Photograph of 63rd Street Beach in Chicago, IL Photograph of 63rd Street Beach in Chicago, IL Photograph of 63rd Street Beach in Chicago, IL Photograph of 63rd Street Beach in Chicago, IL Photograph of 63rd Street Beach in Chicago, IL

63rd Street Beach

Swim Status

No Restrictions

Water Quality Information

Forecast for today
Most recent test result 137
sample collected on Aug 31, 2013

Location

6300 S Lake Shore Dr
Lake Shore Drive and Hayes Drive

(312) 742-5121

Beach Hours

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

Distance swimming

@ 64th Street, parallel to shore between 1st and 3rd buoys

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.

Parking
Pay & display parking lot

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

Playground

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

    773-359-4290

    10 AM - 10 PM

  • Gussie's

    11 AM - 6 PM

  • Leave with a Smile

    11 AM - 6 PM

Water Sports and Recreation

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.