Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
4.5
About
Chicago sits on the shore of this Great Lake.
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The area
Neighbourhood: Streeterville
Streeterville is where visitors head for play at Navy Pier, a pseudo amusement park and development of restaurants, shops, rides, and other activities. You’ll find lots of action and excitement on the docks. Along the pier, you’ll see the statue of the captain for whom Streeterville is named. While you enjoy your fair share of sightseeing at the pier, you can also visit other popular attractions there such as the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Off the pier you’ll find more restaurants from low-cost pubs to high-end establishments. Arts and culture aficionados should be sure not to miss the Museum of Contemporary Art.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,851 reviews
Excellent
1,345
Very good
433
Average
66
Poor
5
Terrible
2

CaptTrouble
Hudson, WI7,904 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
My husband and I took a long walk along the shore of Lake Michigan on a very hot day. It was along North Lake Shore Drive, so there was some traffic noise. There was a wonderful breeze off of the lake which was so refreshing after walking in the hot city. Definitely something to look forward to when visiting Chicago!
Written 2 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

psudino
Weehawken, NJ4,390 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
Without the lake, Chicago wouldn't have the appeal it does. The lake provides both a scenic and unique border to the city and allows for attractions otherwise not found in cities not on the water. The lakeside trail, the piers, the boats (and in the summer the boating parties), and in my opinion the most important, the constant breeze of fresh and clean air.
Written 12 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveloney
Chennai (Madras), India443 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Friends
This lake that borders Chicago Is so great and fascinating to even look from the plane just before you land. No doubt on how beautiful it would be when you go and stand near the lake. Its more like an ocean, looks so deep, so huge and vast with continuous waves. The blue waves are so cool. That evening, the sun was bright and beaming. But I couldn't feel even a little warmth there. I was freezing, the wind was pushing me hard. It was an awesome feel of the cold windy city!
Be sure to take thick jackets however shiny the day may be!
Written 23 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SJM921
Palm Springs, CA74 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Friends
After 38 cruises, we probably are in a good position to comment on the Blount Small Boat Lake Michigan Cruise... the boat is the Grande Mariner and is expensive and with faults. First, the good news: The food is excellent and most of the staff accommodating, The ports visited were good choices, tho we did not go thru the Sault Saint Marie locks, as promised. The cabins, however are very very small and to live in one for seven days is a challenge. The entire bathroom IS the shower, the beds require one of the passengers to climb over the other one to get into bed. The cabins are unlocked and do not provide standard security. One important ship officer had comments by other passengers that were, stating it kindly, not complimentary.
Written 17 July 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Derek D
California25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Solo
Having left Los Angeles to find myself in the crime riddled city of Chicago I often wondered why people love it here so much. People, by and large will constantly say, it's the greatest place to be during the summer. This of course rubs me the wrong was as there are only about 90 days of actual summer. When we left the GoldCoast and moved to Lakeview, I found the best way to get to work downtown was on foot and the path was Lakeshore Drive. This isn't suppose to seem like a meditative study on the human condition but I can say without a doubt that the time I spent alone and surrounded by strangers on Lake Shore Drive running the path to and from work everyday was easily the happiest I've ever been while completing my stay there. Everyday I would show up to work happier and more energetic than the day before. I ran through winter and through summer, I ran in storms and while rain and heat waves while I baked. It is by far one of the single most beautiful stretches of land in the United States. It's uninterrupted, it's free, there are bathrooms and water fountains. It encompasses what can be a few feet or fifty miles, It truly is wonderful.

