North Avenue Beach

  • 1600 N. Lake Shore Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60613 [View Map]
  • Beach Hours:
  • Beach Phone: (312) 742-5121

North Avenue Beach is located in Lincoln Park at 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive (North Ave. @ Lake Michigan). As one of Chicago's most popular beaches, the beach features a unique and popular beach house that contains 22,000 square feet of space that features something for everyone and is permanently docked along this popular beach.  This sleek, ocean liner-inspired building, decked out in a crisp blue and white, boasts one of the best views in the city. The beach house has upper decks and portholes for looking at the magnificent horizon or the multitudes of bikers, runners, walkers and rollerbladers streaming down the lakefront trail.  In May 2000, Mayor Richard M. Daley dedicated the North Avenue Beach House during a grand opening event for the public that included games for kids, free sand pails, refreshments and a jazz band. 

North Avenue Beach offers an array of amenities and recreational opportunities for beach goers to enjoy that include: 

  • Castaways Bar and Grill is the best location on North Avenue Beach for great food and ice cold drinks. The first level features an ice cream café and beachside burgers with casual walk-up stands. The rooftop features tasty appetizers, sandwiches, fresh salads and refreshing desserts.
  • Rent, repair or buy a bike from Lakeshore Bike 'n Tune right at North Avenue Beach!
  • NAB Sports offers one of a kind open-air sports facility at North Avenue Beach offering roller hockey, dodgeball, fitness classes, hockey and dodgeball tournaments, and exciting special events.
  • Sun and Moon Beach Yoga offers outdoor beach yoga seven days a week at North Avenue Beach for all levels during sun-rise, late morning and during the sunset.
  • Boucher Brothers offering top of the line luxury lounge chairs and large umbrellas.
  • Food concessions from Pronto Pups offering beverages and hotdogs on a stick, Stefani's Restaurant next to hockey rink and cotton candy.  
  • Great Lakes Board Company offers beach goers a chance to hit the waves with wakeboard and paddle board rentals.
  • Kayak Chicago, the premier full service outfitter in Chicago, offers kayak rentals at North Avenue Beach.
  • Rent jetskis from Windy City Watersports!
  • Retail vendor selling Havaianas Sandals.
  • Retail vendors selling clothes, sundries, souveniers and beverages.
  • Rent volleyball courts and equipment by calling (312) 742-3776.  Courts rent for $10 per hour.  Equipment rental is $5 with valid ID.  Reserve up to six days in advance.

There is an ADA accessible beach walk and restrooms available. Three ATM machines located at the beach house. Distance swimming is available at beaches 3 & 4 (north of boathouse), parallel to shore. Paid parking lot is also available with limited parking; therefore, public transportation is highly encouraged.

History

Lincoln Park began as a public cemetery in the 1830s. Recognizing that the lakeside burial ground posed a public health threat, early citizens rallied to transform the site into parkland. A sixty acre unused part of the burial ground was first designated as Lake Park in 1860, and five years later the city renamed the site as Lincoln Park, providing a substantial budget for improvements. Over the years, Lincoln Park has grown to a landscape of over 1200 acres, particularly through many landfill extensions. In the late 1930s, a major landfill addition that stretched from Fullerton Avenue to North Avenue accounts for most of what is now the North Avenue Beach. Decades earlier, there was only a narrow paved beach that edged Lake Shore Drive in this area.

In 1934, the Lincoln Park Commission became part of the newly consolidated Chicago Park District and the new agency received substantial funding through President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The completion of North Avenue Beach was one of many projects in Lincoln Park funded through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Construction began in 1939 and the $1,250,000 project included a major improvement to Lake Shore Drive with grade separation providing a new overpass at North Avenue. The new North Avenue Beach, totaled more than 875,000 square feet of new parkland and extended all the way to Fullerton Avenue. Chicago Park District architect Emanuel V. Buchsbaum designed the new Art Moderne style North Avenue Beach House to emulate a lake ship. The North Avenue Beach and Beach House were dedicated in July of 1940. Over the years, the frame beach house had become so deteriorated that it had to be demolished. The original building inspired the design of a similar although somewhat large building composed of cast-in-place concrete. Designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects, the new structure was built in 1999.

Parking

The North Avenue Beach parking lot is located east of Lake Shore Drive.
Hours of operation is 6am - 11pm.

Mid October - Mid May
1 hr. or less - $9.00
2 hrs. or less - $10.00
3 hrs. or less - $11.00
4 hrs. or less - $12.00
Over 4 to 24 hrs. - $14.00

Mid May - Mid October
1 hr. or less - $12.00
2 hrs. or less - $14.00
4 hrs. or less - $18.00
Over 4 hrs to Lot Close. - $22.00

North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach

Location Notes: 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Distance swimming is available at beaches 3 & 4 (north of boathouse), parallel to shore.

