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North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach is one of Chicago’s most popular and lively beaches, known for its unique city backdrop and vibrant atmosphere. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, it’s a bustling hub of activity during the summer months, attracting both locals and tourists who come to enjoy the sun, sand, and numerous amenities.

Location

The beach is situated in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, along the Lake Michigan shoreline. It is easily recognizable by its sleek, ocean liner-inspired beach house. The exact location for reference:

North Avenue Beach
1600 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60613

Features and Amenities

  • Beach House: The beach house offers a range of facilities, including restrooms, showers, lockers, and concessions. Its upper deck gives visitors a panoramic view of the city skyline and Lake Michigan.
  • Sports and Recreation: North Avenue Beach is known for its volleyball courts, which host recreational and tournament play. There are also opportunities for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, jet skiing, and bike rentals.
  • Food and Drink: The area is home to Castaways Bar and Grill, located in the beach house, serving food, drinks, and featuring a rooftop for summer parties with a view of the beach.
  • Lifeguards: There are lifeguards on duty during operational hours in the summer months, ensuring swimmer safety.
  • Accessibility: The beach is accessible, with beach mats available to provide a non-slip surface for wheelchairs and strollers.

Activities

North Avenue Beach offers a wide array of activities including:

  • Beach Volleyball: The beach hosts numerous volleyball nets for public use and organized play.
  • Water Sports: Visitors can rent equipment for various water sports.
  • Fitness Classes: During the summer, there are often fitness classes available on the beach.
  • Sunbathing and Swimming: With its expansive sandy area, it’s a perfect spot for those looking to relax and take a dip in the water.
  • Biking and Skating: The Lakefront Trail is a hotspot for cyclists and skaters, offering miles of path along the lake.
  • Events: North Avenue Beach is a venue for major events, including the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Tips for Visiting

  • Arrive Early: To secure a good spot on the beach, especially on weekends or holidays, it’s recommended to arrive early.
  • Parking: There is metered parking available, but it can fill up quickly. Public transportation, biking, or walking are good alternatives.
  • Sun Protection: The sun can be strong, so don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Water Safety: Always swim in designated areas when lifeguards are present and be mindful of any posted flag warnings.
  • Leave No Trace: Help keep the beach clean by picking up your trash and belongings before you leave.

Conclusion: North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach is a vibrant destination that epitomizes Chicago’s love for its lakefront. Whether you’re seeking an active day playing volleyball and enjoying water sports, or a relaxed afternoon soaking up the sun with the Chicago skyline in the background, North Avenue Beach offers a memorable experience for all types of beach-goers.

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