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Chicago's beautiful beaches are worth a summer vacation visit

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When one thinks of great American beach cities, names like Miami, San Diego, L.A. and Myrtle Beach come to mind. One doesn't often think of any of the northern American cities that were settled next to the Great Lakes, but Chicago's beaches are certainly worth a mention - at least during the warm months! Yes, Chicago is freezing cold in the winter, and one would not think of a beach vacation there at certain times of the year; but, in the summer Chicago transforms into a hot beach getaway.

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Chicago is nestled right on the shore of Lake Michigan, which is known to the locals as a turquoise-watered oasis - the water color is really quite beautiful when the sun hits it right - clean and turquoise - just like in Mexico or Florida! Some of the beaches even sport a light-beige colored sand, which is very similar to some of the beaches in the tropics! It's really quite remarkable to see such beaches in a northern climate. And the city of Chicago obviously does a lot to upkeep the shoreline's reputation - it's evident while perusing the beaches next to the city that the city invests in keeping the water and shoreline clean. There is barely a trace of garbage floating in the water - even at the docks of Navy Pier.

Chicago offers beaches along almost the whole shoreline of the city. People can enjoy the beach right in front of Chicago's famous skyline, or they can drive just a few miles north or south of the city to enjoy slightly more secluded and wilder beaches. Chicago has some of the best museums and music scenes in the world – what better way to relax the feet after a full day of museum hopping, than to soak your feet in Lake Michigan’s refreshing, clean water?

And, lest we forget to mention one of the coolest facts about Chicago-area beaches – you can learn to surf there too! Lake Michigan is an enormous lake, and thus has great big waves – waves you can surf on! Surfing-friendly locations on Lake Michigan can be found just north of the Chicago area.

Check out the slideshow for some shots of Chicago beaches, and be sure to add Chicago to your list of places to visit!