North Avenue Beach Chess Tables

North Avenue Beach Chess Tables

Location Notes: 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: just south of Boat House along path

Boucher Brothers

Boucher Brothers

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Beach Rentals, 9am - 5pm, 305.333.9678, www.boucherbrothers.com

Castaways

Castaways

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Food & Beverage, 11am - 11pm, 312.275.9000, www.stefanirestaurants.com

Forever Yogurt

Forever Yogurt

Location Notes: Northh Avenue Beach Ped West, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Food & Beverage, 9am - 9pm, 312.878,.7597, www.foreveryogurt.com

Great Lakes Board Co.

Great Lakes Board Co.

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Recreation, 7am 9pm, 847.721.1976, 222.greatlakesboardcom.party.com

Havaianas

Havaianas

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Retail, 9am - 8pm, 646.476.3258

Kayak Chicago

Kayak Chicago

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1602 N. Lake Shore Dr.

Notes: Recreation, 11am 7p 639.336.7245, www.kayakchicago.com

La Playa, Ltd.

La Playa, Ltd.

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Retail, 9am - 9pm, 312.805.3205

La Playa, Ltd.

La Playa, Ltd.

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: ATM, 24 hours, 312.805.3205

La Playa, Ltd.

La Playa, Ltd.

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: ATM, 24 hours, 312.805.3205

Lakeshore Bike N Tune

Lakeshore Bike N Tune

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Bike, 10am - 6pm, 847.712.6776, www.lakeshorebike.com

NAB Sports

NAB Sports

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Recreation, 8am - 10pm, 773.248.3055, www.nabsports.com

One Stick Puppy

One Stick Puppy

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach - North, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Food & Beverage, 6:30am - 7:30pm, 815.790.6284, www.onestickpuppy.com

Sun & Moon Yoga

Sun & Moon Yoga

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Recreation, 6am - 11am 312-623.1422

Windy City Watersports

Windy City Watersports

Location Notes: North Avenue Beach, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive

Notes: Recreation, 11am - 8pm, 312.399.2923,www.windycitywatersports.com

Click on the program name links below for program descriptions, availability information and to register online now (if available).

Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Boot Camp Presented by Athleta at North Ave Beach 146395InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2015/06/16 12:00From June 16, 2015 to August 18, 2015
Each Tuesday from 7am to 7:50am
$0
Boot Camp Presented by Athleta at North Ave Beach 146394InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2015/06/18 12:00From June 18, 2015 to August 20, 2015
Each Thursday from 7am to 7:50am
$0
Junior Lifeguards at North Ave Beach 119233InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 8 but less than 16Coed2015/06/29 15:00From June 29, 2015 to August 7, 2015
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$230.00
Yoga Presented by Athleta at North Ave Beach 146396InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2015/06/16 13:00From June 16, 2015 to August 18, 2015
Each Tuesday from 8am to 9am
$0
Yoga Presented by Athleta at North Ave Beach 146397InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2015/06/18 13:00From June 18, 2015 to August 20, 2015
Each Thursday from 8am to 9am
$0

Documents

There are no documents available.

Photos & Videos

There are no photos or videos available.

Reviews

Description

North Avenue Beach is located in Lincoln Park at 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive (North Ave. @ Lake Michigan). As one of Chicago's most popular beaches, the beach features a unique and popular beach house that contains 22,000 square feet of space that features something for everyone and is permanently docked along this popular beach.  This sleek, ocean liner-inspired building, decked out in a crisp blue and white, boasts one of the best views in the city. The beach house has upper decks and portholes for looking at the magnificent horizon or the multitudes of bikers, runners, walkers and rollerbladers streaming down the lakefront trail.  In May 2000, Mayor Richard M. Daley dedicated the North Avenue Beach House during a grand opening event for the public that included games for kids, free sand pails, refreshments and a jazz band. 

North Avenue Beach offers an array of amenities and recreational opportunities for beach goers to enjoy that include: 

