Going to the beach isn’t really an activity associated with Chicago. Come summer, however, the turquoise-blue waters of Lake Michigan call. Throw on a pair of flip flops, pack a beach bag, and join the locals at one of the beaches along the 26 miles of lakeshore.
Just a five-minute walk from Bloomingdale’s (and 10 minutes from Talbott Hotel) is Oak Street Beach aka Haute Shores, given its proximity to Magnificent Mile. This is a popular beach with palm trees and skyline as backdrop; Louis Vuitton and Gucci shimmering in the distance; and the seasonal Oak Street Beach Bar blending up frozen drinks.
North Avenue Beach is one of the busiest patches of sand. No wonder. The diversions and toys available are numerous. For starters, there are rentable kayaks, wakeboards, paddle boards, and jet skis; sun-salutation sessions with Sun & Moon Beach Yoga; and access to cabanas, food and drink from the Shore Club and from Castaways, which is within the beach house, a building that looks exactly like an ocean liner with red smokestacks.
Ferris wheels, fish tacos, and lobster rolls are the basic makings of a shore-style vacation. Look no further than the calm waters of Ohio Street Beach, walking distance from the Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel. A table in the tucked away Caffé Oliva is where to score lobster (on Sundays), fish tacos, and margaritas. They also rent cabanas.
The beaches overflow during August’s Chicago Air and Water Show.