I’ve always thought the area just beyond Lake Shore Drive on Sheridan Road in Chicago looks more like Miami than the Windy City, with its old school highrises blocking the lake views, with names like “Malibu” and “Tiara.” So it was interesting to finally see what the public beach looks like beyond those highrises. Gorgeous views of the endless water and to the south, the towers of downtown Chicago looking like a glittering, far-away Oz.
We’re accustomed to a much closer view of downtown – from North Beach near my Aunt’s “Gold Coast” apartment. But the Edgewater neighborhood’s view is lovely in its own way – sort of a reminder of the leafy, relatively quiet neighborhood’s distance (but also proximity) to Chicago’s more hardcore urban downtown. We visited three small patches of beachfront – one by a Jewish temple that I’d never noticed before, whose sanctuary must have one of the best views in the city. There’s a little cafe at one beach, a snack bar at another with handy and fairly clean public bathrooms. Not many people were swimming but families and couples and other groups picnicked on the grass, played catch in the sand and admired the view on a rare holiday weekend when Chicago weather was at its best.
If you go: along N. Sheridan
Berger Park (with the Waterfront Cafe) north of Granville Ave.
Lane Beach Park (near Thorndale Ave.)
Hollywood Beach and Kathy Osterman Beach House (and snack bar), north of Hollywood Ave.