Our editor and concierges weigh in on their favorite beaches and beach bars. Bring on that long, hot summer!
Oak Street Beach
It comes as no surprise that Oak Street Beach is very popular with concierges, locals and visitors alike. “The views are beautiful and it is so easy to get to,” says Terri Kolzow, Assistant Property Manager & Concierge for the Palmolive Building Condominium Association. Morgan Cohen at the Sofitel Magnificent Mile agrees: “I love gazing at the water in front of me while simultaneously having the cityscape behind me!”
Whispers at Oak Street Beach is the only restaurant/ beach bar that is directly on the water.
Ohio Street Beach
A bit of a hidden gem nestled in the heart of downtown, Ohio Street Beach boasts glorious views of the lake and city.
Caffe Oliva: This beachside cafe with island resort vibes offers quick bites or beach-front meals. Rent a beach facing cabana for your group. Enjoy seafood, burgers, salads, and complete your meal with cool Key lime pie. Be sure to check out their signature Fish Bowl cocktails.
North Avenue Beach
Susan Alexander is the Concierge Manager at Fashion Outlets of Chicago: “My favorite beach is North Avenue with the great restaurant on the beach. You can walk from Lincoln Park and enjoy a little bit of everything.”
Castaways Bar and Grill is synonymous with summertime in Chicago. The iconic boat house is perfect for a bite to eat and a nice refreshing drink. The rooftop features some of the best views in the city overlooking the lakefront and the Chicago skyline.
Everybody loves Montrose Beach, including all of our four-legged friends. Montrose has a designated dog beach where man’s best friends can have the time of their lives all year round.
The Dock: We humans particularly enjoy the food, drinks, and live music (every day!) at the Dock, a true Chicago classic for locals and tourists alike. Cheers!
Kathy Osterman Beach
Situated in the northernmost tip of Lincoln Park, the beach is named for Kathy Osterman, a dedicated public servant who was beloved by her community.
Lakebreeze: A seasonal cafe open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Lakebreeze is a relaxed place with a neighborhood vibe. Enjoy a margarita or local brew along with your burrito or burger, then finish off with an Italian ice.
63rd Street Beach
The beaches south of the city are lesser known but definitely worth the short trip as the views of the city are absolutely breathtaking.
Reggies on the Beach opened their seasonal beach bar in Jackson Park a few years ago as a satellite of the renowned sports, rooftop & live music bar in the South Loop.