57th Street Beach

Swim Status

No Restrictions

Water Quality Information

Forecast for today140
Most recent test result 29
sample collected on Aug 20, 2014

Location

5700 S Lake Shore Dr
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive

(312) 742-5121

Beach Hours

Swimming is permitted when life guards are on duty, 11 AM to 7 PM

Distance swimming

parallel to shore from 55th Street south to pier

57th Street Beach is located in Jackson Park, one of Chicago’s oldest and most significant parks. The beach can be reached from the Museum of Science and Industry via a pedestrian underpass under Lake Shore Drive.

A comfort station located at about 47th Street (and shared by Oakwood Beach) features a mural by artist Jeff Zimmerman. This mural can be seen from Lake Shore Drive.

Parking
Limited street parking nearby, west of Lake Shore Drive

Public Transit
The following public bus & train routes serve this beach:

CTA Bus Routes:
6 Jackson Park Express
15 Jeffery Local
26 South Shore Express
28 Stony Island
55 Garfield
59 59th/61st
63 63rd
67 67th/69th/71st

 

Beach house and restrooms

  • Restrooms
  • Life guard first aid station

Food and beverage

Please follow the rules while you’re at the beach:

  • Swim only when lifeguards are on duty.
  • Follow lifeguards’ instructions.
  • Only Coast Guard approved flotation devices are permitted.
  • No smoking.
  • No alcohol.
  • No dogs on the beach.
  • Do not feed birds or wildlife.
  • Dispose of trash and recycling in appropriate containers.
  • Grill in designated areas only and dispose of coals in red barrels.
  • Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.
  • Access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for sports such as kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized board or paddle sports is allowed at the north end of 57th Street Beach.  For more information, go to the rules page and download information on Lake Michigan water trails.
  • Kiteboarding is not permitted at 57th Street Beach; kiteboarding is ONLY permitted at Montrose Beach.

The renowned designers of New York's Central Park, Olmsted & Vaux, laid out Jackson Park along with the adjacent Midway Plaisance and Washington Park in 1871. Their earliest park improvements included a beach composed of granite bricks at the location of what is now the 57th Street Beach.

Improvement plans for Jackson Park after the Columbian Exposition World's Fair included a sand beach. However, raw sewage was still being dumped into Lake Michigan, and the lake was not considered a desirable place to wade or swim. The beaches were often used as paved drives for strolling or promenading, rather than wading or bathing.

The lakefront did not become a popular place for public bathing until 1899, when Chicago's innovative Drainage Canal was complete. Since the turn of the century, the 57th Street Beach has been used by generations of Chicagoans.

In 1993, the Chicago Park District constructed a new beach house for the beach, and beach-goers can enjoy a beautiful view of the city skyline.

57th Street Beach has an accessible beach walk and restrooms.