Best beach for swimming in Chicago?

Jul 26th, 2006, 09:07 AM
Original Poster
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Best beach for swimming in Chicago?

We are planning a visit to Chicago and would like to spend time at the beach. We will be staying in the Loop area.
What beach would be a good one for swimming on Lake Michigan, that is reasonably close by?

Also, we are interested in renting bikes to ride along the water front. Are there recommmendations for a place to rent them?
Faye is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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North Avenue Beach is definitely the most popular. It's kind of a scene in the summer, and there's a huge outdoor bar/restaurant called Castaway's on the beach. It's my FAVORITE place to go in the summer when I visit home.
lizziea06 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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There are bike rentals available at Millennium Park, Navy Pier or North Avenue Beach. They begin around $8.00 per hour. Check for info and reservations.
Citylghts is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Oak street beach is popular as well and somewhat closer to the loop than the bigger North Ave. Beach.

Beware that Lake Michigan is never "warm" so do not think this is like swinning in a pool. Depending on the weather, it can be refreshing. Beaches in these neighborhoods are mostly social and "to be seen" affairs.
placeu2 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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So true, the water is cold. And not just on the Chicago side, I tried in Lake Michigan last week on the MI side in 98 degree temperatures and the water still felt cold.

It's not like a small lake.
JJ5 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 05:18 AM
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If anyone is interested in swimming, as in laps, the best place is in an area called the “pond”.

At Grand Avenue, breakwalls shelter a “cove” in the lake that was created when the water filtration facility was built. Recreational boat us this calm area to congregate offshore and party.

Facing north, setting off from Olive Park Beach, located at Grand Avenue, one mile south of Oak Street Beach and named after Milton Olive, a heroic Viet Nam solider. You swim out and back. Or, only out and then get out of the water if you do not want to do a 1 mile loop.

This is the area where the triathlons previously held the swim event, before moving to the event to the crowded boat filled (600 boats) Monroe Harbor.

With a north wind blowing, it can be an adventurous swim.

You’ll swim just meters from the shoreline bike path with lifeguards evenly spaced out and ladders available to get out of the water whenever you like.

You won’t be swimming alone.
scubatv is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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scubatv, thanks so much.

I was a Rainbow Beach (79th St. South) person in my youth. I had forgotten about Olive Park Beach. One day I'm going to take that swim.

Are there lots of fishermen in that area? I believe it's where we went smelt fishing one April, maybe not, but close.
JJ5 is offline  
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