coast is the view. Since we moved into our apartment in 1983, we have enjoyed a picturesque view of North Avenue Beach, Lincoln Park and a front row seat for the annual Air and Water Show. Located at 1600 North Lake Shore Drive, at North Avenue and Lake Michigan, North Avenue Beach is one of Chicago's most popular beaches with the most picturesque view of Chicago's magnificent skyline. It also features a popular beach house that contains 22,000 square feet of space, a sleek ocean liner-inspired building that contains a restaurant, an ice cream cafe and facilities to rent volleyball courts, bicycles, kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, lounge chairs, umbrellas, even sandals and chess tables. Outdoor beach yoga is offered seven days a week for all age levels. North Avenue Beach is also a popular gathering place for joggers and walkers and bicyclists. On the Lakefront Trail, you can stroll north from North Avenue Beach to Montrose Beach or south to Navy Pier. There is plenty of beachfront for swimmers and sun bathers. On a sunny summer day, it's an all-day activity. Parking is available in a paid lot but, be forewarned, there isn't much space so arrive early and take the North Avenue bus to the end of the line.
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,720 contributions
My wife and I have lived in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood since 1983, a few blocks from North Avenue Beach. But we never have gone swimming in Lake Michigan. Too cold. We prefer the Gulf of Mexico, which rises to 93 degrees in the summer. The water off North Avenue Beach struggles to reach 70 degrees. However, North Avenue Beach, located at 1600 North Lake Shore Drive in Lincoln Park, at the eastern terminus of North Avenue, is one of Chicago's most popular beaches because it is the home of the city's famous Air & Water Show and is a picturesque postcard for Chicago's spectacular skyline. It features a unique beach house that contains 22,000 square feet of space, a sleek, ocean liner-inspired building decked out in blue and white colors and featuring a restaurant that attracts multitudes of swimmers, sunbathers, bikers, runners, walkers and rollerbladers, many of whom stream down the Lakefront Trail. North Avenue Beach will be the show center for the 2022 Chicago Air and Water Show, a traditional event that annually draws 1 million people to the lakefront. The show was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and was scaled down considerably in 2021. But it will return in full force from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 20-21. And there is no better place to view the festivities than while sitting on North Avenue Beach.
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SouthLoopZephyr
Chicago, IL8 contributions
Solo
I don't know where the reviewers get their information, that the water at North Avenue Beach is "dirty" or "filthy." One can't determine water quality by looking at the water, whether the water has a high level of harmful bacteria or not, can be determine by testing the water.

Chicago's beaches are tested each weekday and on weekends, if high bacteria levels are detected late in the week. The beaches also are groomed each day, killing bacteria in the sand by exposing it to sunlight. To give even more current information computer models are used to predict water quality. If the water quality at a Chicago swimming beach is not up to the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency then a swim advisory is posted at that particular beach. If unsafe bacteria reaches an unsafe level then a swimming ban will go into effect at that beach.

Chicago's beaches offer variety and each provides a different environment to enjoy Chicago's splendid lakefront. North Avenue Beach has been correctly described as a 'crowded, party beach' so some will naturally prefer one of Chicago's less crowded more relaxing beaches. For those who enjoy a beach of this type it rates five stars.
Written June 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MIGuy74
Alma, Canada90 contributions
Family
Besides parking it is the one of the best beaches I have visited. If you are with younger kids try to find a quiet spot and stay away from 20 something crowd so you and your kids don’t have to hear F word and all the wild stories they share out loud. CPD helicopter was circling low so that was added entertainment. Sand is warm but water is cold. I recommend taking your kids there.
Written July 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

wilslisa
90 contributions
We went to this beach after walking around Lincoln Park Zoo. It gets pretty busy on a sunny day but we managed to find some open spots to lay out by walking further down the beach. There’s restaurants and bars but no alcohol on the beach.
Written May 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AVChicago2012
Chicago, IL106 contributions
This place is amazing for the air and water show..if you have time you should go Thursday before the show to watch them pratice..do not drive here when they have any kind of events..ride you bike or take the train and bus..bring your own food and maybe toilet paper cause the bathroom may not have it.
Written August 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Liz T
Vancouver, Canada342 contributions
Family
We read much about this beach and decided to find it while visiting Chicago. Started out at the Oak Park Beach and continued walking for 15 minutes before we reached North Ave beach. It is much bigger than Oak Park Beach and there were many beach volleyball players using the nets. Seemed to have more facilities (parking, restrooms, food) to support this large beach area. Stanley Park is right across the street. If you wanted to spend the entire day here, this seems to be the place to go to.
Written August 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Justmyopinion
Toronto, Canada2,222 contributions
Couples
We walked over here after Lincoln Park.
It's big, crowded but not overly (Plenty of space), it has bathrooms and a cool ship restaurant with outdoor seating.
We stopped and spent more time than we thought here. This is a great beach for kids or just adults.
Hard to believe this is just outside downtown Chicago.
Great paths for bikes walking or just about anything on wheels.
You'll love the opportunity to people watch.
We had so much fun we decided to follow the beach all the way into the city! Fun free day!
Written August 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,720 contributions
Family
We live a short walk from North Avenue Beach on Chicago's near North Side so we are bias in our opinion. In the summer, on a hot Saturday or Sunday morning, there isn't anything like it. Oh, you can be among the million or so people who congregate along the beach for the annual air and water show in August. Or attend one of the major volleyball tournaments that are conducted on the sandy beach. Or just walk or jog or bike from Montrose to Diversey to Fullerton to North Avenue to Oak Street to Navy Pier to the Museum Campus to McCormick Place and as far south as the Museum of Science and Industry and beyond. You won't experience anything like this in New York or Los Angeles. Stand on the sliver of land at North Avenue Beach and gaze southward to the Chicago skyline. It's a picture postcard that you've seen in more than a few television movies. Parking can be a problem on busy days but most Chicagoans are savvy enough to know that there is plenty of public transportation to within easy walking distance of the beach. This is the magnificent meeting of land and water that golfers talk about when they play at Pebble Beach. You don't see this in Phoenix or even Miami. It is such an enjoyable excursion in the sun from North Avenue Beach to Oak Street Beach, then a short walk to Rush Street and breakfast at an outdoor patio. There are plenty of things to do at North Avenue, of course. There are restaurants and fun and games, lots of sand and a refreshing dip in Lake Michigan, which isn't the Gulf of Mexico (87 degrees in June and July and August), but who's complaining on a hot, muggy day? And if you're tired of looking at the water, you might take a sharp turn to visit the nearby Lincoln Park Zoo, which is free and a joy of adventure for the kids.
Written April 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Valerie J
Chicago, Illinois10 contributions
There are so many beaches in Chicago, I think North Ave beach is a bit over rated. Lots of high school kids drinking on the beach. The restaurant/bar is always super crowded. It's a great place to play volleyball though.
Written March 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 219
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking North Avenue Beach tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 11 North Avenue Beach tours on Tripadvisor

According to Tripadvisor travelers, these are the best ways to experience North Avenue Beach: See all North Avenue Beach experiences on Tripadvisor


Restaurants near North Avenue Beach: View all restaurants near North Avenue Beach on Tripadvisor