The 5 Least Crowded Beaches Near Chicago

The beach is an excellent spot to hang out with friends and family in the summer. However, not everyone enjoys crowded beaches.

What’s the least crowded beach near Chicago? 

Some of the least crowded beaches in Chicago include Silver Lake Park, Glencoe Beach, Green Wood Beach, and 12th Street Beach, among others. There are more in different places around Chicago as long as you know where to look. Finding a near-private beach can be challenging but worth it.

As I searched the internet for excellent but secluded spots to hang around in summer, I was pleasantly surprised to discover these hidden gems near Chicago. I am not the kind of person that enjoys crowded popular joints. More often than not, these tend to be more stressful than fun and relaxing. Read on to learn about the least crowded beaches in Chicago.

Silver Lake State Park in Michigan

Least Crowded Beaches Near Chicago

This beach is situated on the Western side of Michigan along the Michigan Lake Shoreline. It is between Ludington and Muskegon. The vast area has over 2000 acres covered in rolling sandy dunes and beachfront that are to die for.

You can enjoy swimming, boat riding, fishing, and relaxing on the beach without having to look over your shoulders due to large crowds. 

Adventure lovers will also enjoy hiking along the numerous hiking and biking trails. Boat rentals are another way to have fun in this area.

 The fact that accommodation will not be a significant issue, thanks to the surrounding towns, makes this destination worth visiting. 

Mears and Hart’s towns offer a variety of accommodations for visitors, including camping sites and decent hotels.

Check out the quaint shops, and try out the delicious cuisines and local dishes in the towns after spending your day at the beach.

A natural oasis is an excellent option for a beach destination, considering it is only a few hours’ drive from Detroit or Chicago.

The Green Wood Beach

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This is a great beach if you love secluded beaches and can pay a reasonable price to enjoy the extra privacy. It is a bit on the higher side and fun to be around. The parking is close and great for people who enjoy evening strolls. 

You can always walk along the lake that heads North to Northwestern University and come to Sheridan as you take in the site of the beautiful houses.

However, if you love to snorkel or enjoy deeper waters, it is better to stay away. The waters are great for the kids but may be too shallow for adults to enjoy a proper swim.

Overall, it is a great place to meet up with friends and for families to have significant private time together.

12th Street Beach

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If you have wanted to visit one of Chicago’s ideally-kept secrets, then 12th Street Beach is your go-to hidden beach. 

It’s located in the Island’s Eastern Cove, South of the Planetarium.

Its small size makes it intimate and more attractive to people who want to avoid crowds. This would be a perfect spot for the kids.

The beach comes with bike parking and also has a lot of private and street parking options.

They have a food house in case you want to get something for you and the family to enjoy. You will love that the lifeguards are always so helpful and friendly. 

The bathrooms are clean, and the beach is excellent for picnics and tanning/ relaxing, even though you are not allowed to swim.

 Glencoe Beach

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Visit this beach if you love the sounds of birds and leaves or if you appreciate nature. It is especially great for the kids as there is a lot they can do here.

It is generally accessible by wheelchair and has bike and private parking with some street parking options.

The water at the beach is clean, and the small beach is generally clean and safe. Lifeguards can be seen patrolling and checking to ensure everyone’s safety. 

You’ll also appreciate that bathrooms are very close by and easy to access.

For the activity options, you can choose to sail or paddle a boat at a cost. 

Picnic lovers will enjoy the many picnic sites available throughout the beach, not forgetting the great playground and water spray areas that are fun for the children. 

Another great plus is the fact that you can bring your food.

Generally, this is a fantastic secluded beach if you are not bothered about paying a fee to access such private perks. However, it would be best if you were ready to deal with the shop closing promptly and the rocky/ rough sand at the lower water depths.

If you love to walk, then the beach has some of the best places to enjoy nature. The birds chirping and leaving rustling will be a healing experience for you. 

Overall, it is a peaceful beach with many benches to sit on if you decide to relax and read a book on a warm afternoon.

Promontory Point

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This is it if you want something that works regardless of the weather. It has an excellent lake view and skyline.

You can consider it a quick spot to escape the urban rush. What’s more, the parking is free.

The Chicago gem gives perfect winter, summer, fall, and spring views. It’s great for multiple activities, including swimming, yoga, cycling, walking, and picnics. 

There are several benches in case you want to sit and relax, as well as bonfires and water facilities.

It would be best if you considered this secluded spot on those days when you want to get away from crowds and enjoy some fresh air. 

Walk to the bridge along the sandy beaches filled with rocks, grass, pebbles, and pavement. You’ll love that all facilities are close to you.

Key Takeaways

  • There are several secluded beaches to check out in Chicago
  • You can always find public and private beaches in Chicago that are less crowded
  • The least crowded beaches in Chicago may charge a fee to access.
  • Always check activities allowed and available amenities when choosing a beach to visit.