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Top Reasons to Visit Chicago’s Oak Street Beach

When you think of Chicago, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not ‘beach oasis’. But that’s exactly what it is come summertime. The city is home to miles and miles of sandy shoreline where you can enjoy all your favorite watersports and beach activities. Oak Street Beach is one of the city’s best beaches and is located in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast. If you need a reason to visit the sandy shores of this convenient public beach, here are five.

Lounge at the Beach

Who says you have to go on vacation for a great beach experience? Oak Street Beach’s sand is fine and clean, despite its close proximity to downtown. There is plenty of room to spread your towel and sunbathe, or you can rent a beach chair and umbrella from Boucher Brothers to lounge in while you read a book or people watch. Be sure to treat yourself to a freshly squeezed lemonade or ice cream cone from Whispers Hot Dog Stand!

Get Some Exercise Outdoors

Working out is so much more enjoyable when it’s outside, and the popular public beach offers plenty of ways to exercise. Walk or bike along the paved Lakefront Trail to enjoy the amazing scenery. Challenge friends to a game of volleyball – or get inspired by watching any of the popular amateur and professional volleyball tournaments hosted on the beach throughout the summer. Many Chicagoans also like to throw a frisbee or play catch on the sandy beaches while soaking up the sun.

Cool Off with a Dip in the Lake

Jump into the cool waters at Oak Street Beach and you’ll forget you’re in a big city. The lake beach water is clean and warm enough to swim in during the summer months. You can swim anytime between 11am and 7pm, when lifeguards are on duty. Take a quick dip to escape the heat or go for a long-distance swim along the shore.

Dine and Drink While Enjoying the View

The beach is surrounded by great restaurants and bars, so even if the weather doesn’t cooperate you can enjoy Oak Street Beach. If you’re craving upscale beach fare and waterfront views, reserve a cabana at Whispers at Oak Street Beach and try their ahi tuna nachos and crab cakes. For a more traditional dining experience, head to Rosebud Steakhouse and order steak and seafood. End your evening with a craft cocktail at Devereaux, a rooftop lounge located on top of the Viceroy Chicago with sweeping views of Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan.

Take Amazing Photos

Don’t leave Oak Street Beach without snapping at least one amazing photo! In addition to the picturesque city skyline and rolling waves along the beach, consider taking a selfie in front of the mural on the underpass entryway. The abstract mural called, “You Know What You Should Do.” by Jeff Zimmermann, features a hand holding a piece of popcorn in the air as an example of not littering.


We hope you have a fun time this summer hanging out on Oak Street Beach! If we missed a store that you’d recommend, we’d love to hear about it. If you’re looking for short-term corporate housing or a home-away-from-home in Chicago, we’d be happy to show you around our community. You can also schedule a tour online or give us a call at 312-787-8080.

Hope to see you soon!