10 Swimming Lakes near Chicago You Need To Discover

Photo courtesy of the Whoazone at Whihala Beach
Photo courtesy of the Whoazone at Whihala Beach

Summer in Chicago means making the most of the beautiful weather. When you want to get the kids outside and dip them into a cool lake, there’s no shortage of swimming lakes near Chicago to splash around in. From Lake Michigan to Wisconsin, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best swimming lakes near Chicago. Most of the swimming lakes, quarries, and swimming holes listed below are located in a suburb within 30 miles of the city. Grab your beach towels and enjoy a day in the sun at one of the Chicago swimming lakes below.

For more fun by the water check out our round-up of the Best Beaches in Chicago for Families as well as our favorite Sprinkler Parks and Water Playgrounds near Chicago.

Centennial Beach is a swimming lake near Chicago with slides and diving. Photo courtesy of Centennial Beach, Facebook

1. Centennial Beach – Naperville, IL

For generations, Naperville and Chicagoland residents have enjoyed swimming in Centennial Beach. This zero-depth entry swimming lake near Chicago has a depth that reaches 15 feet. With slides, diving, and beach volleyball, there’s something for everyone at Centennial Beach. Admission: $7 (resident) $12 (non-resident) for children ages 3-17; $9 (resident) $14 (non-resident) for adults; 2 and under are free.

Head to Crystal Lake to swim in an old quarry. Photo courtesy of the Three Oaks Recreation Center, Facebook

2. Three Oaks Recreation Center – Crystal Lake, IL

At Three Oaks Recreation Center in Crystal Lake, you can enjoy pristine swimming waters, fishing, hiking, and more at this former quarry. There are picnic tables, fishing and boat rentals, a spray ground and more. Admission is $5 per non-resident vehicle.

3. Independence Grove – Libertyville, IL

Independence Grove in Libertyville features a 115-acre lake for swimming. You can swim and splash around and enjoy a variety of water sports. There are also hiking trails, picnic tables, and an amphitheater to enjoy concerts in the summer months. Boat rentals are also available for adults. Admission is $6 for non-resident vehicles and $5 for Lake County residents with vehicle stickers.

4. McHenry Petersen Park Beach- McHenry, IL

Petersen Park Beach is a beautiful swimming lake near Chicago in McHenry. You can enjoy playing on the sandy beach, swimming, or renting a boat, kayak, or paddleboard when the temperature is above 68 degrees.

5. Fish Lake Beach – Volo, IL

Fish Lake Beach in Volo is a great place to come for the day and swim. You can also stay for the night or weekend at the adjacent campground. Small cabins are also available to rent. Swim, splash, and play in the sand at this beautiful swimming lake. Volo is also located near Six Flags Great America. Daily admission is $6 per person.

This swimming lake near Chicago has both sand and slides. Photo courtesy of the Harold Hall Quarry Beach, Facebook

6. Harold Hall Quarry Beach – Batavia, IL

Harold Hall Quarry Beach is a splash pad, swimming hole, and beach all rolled into one. It’s the perfect combination of pool and lake. Use the ladders, slides, and spray grounds as you would in the pool while playing in the sandy lake. Admission: $10 for residents and $13 for non-residents.

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District

7. Lake Michigan – Chicago, IL

There are 24 beaches on the shores of Lake Michigan. The beaches in the city of Chicago are completely free to both residents and non-residents. There are also beaches in the northern suburbs available for residents and non-residents for an additional fee. Beaches also stretch over the border of Wisconsin up through Kenosha and Milwaukee. Check out our picks for the best Chicago beaches for families.

8. Geneva Lake - Lake Geneva, WI

Geneva Lake is located about an hour and a half from the city of Chicago. Just over the border, you’ll find a beautiful, spring-fed lake with three public beaches. Visit downtown Lake Geneva, Fontana, or Williams Bay for public beaches on this great swimming lake near Chicago. Each beach town also features great shopping, dining, and access to the free 26-mile walking path

Photo courtesy of the Whoazone at Whihala Beach, Facebook

9. Whiting Park and Whihala Beach – Whiting, IN

Whihala Beach is located only 30-minutes from downtown Chicago over the Indiana border. There’s swimming, boating, kayaking, surfing, and more on the 21-acre site. Adjacent to the beach, you’ll find Whiting Park which features 15-acres of wildlife, playgrounds, flower gardens, waterfalls, and fishing. Be sure to check out the WhoaZone for inflatable water slides, trampolines, and more. Admission: $7 for in-state vehicles, $9 for out-of-state vehicles.

10. Indiana Dunes – Porter, IN

The Indiana Dunes is a beautiful National Park that sits on 15-miles of coastline on the shores of Lake Michigan. You can enjoy swimming, hiking, and dune playing just a short drive from the city. Admission: $25 per vehicle or $15 per walk-in or boat-in.




Youth Chorus of the North Shore Karaoke Singalong
Evanston Public Library - 1:00 PM Pick
Disney On Ice Presents Frozen and Encanto
Allstate Arena - various times Pick
Downers Grove Ice Fest
Downtown Downers Grove - various times Pick
Elmhurst Art Museum Mini Art Show
Elmhurst Art Museum - various times Pick
Morton Arboretum Chocolate Weekend
Morton Arboretum - 9:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides