The 2013 swim season has ended. Please continue to enjoy Chicago's lakefront parkland until the beaches open for swimming again on May 23, 2014.
Beach-goers to this Jackson Park location can enjoy a variety of amenities. The historic beach house also offers restrooms, interactive water fountains, showers and meeting rooms, and is available to rent.
The 63rd Street Beach features a non-motorized boat launch site. A natural area provides much-needed habitat for migrating birds in the spring and fall seasons.
Be sure to “check-in” on Foursquare at this location to unlock the Windy City Foursquare Badge! Foursquare users who “check-in” at five of 20 designated cultural and small business attractions will receive the Windy City badge.
Pay & display parking lot
The following public bus & train routes serve this beach:
Beach house and restrooms
- Life guard first aid station
A spray pool play area is located in the west courtyard of the beach house, and there is play equipment right on the sand in front of the beach house.
Food and beverage
The Leaf Bar & Grill
10 AM - 10 PM
11 AM - 6 PM
Leave with a Smile
11 AM - 6 PM
Water Sports and Recreation
Premium Ski Rentals
10 AM - 7 PM
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.
- There is no paddle or board sport access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail at 63rd Street Beach. For information on beaches with launch points for accessing the Lake Michigan Water Trail, visit the rules page.
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. The area had a paved beach made from granite bricks, which was extended to cover the entire lakefront in Jackson Park by 1888.
Considering that raw sewage was dumped into Lake Michigan at that time, it is not surprising that the beaches were used as paved drives for strolling or promenading, rather than wading or bathing. In 1899, when the completion of Chicago’s innovative Drainage Canal began diverting the sewage to other locations, the lakefront became a desirable place for public bathing.
After the turn of the century, and after hearing many requests from South Side residents for more beaches, the South Park Commissioners decided to extend the beach sand area. They developed a new plan for the landfill in 1914, and completed the 10-acre beach extension three years later.
This plan also included an elaborate bathing pavilion, which was constructed adjacent to the beach by 1919. In 2000, The Chicago Park District completed renovations of the bathing pavilion, now known as the 63rd Street Beach House.
The 63rd Street Beach House is an elegant Classical Revival style pavilion. South Park Commission in-house architects produced plans for the impressive building. Completed in 1919, the elegant exposed-aggregate concrete building takes full benefit of Lake Michigan with its open balconies and loggias (open-air galleries on the ground level) allowing for lovely lake views and comfortable breezes.
Historically, the building provided bathrooms and showers, medical rooms and separate courtyards for men and women with hundreds of wooden changing booths. The open courtyards no longer include wooden booths, but instead are attractively landscaped spaces with an interactive water feature (made possible by the Max Schiff Foundation).
Used by beach visitors, boaters and day campers, the facility can be reserved for special events.
63rd Street Beach has an accessible beach walk, restrooms and parking.