The Gay Beach in Chicago is Hollywood / Osterman Beach

You’ll almost mistake Lake Michigan for an ocean with its vast expanse and seemingly endless shore. With beautiful blue water as far as the eye can see, you may think you’ve gone from Chicago to southern California. Chicago beaches are free to the general public, and officially open for swimming from the Friday before Memorial Day to Labor Day, 9am – 9:30pm.
However, if weather permits, the beaches in Chicago can have sun bathers in early May and as late as October – but there are no lifegaurds on duty.

What to Know About Chicago Beach Pollution

Occasionally, the water along Chicago beaches can reach a bateria level that may be unsafe for swimming. The park district has instituted a flag system to advise swimmers as to water conditions — here’s a quick guide to help you stay safe. Normally the water is very clean and very safe.

Dogs are allowed at the beach’s at Belmont Harbor and also Montrose Beach.

Lots of hotties and people watching and Vollyball activity at North Avenue Beach.

The gay beach is Hollywood Beach. (AKA Kathy Osterman Beach) The gays and gay friendly people hang out at the southern end of the beach.  Weather permitting, the gay boys will be out sunnning themselves late April thru October! But any given Sunday in the summer there are about 200-300 people out here.

(Photo by Michael Snell – BLUE PHOTOGRAPHY)

The beaches in Chicago are an extensive network of waterfront recreational areas in the Chicago Park District.  Today, the entire 28 miles (45 km) Chicago lakefront shoreline is man-made. There are twenty nine lakefront beaches in Chicago along the shore of Lake Michigan. Two more are located within city parks. Currents and wave action in Lake Michigan tend to move sand from north to south, where it eventually ends up in the Indiana Dunes. Winter storms erode some of Chicago’s beaches, and deposit the sand on others, requiring the Park District to supplement tons of sand yearly. The Chicago Lifeguard Service force is the largest of its kind in the nation, employing over a thousand guards in the summer (between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend).


Chicago also has the most swimable and most guarded waterfront of any single municipality in the world. While many patrons complain about the cleanliness of the water, Chicago boasts the cleanest urban waterfront in the United States, and second in the world only to Stockholm; water is tested daily by the Chicago Park District for E. coli and other dangers.

The Best of Gay Chicago!