CENTENNIAL BEACH, NAPERVILLE
While not a true beach, a stop at Naperville’s historic stone quarry could satisfy the kiddos urge to play in the sand. It’s not a swimming pool, it’s not a lake, but a swimming experience like no other! Wade into the zero- depth entry and swim to depths of 15 feet at this local swimming hole. Centennial Beach holds an amazing 6.2 million gallons of water that starts with zero depth and goes as deep as 15 feet. The water itself is chlorinated, re-circulated and hand-skimmed to remove debris, but it is not filtered like a typical swimming pool. Additionally, the water is not heated, so the temperature increases over the course of the summer, provided that the air temperatures are adequately warm. Located at the Naperville Riverwalk, it is surrounded by great places to shop, eat lunch, grab ice cream and wander, making it a perfect mini-getaway.
ILLINOIS STATE BEACH, ZION
Illinois Beach State Park - stretching 6.5 miles along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan in northern Illinois - offers a full range of recreation opportunities at one of the most unique and beautiful natural settings in America. Illinois Beach is the only remaining beach ridge shoreline left in the state, with dunes and swales, sprawling marshes, forests of oak and vast arrays of animal life and vegetation. The sandy ridges are crowned by black oak forests with an open, savanna-like appearance. Several kinds of fragrant pines, introduced a century ago, also prosper in the southern area. Just north of the pines is the Dead River, a stream blocked by sandbars much of the year, features an abundance of aquatic plants and fish that belie its name. The 4,160-acre park, consisting of two separate areas (North Unit and South Unit), offers ample opportunity for swimming, boating, picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping and simply appreciating nature. In addition to swimming beaches, trails and campgrounds, the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center is the perfect place to get away for a weekend or a weeklong vacation.
Camping reservations can be made online at www.reserveamerica.com
Illinois Beach Resort reservations can be made at ilresorts.com
WAUKEGAN MUNICIPAL BEACH
Also a Lake County favorite is Waukegan Municipal Beach located at 201 Sea Horse Drive. This beach features a mile of sand along with some of the only remaining natural dunes in the area. Protected by natural sand dunes, it boasts the clearest, cleanest water in Lake County. Recreational activities include swimming, sunbathing, picnicking and sand volleyball. There are no lifeguards on duty at this facility and swimming should be done so at your own risk. But one of the highlights of this locations is the concert series. The Waukegan Band hosts weekly evening concerts on Tuesdays June through August . Enjoy the beautiful beach overlooking Lake Michigan and the great music to complete the day in the sun.
Visit waukeganband.com for a concert schedule. www.visitlakecounty.org for more beach information