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.
57th Street Beach is located at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive (57th St. @ Lake Michigan) in Jackson Park. This beach features an ADA accessible beach walk and restrooms. Beach goers can stop by the Tasty Grill offering a Mexican menu along with hot dogs and refreshing beverages. The distance swimming area is located parallel to shore from 55th Street south to pier. Limited street parking is available nearby, west of Lake Shore Drive.
Distance swimming area: parallel to shore from 55th St. south to pier
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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. Their earliest park improvements included a beach composed of granite bricks at the location of what is now the 57th Street Beach.
Improvement plans for Jackson Park after the Columbian Exposition World's Fair included a sand beach. However, raw sewage was still being dumped into Lake Michigan, and the lake was not considered a desirable place to wade or swim. The beaches were often used as paved drives for strolling or promenading, rather than wading or bathing.
The lakefront did not become a popular place for public bathing until 1899, when Chicago's innovative Drainage Canal was complete. Since the turn of the century, the 57th Street Beach has been used by generations of Chicagoans.
In 1993, the Chicago Park District constructed a new beach house for the beach, and beach-goers can enjoy a beautiful view of the city skyline.
Limited street parking nearby, west of Lake Shore Drive
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The following public bus & train routes serve this beach:
CTA Bus Routes:
6 Jackson Park Express
15 Jeffery Local
26 South Shore Express
28 Stony Island