Chicago sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, which stretches from western Michigan, 118 miles across, to the shores of Illinois and Wisconsin in the west and Indiana in the south.  The lake borders the city of Chicago, and within the city limits there are 26 miles of shoreline, 15 beachfront areas and several marinas housing thousands of boats. In fact, Chicago operates the nation’s largest municipal harbor system, making it easy to get out on the water by boat. There’s even an 18-mile park, the Chicago Lakefront Bike Path where locals and visitors walk, bike and run along the shoreline.

In warmer months, it’s possible to kayak or canoe on Lake Michigan, with boat rentals available right downtown. More passive passengers can opt for a sail or a ride on a traditional schooner, or go for the luxury experience with a lunch, brunch, dinner or sunset cruise on an elegant multilevel ship with indoor and outdoor space and seating for up to 600 people. These cruises often include dancing, entertainment and drinks.

Back along the Lake Michigan shoreline, there’s a beach for every taste. On the north side, Montrose Beach is laid-back and dog friendly, while in Lincoln Park, North Avenue beach is the place to be seen and hang out with friends. There’s even a beach right downtown at Oak Street, which is the perfect spot to watch the Air and Water Show that takes place on and over the lake each August.  

Tours & Tickets

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Chicago Sunset Dinner Cruise with Buffet

4.5 star rating: Recommended 29 Reviews

Celebrate a night out in Chicago with dinner, dancing and sightseeing aboard a three-hour luxury cruise on Lake Michigan. Glimpse top Chicago attractions like ...  Read more

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.14

Chicago Dinner Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 22 Reviews

Expect the exceptional on this 3-hour premier Chicago dinner cruise experience. Newly renovated, this luxury vessel features a newly furnished rooftop ...  Read more

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $122.26

Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Admire all of Chicago's fabulous lakefront sights and attractions on this 40-minute Lake Michigan boat tour. Cruise along Lake Michigan and take in amazing ...  Read more

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: 40 minutes (approx.)

From USD $18.53

Water Taxi in Chicago

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

For fast, fun connections between some of Chicago’s top attractions, purchase a day pass for the city’s water taxi service. You can board the red, white and ...  Read more

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: Varies

From USD $23.00

Chicago Halloween Haunted Cruise

Add a new adventure to your Halloween festivities this year. Come join all the fun on a haunted one hour speedboat cruise on Lake Michigan.

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $40.49

Lake Michigan Speedboat Ride

Feel the need for speed? This exhilarating speedboat ride takes you out onto Lake Michigan for the ride of a lifetime. Experience the roar of the ...  Read more

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $26.60

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