The fun part, when you get used to being there (on it, the path) are the small invisible wars that people driving by in cars never see. I fought invisible wars everyday, never acknowledging my challenger but when someone would breeze past me on my leisurely run, I was forced to chase them down, sit right there a few feet behind them to let them know when they looked back I wouldn't be broken so easily. I'd hover them until I seen a wide stretch and I'd drop down from a nice comfortable 8 minute mile to a 6 minute mile. Some people would see that and pick up their pace, the cheaters they would take a short cut and go through grass on a wide corner, the fighters would stay with you, right behind you in your not so blind spot to let you know there was a fight on your hands, this went one of two ways, but always started the same way, beat by beat until they slowly broke from the pressure of a 6 minute mile for 2 or so straight miles. If not, they would wait, and they would make their move and you either break or fight back. You can spend an hours this way, communicating in such a beautiful nonverbal way with a complete stranger that you rely on so much. At the end of it, you might nod at them, you might give them a thumbs up and a smile and they will do the same. These small wars were the best part of Chicago for me, they made me a better runner, a better and more thankful human and it gave me dozens of very intimate relationships with people I never said a word too. But whenever we seen each other we went right back at it like old friends that always hated saying goodbye to each other.
Written 1 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL8,410 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
Over the years, my wife and I have experienced some of the most spectacular and beautiful sights in the world...like Pebble Beach and Carmel Bay in California, New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty in New York City, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. As native Chicagoans, we have the pleasure of viewing Lake Michigan. Chicago is the birthplace of skyscrapers, home of deep dish pizza and one of the largest urban cities in the United States. But it also is home to 26 miles of scenic lakefront and sandy shoreline where you can swim, bike, kayak, canoe, boat, jet ski, paddleboard, play golf, volleyball, handball and tennis, fishing, engage in bird-watching and sight-seeing, listen to live music, dine, drink beer, eat hot dogs, walk, jog and picnic amid its numerous beaches, public parks, gardens and 18-mile Lakefront Trail. Visit Navy Pier, the No. 1 tourist attraction in Illinois, or enjoy a cruise on the Lake Michigan or Chicago River. Oh, it's colder than the Gulf of Mexico. But it's fresh water, not salty. And the view of Chicago's skyline from North Avenue Beach is a postcard for photographers. There are eight beaches along the way--Hollywood, Montrose, North Avenue, Oak Street, 31st Street, 12th Street, South Shore, Rainbow--and, although they are closed to swimmers during the Coronavirus pandemic, they remain popular destinations for sight-seers, bird-watchers, walkers, joggers, bikers and picnickers.
Written 20 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RobBoston80
Boston, MA1,219 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Friends
It's a big lake and its fun to see. Everytime I visit Chicago I bring my companions to see. They are always impressed.
Written 26 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jerry H
Taipei, Taiwan31 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015
If you are looking at the Lake, you can not see the other end of this lake, you will never feel it is a lake, it is definitely a see if you don't have a map in your hand. This view can make you feel relax. If you are looking at the City, this is definitely a architecture museum for anyone who love architecture. Walking, Jogging, Riding could be enjoyable. Just feel it.....
Written 11 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jgbtravels
Louisville, KY4,525 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
Coming from a city where the water from the river is generally green or brown I am always in awe of the beautiful endless sea of blue. It's hard to imagine that it's not an ocean and that it's the smallest of the Great Lakes. Best view? That would be from the north steps of the Field Museum scanning the lake and the Chicago skyscrapers. Do take a boat tour that takes you out on the lake. Great photo opportunities to be sure. Also, there are some nice views from Navy Pier. Don't forget to see the stained glass museum while you are there- it's free. Ride down Lake Shore Drive to enjoy the true beauty of the lake and the city. Yes, there are beaches too. Bring a swim suit but remember it can be a bit chilly especially if you are used to swimming in the south.
Written 8 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oscars_Wild
London, UK21 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2012 • Solo
Really, you came to Chicago to look at the lake? And you need to read up on Tripadvisor to see if its actually worth going to? Really?

Lake Michigan is massive. Almost a sea. When I was there it was blue, but in the evening it sparkled in the red sunset then was grey and dull, melding with the horizon, punctuated by the tiny lights of boats and other, settlements along the shore. Did I mention how big it is?
Written 27 March 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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LAKE MICHIGAN (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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