Photograph of Montrose Beach in Chicago, IL Photograph of Montrose Beach in Chicago, IL Photograph of Montrose Beach in Chicago, IL Photograph of Montrose Beach in Chicago, IL Photograph of Montrose Beach in Chicago, IL

Montrose Beach

Swim Status

No Restrictions

Water Quality Information

Forecast for today103
Most recent test result 19
sample collected on Aug 29, 2014


4400 N Lake Shore Dr
Montrose Avenue 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

tower 4 (north of boathouse), parallel to shore

New in July 2013: Montrose Beach offers free wifi for beach visitors.

This popular Uptown neighborhood beach located in Lincoln Park offers patrons many amenities. South of the recreational beach, a natural area attracts many migratory birds during the fall and spring seasons. A serene dune area hosts a rare “panne” habitat — a flat, wet and open sandy area — for birds. Endangered plant life thrives at this location.

Pay & display parking and street parking

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

CTA Bus Routes:
78 Montrose
81 Lawrence
151 Sheridan

CTA Red Line Station:


Beach house and restrooms

  • Restrooms
  • Life guard first aid station

Free Wifi

Food and beverage

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.
  • Dogs are permitted only within the designated dog beach.  Learn more about Chicago Park District Dog Friendly Areas.
  • 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 Wilson Avenue ramp and at the south end of Montrose Beach.  For more information, go to the rules page and download information on Lake Michigan water trails.
  • Kiteboarding is permitted at Montrose Beach.

Lincoln Park is one of Chicago’s oldest and largest parks. Surprisingly, more than 1,000 acres of this park and its beaches are completely made from landfill.

By 1929, Lincoln Park had 300 acres of landfill extending as far north as Irving Park Road. The Lincoln Park Commissioners had intended to keep landfill operations moving northbound, but work slowed because of the Depression.

In 1934, all of Chicago’s 22 separate park commissions were consolidated into the Chicago Park District. With extensive funding available through Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Park District began many park improvements, including the Montrose to Foster landfill extension.

The plan for the extension included several buildings designed by E.V. Buchsbaum, including the beach house at Montrose Beach. Modeled after the beach house at North Avenue, the building looks like a lake steamer.

In the 1950s, the east wing of the beach house burned in a fire and was not rebuilt. Instead, the Park District constructed an open-air changing addition to the south side of the building. Today, the beach house is still in existence and is used by beach-goers.

Montrose Beach features an accessible beach walk, parking and restrooms.