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Oak Street Beach

The Best Hotels in Chicago Near Beaches: Our Top 6 Picks

With its miles-long lakefront, Chicago is also a bona fide beach destination, boasting tan sands and dramatic Lake Michigan vistas.

VIDEO: A Day at Chicago's Oak Street Beach

Oak Street Beach, an oval of golden sand snuggled between vast Lake Michigan and hectic Lake Shore Drive, is the closest beach to the best shopping, dining and outdoor recreation the Windy City has to offer. But this little piece of beach heaven, which sits south of Division Street and north of Oak Street, didn't always exist – it emerged in the late 1800s as a build-up of sand after a shipping pier was built nearby. And what a lucky coincidence for city-dwellers: By the 1920s, it was already a top spot to cool off and enjoy the summer sun. Midwest Beach Appeal Oak Street Beach has a lot going...