In Illinois there's water, water everywhere for beating the heat between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Illinois in the "landlocked" Midwest is the premier Great Lakes state providing residents and visitors alike with opportunities to be "cool" naturally -- from swimming, beachcombing and fishing ... to boating, catamaran sailing, water skiing and windsurfing.
And, yes, Chicago alone has 26 miles of lakefront and 15 miles of swimming beaches! But don't stop there. The No. 1 summer stop in the Windy City, of course, is the annual Chicago Air & Water Show, the Lollapalooza music fest and Taste of Chicago which have become the other highlights of one big city summerfest.
DID YOU KNOW? Illinois beaches and summer fun facts:
• Believe it or not, there are surfing spots in Chicago -- including Montrose Beach and 57th St. Beach (in the summer), and Montrose, 57th St., Rainbow Beach, and Osterman Beach (in the spring, fall, and winter.) The best thing about surfing Lake Michigan? No sharks!
• The most popular man-made beaches in the state are located at the 11,100-acre Lake Shelbyville reservoir in central Illinois. They include Sullivan Beach, the 9th Street or Dam West Recreation Area in Shelbyville, and the Wilborn Creek Recreation Area.
More about Illinois beaches and summer fun around the Web:
DNR - Swimming Facilities
- A major list of swimming beaches and pools managed by the state and provide here by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources,
with a clickable list of lakes, beaches, marinas and creeks leading to photos and more info on attractions, facilities and contact
Chicago Park District: Beaches - General information on the city's more than two dozen lakefront beaches with an asterisk noting handicapped access, plus links that lead to photos and more on amenities, activities and contact info.
Southern Illinois Beaches - Information, pictures & descriptions on swimming beaches at in and around Carbondale including Cedar Lake, Lake Glendale, and more.
Clinton, IL - Clinton Lake - Central Illinois' major recreation area with fishing, swimming, water skiing, boating and hiking, a 1,000-foot sandy beach, with driving directions.
Forest Park Beach- A photo, general description and more info in downloadable PDF files relating to upcoming summer events, beach rules and regulations, reservation form.
Glencoe Beach - Information-packed page with details on daily rates, season tokens, sailboat and windsurfer rentals, catamaran and sunfish sailing lessons, map & pictures of Lake Michigan's popular North Shore beach.
Evanston Beaches - Information on beach hours and daily/season passes with locations for all five Evanston Beaches including Lighthouse Beach, Clark Street, Dempster/Greenwood, Lee Street and South Boulevard Beaches, together with info on the pet-friendly dog beach near Church Street.
Great Lakes Beachcast - Find out about beach water quality, beach closings, and related facts & information for all state shore communities fronting the Great Lakes.