While you wouldn't want to lay out here for obvious reasons, your pup will certainly love doing so. Given that this particular doggie haven is small in size and not as busy as others in the city, it’s a good starting point for anyone who wants to test the waters with their pup before letting it loose at a bigger park like Montrose.
What to know: This spot, within walking distance of Wrigley, makes for a fine excursion after a Cubs day game. Plus, the lakeside Sydney Marovitz Golf Course, easily the finest public course in the city, is just a stone’s throw away.
North Ave Beach is a favorite among young professionals who wish to see, be seen, and stay active. In addition to the variety of vendors and concessions -- including everyone’s favorite summer hangout, Castaways -- North Ave Beach is home to a bunch of fun activities. Visitors can partake take beach yoga classes, go wakeboarding and paddleboarding with Chicago SUP, rent a kayak, play beach volleyball, or take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and pretend to get some work done. Of course, it’s also a popular spot for summer events like The Chicago Air and Water Show.
What to know: Castaways is no longer the only game in town when it comes to boozing at North Avenue Beach, thanks to the recent opening of the more upscale Shore Club. Serving Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and beach-themed drinks in three distinct spaces near the lakefront path, the property includes a laid-back open-air bar and fancy indoor restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows plus the exclusive RSVP-only “Oasis at Shore Club” with cabanas and day beds. A bit further up the road, check out the beautiful new Lakefront Restaurant at Fullerton and the lake serving upscale Midwestern fare from chef Cleetus Friedman in the historic Theater on the Lake building. While not technically on beach property, it’s more than worthy of the short diversion.