Oak Street Beach

20s and up / 30s / 40s / Affluent / Free / Good Looking / Pizza / Sandwiches / Seafood / Sporty / Steak / Sunbathers / Swimwear / Tourists / Upscale / Beach / Outdoor Activity
Oak Street Beach It may be one of the smallest of Chicago's lakefront beaches, but Oak Street Beach is also one of the most popular – and certainly the most upscale. Chicago United States 41.902996 -87.622876
4.17 7
Oak Street Beach - Beach | Outdoor Activity in Chicago.
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Adriana
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Emma

Party Earth Review It may be one of the smallest of Chicago’s lakefront beaches, but Oak Street Beach is also one of the most popular – and certainly the most upscale. Nestled in the shadow of the skyscrapers, ritzy apartment... ... read full review

  • Train:

    Brown, Purple Express Lines: Chicago; Red Line: Chicago, Clark/Division

  • Phone:

    312-742-5121

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    24/7 (Memorial Day to Labor Day)

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot

Party Earth Oak Street Beach Review

The Scene

It may be one of the smallest of Chicago's lakefront beaches, but Oak Street Beach is also one of the most popular – and certainly the most upscale.

It may be one of the smallest of Chicago’s lakefront beaches, but Oak Street Beach is also one of the most popular – and certainly the most upscale.

Nestled in the shadow of the skyscrapers, ritzy apartment buildings, and designer stores of Lake Shore Drive, the beach doesn’t exactly channel the natural world, either in terms of scenery or of the biologically photoshopped population that crowds its shores every summer. Toned athletic types play a few hard rounds of volleyball as runners, skaters, and cyclists take to the Lakefront Trail, but the emphasis is less on sports and more on relaxation.

While energetic pretty people head up to North Avenue Beach in search of a rowdier scene, the more affluent types prefer Oak Street for sitting quietly in their expensive swimwear and taking in the sun.

Appetites fueled by hours of lounging bring breezy beachgoers in cover-ups to fine dining spot Oak Street Beachstro on the south end of the sand, where they settle in al fresco for seafood, steak, wine, and cocktails beneath the shade of the temporary palm trees planted each summer.

Relaxed but with a healthy dose of swank, Oak Street Beach is an excellent Gold Coast getaway for sun worshippers who want a touch of the high life.

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Tip from Adriana:

There’s no parking at the beach, so the best way to get there is to use the pedestrian tunnels at Oak or Division Street.

  • Crowd

    Beautiful, affluent Gold Coast crowd, upscale tourists, Chicago natives, runners, cyclists, scuba divers, and chess players, 20s to 40s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Outdoor chess pavilion on the north end of the beach. Air and Water Show, usually in August. Scuba diving.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Options include:
    Snacks at the food carts along the Lakefront Trail.

    The Oak Street Beachstro (1001 North Lake Shore Drive) offers sandwiches, pizza, seafood, and steak. Ice cream and other treats at a nearby snack stand.

    Additional services:
    Lifeguards on duty normally 11am–6pm daily (Memorial Day to Labor Day), and as early as 9:30am from June 20–August 21.

  • Prices

    Concessions $1–$5. Restaurant: breakfast buffet $10–$18, appetizers $6–$16, sandwiches $6–$18, salads $9–$19, entrées $20–$30. Beer $5–$8, wine $8–$12, cocktails $9–$12.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Beachwear, designer sunglasses, and a towel.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any sunny day between May and September, though crowds are greatest on weekends and holidays.

  • Close By

    The five-star hotels across the street all have luxurious day spas, including the Spa at Four Seasons (120 East Delaware Place), where guests can take advantage of an opulent indoor pool.

Oak Street Beach User Reviews

Average rating:
beach massages and game rentals
Bruce G. May 18, 2013
Coups De Main Massage has been at Oak st Beach for 8 years. You can get a massage for $20.00 for every 15 min. Mondays it's a $1.00 a min minimum 10 min. Each massage come with a bottle of water. You can also rent Volleyball nets, Bags and boccoe balls
One of the best public beaches in Chicago
Brenda W. Mar 25, 2013
Clean, quiet, and a beautiful backdrop of the city right behind it. Much less crowded and hectic than North Ave beach. It's the perfect beach for a hot summer day in Chicago. A definite go-to if you enjoy relaxing in the sand and people watching. There's also a beach front bar/restaurant if you get hungry or want to grab a few drinks. Afterwards, you can head down Michigan Ave (which is super close) to do some shopping. One of my favorite things to do here is play beach volleyball with their free nets. Overall - it's a wonderful beach that's in a great location and has a beautiful view!
Great, small beach!
Sarah B. Nov 14, 2012
Literally right in the heart of downtown shopping. Lots of fun in the summer, there are fake palm trees and all! However, stuff can get easily stollen on Chicago public beaches so if you plan to go swimming make sure you have someone constantly watching your items on shore.
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