  • Castaways Bar and Grill is the best location on North Avenue Beach for great food and ice cold drinks. The first level features an ice cream café and beachside burgers with casual walk-up stands. The rooftop features tasty appetizers, sandwiches, fresh salads and refreshing desserts.
  • Rent, repair or buy a bike from Lakeshore Bike 'n Tune right at North Avenue Beach!
  • NAB Sports offers one of a kind open-air sports facility at North Avenue Beach offering roller hockey, dodgeball, fitness classes, hockey and dodgeball tournaments, and exciting special events.
  • Sun and Moon Beach Yoga offers outdoor beach yoga seven days a week at North Avenue Beach for all levels during sun-rise, late morning and during the sunset.
  • Boucher Brothers offering top of the line luxury lounge chairs and large umbrellas.
  • Food concessions from Pronto Pups offering beverages and hotdogs on a stick, Stefani's Restaurant next to hockey rink and cotton candy.  
  • Great Lakes Board Company offers beach goers a chance to hit the waves with wakeboard and paddle board rentals.
  • Kayak Chicago, the premier full service outfitter in Chicago, offers kayak rentals at North Avenue Beach.
  • Rent jetskis from Windy City Watersports!
  • Retail vendor selling Havaianas Sandals.
  • Retail vendors selling clothes, sundries, souveniers and beverages.
  • Rent volleyball courts and equipment by calling (312) 742-3776.  Courts rent for $10 per hour.  Equipment rental is $5 with valid ID.  Reserve up to six days in advance.

There is an ADA accessible beach walk and restrooms available. Three ATM machines located at the beach house. Distance swimming is available at beaches 3 & 4 (north of boathouse), parallel to shore. Paid parking lot is also available with limited parking; therefore, public transportation is highly encouraged.

 

FACILITIES

FACILITY TYPE ADDRESS DESCRIPTOR QTY NOTES
Beach 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Distance swimming is available at beaches 3 & 4 (north of boathouse), parallel to shore.
Chess Tables 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive 4 just south of Boat House along path
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Beach Rentals, 9am - 5pm, 305.333.9678, www.boucherbrothers.com
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Food & Beverage, 11am - 11pm, 312.275.9000, www.stefanirestaurants.com
Concessions Northh Avenue Beach Ped West, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Food & Beverage, 9am - 9pm, 312.878,.7597, www.foreveryogurt.com
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Recreation, 7am 9pm, 847.721.1976, 222.greatlakesboardcom.party.com
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Retail, 9am - 8pm, 646.476.3258
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1602 N. Lake Shore Dr. 1 Recreation, 11am 7p 639.336.7245, www.kayakchicago.com
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Retail, 9am - 9pm, 312.805.3205
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 ATM, 24 hours, 312.805.3205
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 ATM, 24 hours, 312.805.3205
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Bike, 10am - 6pm, 847.712.6776, www.lakeshorebike.com
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Recreation, 8am - 10pm, 773.248.3055, www.nabsports.com
Concessions North Avenue Beach - North, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Food & Beverage, 6:30am - 7:30pm, 815.790.6284, www.onestickpuppy.com
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Recreation, 6am - 11am 312-623.1422
Concessions North Avenue Beach, 1602 N. Lake Shore Drive 1 Recreation, 11am - 8pm, 312.399.2923,www.windycitywatersports.com

Lincoln Park began as a public cemetery in the 1830s. Recognizing that the lakeside burial ground posed a public health threat, early citizens rallied to transform the site into parkland. A sixty acre unused part of the burial ground was first designated as Lake Park in 1860, and five years later the city renamed the site as Lincoln Park, providing a substantial budget for improvements. Over the years, Lincoln Park has grown to a landscape of over 1200 acres, particularly through many landfill extensions. In the late 1930s, a major landfill addition that stretched from Fullerton Avenue to North Avenue accounts for most of what is now the North Avenue Beach. Decades earlier, there was only a narrow paved beach that edged Lake Shore Drive in this area.

In 1934, the Lincoln Park Commission became part of the newly consolidated Chicago Park District and the new agency received substantial funding through President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The completion of North Avenue Beach was one of many projects in Lincoln Park funded through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Construction began in 1939 and the $1,250,000 project included a major improvement to Lake Shore Drive with grade separation providing a new overpass at North Avenue. The new North Avenue Beach, totaled more than 875,000 square feet of new parkland and extended all the way to Fullerton Avenue. Chicago Park District architect Emanuel V. Buchsbaum designed the new Art Moderne style North Avenue Beach House to emulate a lake ship. The North Avenue Beach and Beach House were dedicated in July of 1940. Over the years, the frame beach house had become so deteriorated that it had to be demolished. The original building inspired the design of a similar although somewhat large building composed of cast-in-place concrete. Designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects, the new structure was built in 1999.

The North Avenue Beach parking lot is located east of Lake Shore Drive.
Hours of operation is 6am - 11pm.

Mid October - Mid May
1 hr. or less - $9.00
2 hrs. or less - $10.00
3 hrs. or less - $11.00
4 hrs. or less - $12.00
Over 4 to 24 hrs. - $14.00

Mid May - Mid October
1 hr. or less - $12.00
2 hrs. or less - $14.00
4 hrs. or less - $18.00
Over 4 hrs to Lot Close. - $22.00