Stroll along a boardwalk on South Shore Beach, go windsurfing on Lake Michigan, or take a tour of the historic Grosse Pointe Lighthouse on Lighthouse Beach in Evanston. From fishing to fire pits, hiking to jet skiing, Illinois beaches have a variety of activities and amenities available. Here are Tripping.com’s 10 best beaches in Illinois. Find Clinton Lake Beach vacation rentals.

1. Glencoe Beach

glencoe
Source: Flickr/patrickryanzero

Located on Lake Michigan, Glencoe Beach is a great option while staying in your vacation rental in Illinois. At Glencoe Beach, you can go windsurfing, sailing, paddle boarding, or kayaking. There are cabana, chair, and umbrella rentals along with volleyball courts, a beach cafe, and shelters for picnics.

2. Montrose Beach

horseshoe pier
Source: Flickr/Jo Bet

If you’re looking for kayaking, volleyball, and food, Montrose Beach is the place to be. The northern part of the beach is dog-friendly and there is also an area to the south that is great for bird watching. Montrose Beach is part of Lincoln Park, which is one of the biggest parks in Illinois.

3. Illinois Beach State Park

illinois beach
Source: Flickr/Adam Prince

Located in Zion, which is in northern Illinois, Illinois Beach State Park is 6.5 miles long. The park is known for its’ wide variety of plants in addition to hiking trails, fishing, camping, and swimming.

4. Clinton Lake Beach

carlyle lake
Source: Flickr/Nathan Goldberg

If your vacation rental is located in central Illinois, consider a day trip to Clinton Lake Beach. Known for its fishing, the beach has a pier and fish such as catfish and walleye. Clinton Lake Beach also has a restaurant, water skiing, and even trails through wildflower meadows.

5. Lighthouse Beach

lighthouse beach
Source: Flickr/Mel Gray

Visit Lighthouse Beach in Evanston, Illinois to see the historic Grosse Pointe Lighthouse. Tours are offered daily of the lighthouse, which is now a museum. The beach is a great spot for watching the sunset and there are even fire pits available for s’mores.

6. North Avenue Beach

north avenue beach
Source: Flickr/Lenka Reznicek

If you’re looking for a beach with a lot of amenities and activities, check out North Avenue Beach. This beach has several dining options, such as Freddie’s or Deadeye Dogs, and water sports such as kayak and jet ski rentals. There is also a beach house with restrooms and lockers, as well as life guard station and free wifi.

7. Rainbow Beach Park

rainbow beach
Source: Flickr/Eric Allix Rogers

Rainbow Beach Park is a fun spot for a family beach day since it also includes two playgrounds, a baseball field, and tennis court. The beach house features a life guard first aid station, restrooms, and a restaurant called Lamont Puckett.

8. South Shore Beach

south shore beach
Source: Flickr/curtis locke

Walk along the boardwalk, view wildlife, play tennis, and more at South Shore Beach, which is part of the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago. There is parking at the beach or you can take the 6 Jackson Park Express bus.

9. Poplar Camp Beach

cedar lake
Source: Flickr/Cragin Spring

Poplar Camp Beach is on Cedar Lake in southern Illinois. There are caves, picnic tables, concession stands, and 14 miles of hiking trails. The lake is also known for its boating, fishing, and archery deer hunting. The beach opens Memorial Day Weekend and closes on Labor Day every year.

10. Lake Shelbyville

lake shelbyville
Source: Flickr/Ryan G

Lake Shelbyville features four public beaches and an aquatic center. There is also a picnic area, horseback riding, and a variety of great fishing spots. Take the family hiking along one of the many trails, such as the picturesque Okaw Bluff Trail or bike down the Camp Camfield Trail.