by Roberta Stuart
Lush sandy beaches are not what travellers usually associate with the likes of an American city such as Chicago! But you may be surprised when you begin travelling in Chicago at the vastness of the city's shoreline and the bonus of more than 30 beaches to laze on.
This wonderful American city bucks the trend, given its long industrial past, in offering a stunning coastline with fantastic opportunities for walkers and bikers alike. With a clutch of golf courses along the way, anyone travelling in Chicago should encompass these particular beaches when exploring the outer reaches of the Windy City.
North Avenue Beach
If you're looking for a beach day away from the city, try heading to the most favoured city beach locale of North Avenue. Featuring fantastic facilities for all, the beach, located in the Lincoln Park neighbourhood, gives you the chance to watch volleyball tournaments and water-related shows. The seven-mile long coast also enables you to explore Lincoln Park, the city's largest public park, which also features a zoo, public art exhibits and landscaped gardens.
For those looking for space and privacy, Montrose Beach - the largest along the shoreline - has bundles. In the city's Uptown district, the beach offers the opportunity for you to enjoy kayaking right onto Lake Michigan as well as trekking and running trails. It is used annually for the 4th of July fireworks and is home to soccer tournaments too.
63rd Street Beach
Travelling in Chicago will inevitably see you come up on Jackson Park, the city's iconic green space, which was created by the designers of New York City's Central Park. While the park offers many interesting aspects, such as the Japanese strolling garden, a relic from the park hosting the 1890 World Columbian Exposition, its beach is a favoured weekend getaway for city-dwellers. The beach also hosts the ever-popular bathing pavilion, the 63rd Street Beach House.
For a fascinating day out, peppered with people-watching and just observing how the city ticks, a trip to the beach and area around Loyola Park will offer everything you could want. Recreation is a by-word in this district with many courts and gyms. You'll also be able to take in the 100ft abstract concrete sculpture, Windform; designed by artist Lynn Takata it is inspired by the movement of water.
If you tend to appreciate the gentler things in life, you may well want to head over to the Northerly Island Prairie, where sailing and boating are the mainstays of this beach location. Boasting a 30-acre prairie, you can see several species of resident birds or simply stroll around the area and soak up the atmosphere.
When travelling in Chicago you may well come upon one of the newest beaches opened to the public. Rainbow Beach is located in the south area of the city and hosts more than 50 acres of gardens - some of the oldest in the city - as well as fitness areas, Wi-Fi spots and a sand dune habitat.
Looking for a hotel for when travelling in Chicago? Roberta Stuart is the Travel Manager for Worldhotels, a company offering the best rooms in a selection of unique four and five star hotels around the world.