Swimming Prohibited
Location:

3111 E. 77th Street
Chicago, IL 60649

Located Within: Rainbow Beach Park
Features: Has Wi-Fi
Is Accessible
Note: Has an accessible path of travel (beach walk) to the shoreline.  Additionally, a beach wheelchair is available for free use with a valid ID.  Visit the lifeguard office at the beach house to check one out.

 

Swimming Prohibited

Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 am – 7pm.

Weather

Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 am – 7pm.

Updated : 07/15/2024 07:00 PM
Surf

Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 am – 7pm.

Updated: 07/15/2024 07:00 PM
Water Quality

No swim restrictions due to water quality.

CCE: 114
Updated : 07/15/2024 12:14 PM
Local weather information Updated : 07/16/2024 7:00 AM Data obtained from: Ohio Street Beach
  • Temperature 74° F/ 23.1° C
  • Humidity 82%
  • Wind: 6.4 MPH from NW
Local surf information Updated: 07/16/2024 7:00 AM Data obtained from: Ohio Street Beach
  • Water Temperature: 72° F / 22.2° C
  • Wave Height: 0 ft 2 in / 0.06 m
  • Wave Period: 1.8 sec

Rules

  • 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 barrels.
  • 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 at the southern end of Rainbow Beach.   
  • No surfing or kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is ONLY permitted at Montrose Beach.

 

Hours

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.

Description

Located in the South Chicago neighborhood, Rainbow Beach  totals 60.98 acres and features a gymnasium, fitness center and multipurpose rooms, handball courts, and one of the oldest community gardens in Chicago.

A natural area located at the northeast end of the beach includes 9.18 acres of dune habitat.

In 2013, the Park District is partnering with the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois at Chicago to install a prototype stormwater filter to clean the rainwater that washes off of the parking lot onto the beach.  This project is funded by a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. 

The Green Stormwater Filter is an inground permeable reactive filter system that reduces bacteriological, algal, and chemical contamination caused by stormwater runoff from Rainbow Beach parking lot. Major benefits of this project include: reducing the number of pollution sources impacting Rainbow Beach, reducing beach water contamination and consequent swim advisories, reducing algal blooms and concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus at Rainbow Beach area, and serving as pilot project for urban stormwater management for other Great Lake beaches. 

Distance swimming is available parallel to shore at boat line.

For questions regarding Chicago beaches, email beaches3@chicagoparkdistrict.com

History

Named for the U.S. Army's 42nd Rainbow Division that fought gallantly in World War I, Rainbow Beach and Park began as two separate municipal beaches. The first was established in 1908 by the Special Parks Commission, a city agency that studied open space needs and created parks, playgrounds and beaches in densely populated areas of Chicago.

At the time, this small site at 79th Street and Lake Michigan was known as Rocky Ledge Beach. The name referred to the area's rocky terrain, and to the manmade limestone ledge that served as a shore promenade and prevented shoreline erosion.

By 1912, the heavily used beach had bathrooms and changing rooms. Illuminated by electric lights, the beach remained open until 9:30 p.m. for the benefit of working men and women.

In 1914, the city began efforts to expand the beach, and soon acquired land between 75th Street and Rocky Ledge Beach. The City Council officially named the new site Rainbow Beach in 1918. The smaller, adjacent Rocky Ledge Beach continued operating as a children's beach. The two beaches were consolidated in 1959, when the Chicago Park District began leasing the site from the city.

For many years the park lacked sufficient indoor recreational facilities, so in 1999 the Chicago Park District constructed a large field house. Designed by David Woodhouse Architects, the field house takes full advantage of Rainbow Beach and Park's breathtaking views of the lakefront and skyline.

Parking/Directions

Parking
Pay & display parking

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

CTA Bus Routes:
6 Jackson Park Express
71 71st/South Shore
75 74th-75th
79 79th

Map & Facilities

Summer Vault | Artwork

3111 East 77th Street
Chicago, IL 60649
United States

:
Large blue structure in the grass.
Summer Vault | Artwork

3111 East 77th Street
Chicago, IL 60649
United States

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