All Chicago beaches have their pros and cons but Montrose Beach has a nearly perfect storm of cool attributes. It’s far enough away from Lake Shore Drive that you can’t hear traffic. The vibe is blue-collar and family-friendly, free of the douchebaggery that plagues some other beaches. You can buy tasty Mexican food from the snack bar, elote carts and strolling peddlers on the sand. The water is pristine and kayaks are available for rent. A stroll down the pier provides an awesome skyline view, while the adjacent Magic Hedge nature sanctuary offers bird-watching and gay cruising opportunities. There’s something for everyone.
The lakefront between Montrose and Lawrence
North Avenue Beach
The lakefront at North Avenue
Best of Chicago 2010