Aerial view of 12th Street Beach with visitors and lifeguards
12th Street Beach
12th Street Beach House
12th Street Beach House
12th Street Beach
12th Street Beach
12th Street Beach
12th Street Beach

  Swimming Permitted

1200 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605

Located Within: Northerly Island Park
Features: Has Restroom
Is Accessible
Note: A beach is considered accessible if it has an accessible path of travel (beach walk) to the shoreline.


Swimming Permitted


No swim restrictions due to weather.

Updated : 05/29/2024 10:17 AM

No swim restrictions due to surf.

Updated: 05/29/2024 10:19 AM
Water Quality

No swim restrictions due to water quality.

CCE: 290
Updated : 05/29/2024 11:49 AM
Local weather information Updated : 05/29/2024 10:17 AM Data obtained from: Ohio Street Beach
  • Temperature 58° F/ 14.6° C
  • Humidity 75%
  • Wind: 5.7 MPH from N
Local surf information Updated: 05/29/2024 11:00 AM Data obtained from: Ohio Street Beach
  • Water Temperature: -179968° F / -100000° C
  • Wave Height: 1 ft 0 in / 0.31 m
  • Wave Period: 4.7 sec


  • Swim only when lifeguards are on duty.
  • Follow lifeguards’ instructions.
  • Only Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) are permitted. Person-children wearing PFDs should have adult present.
  • No smoking.
  • No alcohol.
  • No dogs on the beach.
  • Do not feed birds or wildlife.
  • Dispose of trash and recycling in appropriate containers.
  • Grill in designated areas only and dispose of coals in red metal bins.
  • Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.
  • Access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for sports such as kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized board or paddle sports is allowed on the southern part of 12th Street Beach.
  • No surfing or kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is ONLY permitted at Montrose Beach.



Facility Hours
Weekday Time slot Comment
Sunday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Monday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Tuesday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Wednesday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Friday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm

Hours Notes

The beach is open from 6 am to 11 pm, but swimming is only permitted during the beach season when lifeguards are on duty from 11 am to 7 pm, in designated swim areas.  The beach season runs from the Friday before Memorial Day, through Labor Day.


12th Street Beach is located at 1200 S. Linn White Drive (12th Street at Lake Michigan on Northerly Island) and is nestled just south of Adler Planetarium on Chicago’s Museum Campus in Burnham Park. Beachgoers can enjoy food and beverages from the concessionaire located at the beach house. The beach house also offers restrooms. A non-motorized boat launch is available at the beach, and distance swimming can take place parallel to the shore at boat line.  Parking is available in a paid lot along with limited street parking. This beach has an accessible beach walk.

For questions regarding Chicago beaches, email


12th Street Beach dates to the 1920s. In 1909, renowned architect Daniel Burnham envisioned a new park composed of several man-made islands between Jackson Park and Grant Park. Northerly Island was the only island that was actually built.

The South Park Commission began creating Northerly Island in 1920. By 1927, nearly the entire island was filled in. The island was later converted into a peninsula.

The Commercial Air Craft Association requested permission to use the island as a temporary landing strip. Shortly thereafter, a group of women’s organizations suggested a public bathing beach instead of a landing field. The commissioners agreed, and created 12th Street Beach.

In 1933 and 1934, Northerly Island and Burnham Park served as the site of Chicago’s second World’s Fair, “A Century of Progress.” In preparation for the fair, the commissioners increased the size of the island even more. The Alder Planetarium opened on the island in time for the fair. It is one of the few structures that remained open after the fair.

By the 1940s, in addition to the public beach, Northerly Island also had paths, walkways, scattered trees and grassy open spaces.

In 1948, a small airport called Meigs Field opened, but this site closed in 1996. The following year, after a new initiative called for the replacement of outdated facilities on the lakefront, the Chicago Park District constructed a new beach house at 12th Street.


Parking lot with pay gate and limited street parking

Public Transit
The following public bus & train routes serve this beach:

CTA Bus Route:
146 Inner Drive/Michigan Exp. 

Map & Facilities

12th Street Beach - Del Campos Tacos | Concession

1301 S. Lynn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

(773) 457-5492
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12th Street Beach - Del Campos Tacos | Concession

1301 S. Lynn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

  • :
    (773) 457-5492
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