63rd Street Beach

  • 6300 S. Lake Shore Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60649 [View Map]
  • Park Hours:
  • Notes: 11am - 7pm, unless otherwise posted seasonally
  • Phone: (312) 742-5121

63rd Street Beach is located at 6300 S. Lake Shore Drive. (E. Hayes Drive @ Lake Michigan) in Jackson Park. Beach goers can enjoy a wide array of amenities at this beach.  Stop by Belly Up for some Jamacian food or Leave With a Smile offering snacks and beverages. The historic beach house also offers beach goers amenities that include restrooms, interactive water fountains, showers, and meeting rooms.  The beach house is available to rent.

Bikes are available to rent from Bike Chicago at this beach. There is a non-motorized boat launch site.  A natural area provides much needed habitat for migrating birds in the spring and fall seasons. Distance swimming is located at 64th Street, parallel to shore between 1st and 3rd buoys. There is an ADA accessible beach walk. There is a pay and display parking lot.

Be sure to “check-in” on Foursquare at this location to unlock the Windy City Foursquare Badge! Foursquare users who “check-in” at five of 20 designated cultural and small business attractions will receive the Windy City badge.

Beach History

The 63rd Street Beach is located in Jackson Park, one of Chicago’s oldest and most significant parks. The renowned designers of New York’s Central Park, Olmsted & Vaux, laid out Jackson Park along with the adjacent Midway Plaisance and Washington Park in 1871. The area had a paved beach made from granite bricks, which was extended to cover the entire lakefront in Jackson Park by 1888. Considering that raw sewage was dumped into Lake Michigan at that time, it is not surprising that the beaches were used as paved drives for strolling or promenading, rather than wading or bathing. In 1899, when the completion of Chicago’s innovative Drainage Canal began diverting the sewage to other locations, the lakefront became a desirable place for public bathing. After the turn of the century, the South Park Commissioners decided that they wanted to extend the beach sand area. They developed a new plan for the landfill in 1914, and the ten-acre beach extension was completed three years later. This plan also included an elaborate bathing pavilion, which was constructed adjacent to the beach by 1919. The bathing pavilion, known today as the 63rd Street Beach House, was rehabilitated by the Park District in recent years.

Beach House History

The 63rd Street Beach House is an elegant Classical Revival style pavilion located on Jackson Park’s lakefront. After south side residents had complained for years that they needed a more extensive beach, the South Park Commissioners began a 10 acre extension to the park at 63rd Street in 1914. Three years later, while landfill operations were underway, South Park Commission in-house architects produced plans for the impressive building. Completed in 1919, the elegant exposed-aggregate concrete building takes full benefit of Lake Michigan with its open balconies and loggias allowing for lovely lake views and comfortable breezes. Historically, the building provided bathrooms and showers, medical rooms, and separate courtyards for men and women with hundreds of wooden changing booths. After the building suffered severe deterioration over many years, the Chicago Park District fully restored it in 2000. The open courtyards no longer possess wooden booths, but are now attractive landscaped spaces with an interactive water feature made possible by the Max Schiff Foundation. Used by beach patrons, boaters, and day campers today, the facility is also available for special events.

Parking/Public Transportation

Parking

A paid parking is available at 63rd Street Beach, east of Lake Shore Drive.  

Parking Rates:
$1.00/hr. from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
$0.25/hr. during all other hours when the lot is open 
 
A paid parking is available at Hayes Drive and Lake Shore Drive, west of Lake Shore Drive and north of Hayes Drive.
 
Parking Rates:
$1.00/hr. from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
$0.25/hr. during all other hours when the lot is open 
 
Public Transportion
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com
63rd Street Beach

63rd Street Beach

Location: 6300 S. Lake Shore Drive. (E. Hayes Drive @ Lake Michigan)

Notes: Distance swimming is at 64th Street, parallel to shore between 1st and 3rd buoys

63rd St. Beach - Georgia & Darryl's Leave With a Smile

63rd St. Beach - Georgia & Darryl's Leave With a Smile

Location: 6300 S. Lake Shore Drive

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Description

63rd Street Beach is located at 6300 S. Lake Shore Drive. (E. Hayes Drive @ Lake Michigan) in Jackson Park. Beach goers can enjoy a wide array of amenities at this beach.  Stop by Belly Up for some Jamacian food or Leave With a Smile offering snacks and beverages. The historic beach house also offers beach goers amenities that include restrooms, interactive water fountains, showers, and meeting rooms.  The beach house is available to rent.

Bikes are available to rent from Bike Chicago at this beach. There is a non-motorized boat launch site.  A natural area provides much needed habitat for migrating birds in the spring and fall seasons. Distance swimming is located at 64th Street, parallel to shore between 1st and 3rd buoys. There is an ADA accessible beach walk. There is a pay and display parking lot.

Be sure to “check-in” on Foursquare at this location to unlock the Windy City Foursquare Badge! Foursquare users who “check-in” at five of 20 designated cultural and small business attractions will receive the Windy City badge.