Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches

One Shell of a Find!

  • Like us on Facebook!

  • Come Join Us! Treasure Hunters

  • Copyright Notice

    The contents of this site are copyright Beach Treasures And Treasure and may not be copied or used without written permission from the Beach Treasures And Treasure Beaches staff. The posts may be quoted in part, so long as credit is given where it is due and so long as you link the quote back to this page. Thank you kindly for your cooperation and for your interest in our passion for beaches.
    ©2011-2020 Beach Treasures And Treasure
    All Rights Reserved.

  • Disclaimer

    Links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience to users; Beach Treasures And Treasure does not control or endorse their content.

Posts Tagged ‘Free things to do in Chicago’

Fun in the Sun, Chicago Style

Posted by Jody on April 24, 2012

One of the best things about growing up in Chicago was the super-easy beach access!  Chicago has always had a wonderful mass-transit system, but our family was lucky enough to live within walking distance of Foster Beach, in the Edgewater community.  My mom, her four eager kids, and our neighbors, the Donnellys, would all pack our arms full of  towels, sand pails and shovels (and whatever the adults thought we needed for a day at the beach), and happily set out in our flip-flops. Although it was only about a 3/4 mile walk,  it somehow seemed like we had trudged much farther when we finally crossed under the Lake Shore Drive overpass. That’s when we knew we had arrived! WoooHooo! We were spending the day at the beach!

Foster Beach, Chicago, Illinois

Chicago actually has 26 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, and the best part is that every single mile is free and open to the public! With the official start of the “beach season” beginning across the country on Memorial Day weekend, you’ll be sure to find at least one of Chicago’s 33 beaches to be your perfect combination of sand, sun and fun!

Montrose Beach, Chicago (Photo:Alanscottwalker/Wikimedia Commons)

The Chicago Park District manages Chicago’s lakefront year round.  The Windy City’s beaches are always open but you’ll need to look to the Park District’s colored beach flag for current swimming conditions. Chicago has a simple, standardized, three color beach flag system. The Chicago Park District website suggests: “When you are at the beach, look for a flag near the beach house or on a lifeguard stand. These flags are part of the Chicago Park District’s flag notification system and indicate the current water quality or weather conditions at your local beach.”

Green – Swimming is permitted. Water is calm and water quality is safe based on current monitoring for E.coli bacteria.”

“Yellow – A swim advisory is in effect. Caution is advised while swimming. Water and weather conditions are becoming unpredictable. Restrictions may be implemented. There may be an increased risk of illness based on current monitoring for E.coli bacteria.”

Red – A swim ban is in effect due to severe weather and/or water conditions, which may be hazardous. There may be a risk of illness based on current monitoring for E.coli bacteria.”

So simple! ~Now, let’s go get some sand between our toes, Chicago style!

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Great Lakes Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gotta Love It! Oak Street Beach, Chicago, Illinois

Posted by Jody on February 24, 2012

I just love visiting Chicago! Sure, I’m partial to my hometown, but with 26 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 33 sandy beaches, what’s not to love?

Oak Street Beach (foreground) from John Hancock Center (Photo by Bonfire2k4/Wikipedia Commons)

Oak Street Beach is one of my absolute favorite spots in the Windy City.  With 15 miles of swimming beaches to choose from, you’d think it would be hard to pick favorites.  But this trendy spot, just off Michigan Avenue, is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the incredible energy that is Chicago! Oak Street Beach is worth the trip for the people-watching alone.  During the summer you’ll find swimmers, sunbathers, rollerbladers, runners, ramblers and bicyclists. Families with strollers and bookworms with best sellers all share the same urban oasis.  With its close proximity to Downtown and the famous Magnificent Mile, this popular beach attracts locals and tourists from all walks of life. On a good day, they turn out by the thousands!

According to Chicago’s official tourism site, “Oak Street is home to the largest area of deep water swimming in the city (1/2 mile (800 m) over 10 ft (3 m), and is training grounds for hundreds of triathletes and distance swimmers. Until 2006 Oak Street Beach was also the only place in the city where SCUBA divers could dive close to the shore.”

One more reason I love visiting Chicago! Childhood friends ~ at Oak Street Beach in February (Jody, Ellen and Mary) Photo by Alaina Diehl

This photo (with my good friends, Ellen & Mary) was shot on a beautiful, sunny, 58°F February day. There were a few crazy people in the 33°F water, though! Could it have been the Lakeview Polar Bear Club wrapping up their annual Polar Bear Plunge at Oak Street Beach?

Parking is limited near Oak Street Beach.  You may want to explore CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) options. Better yet, if you’re already in the vicinity, complete your Gold Coast experience with a walk to the beach along the paved Lakefront Trail.

The Chicago Park District administers all 26 miles of Chicago’s beautiful lake shore.  Chi-town’s open lakefront parkland and all 33 well-maintained, sandy beaches are free of charge to residents and visitors, alike. Gotta Love it!

~By the way, Chicago’s Navy Pier (also free) is only about a mile from Oak Street Beach. It’s another one of our crowd pleasing, family favorite Chicagoland attractions!

What is your favorite Chicago beach? (I’m partial to Foster Beach, too!)

Posted in Friday Finds, Great Lakes Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Navy Pier, Chicago, Ilinois

Posted by Jody on September 23, 2011

A trip to Chicago is never complete without a visit to Navy Pier!  Extending into Lake Michigan just east of Downtown Chicago, this 3,300 foot long historic landmark is an absolute must for your “Windy City” to-do list. You’ll be  just one of the 8,600,000 annual visitors to enjoy this incredible lakefront playground.  Why? Simply put: Chicago’s Navy Pier has something for everyone with its 50 acres of entertainment and recreation.  Navy Pier has shops, restaurants, and attractions including amusement rides, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and the 32,000-square-foot Crystal Gardens. One of the best things about Navy Pier is the amazing views of the famed Chicago skyline and the grand sprawling shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Navy Pier in Winter (©Jody Diehl)

Another “Best of Navy Pier” is that entry is free. Here are just a few of our family’s favorite free things at Chicago’s Navy Pier, straight from their very thorough website:

“Dock Street, which runs the length of the Pier’s South Dock, is reserved for pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers. In season, four performance areas feature entertainment ranging from jugglers, mimes and stilt walkers to comedians, singers and musicians. Chicago’s dinner cruise ships continue to operate from Dock Street. And, on select summer evenings, fireworks entertain the Pier’s evening visitors.” 

Photo ©Jody Diehl

Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier (Photo ©Jody Diehl)

“The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows is a permanent display of 150 stained glass windows housed in an 800-ft.-long series of galleries along the lower level terraces of Festival Hall. Open since February 2000, it is the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to stained glass windows. It showcases both secular and religious windows and is divided by artistic theme into four categories: Victorian, Prairie, Modern and Contemporary.”

“At the eastern-most edge of the 3,000-foot Pier is the historic East End. Offering the city’s best view of the spectacular skyline and lakefront, the East End also is the perfect place for lunch or a sunset stroll. Period light fixtures, a myriad of flags, picnic benches and wide pedestrian promenades mirror the Pier of the past.

Another Navy Pier family favorite is the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.  They put on excellent productions with stellar performances,  clever twists and very creative costuming. Tickets are rather reasonably priced for these first class presentations.

Finally, is a visit to Chicago’s Navy Pier really complete without a ride ($) on the 150-foot-high Ferris Wheel where you’ll have stunning views of the beautiful City of Chicago and its gorgeous Lake Michigan shoreline? I think not.

Navy Pier is the perfect family getaway in any season!

Posted in Amusement Piers, Great Lakes Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: