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Water Activities on Lake Michigan

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

Chicago is a city with two distinct waterfronts: the Lake Michigan and Chicago River. The surface area of Lake Michigan is the third-largest of the Great Lakes, while its total volume is the second-largest and it comes to life when Memorial Day arrives.

Locals enjoy boating, jet skiing, and other lakeside activities throughout the summer. From stand-up paddle boarding to a sightseeing cruise, Lake Michigan offers a variety of outdoor water adventures for everyone.

We've put together a list of the best things to do on this iconic waterfront.

Standup paddle boarding is a great form of exercise and a fun way to see Chicago's beaches from the water. If you're just getting started, the Lake Michigan is a great place to go. A few of Chicago's most popular beaches for stand up paddle boarding include Montrose Beach and 63rd Street Beach, as well as Pictured Rocks Lakeshore near Grand Haven, Michigan, for its dramatic cliff views.

If you're looking for the best way to see Chicago's skyline, look no further than the city's most popular boat tours. Lakeshore boat tours provide an interesting look at the city. In addition to showcasing its unrivaled views, these boat tours also provide unique insights into Chicago history and culture thanks to their knowledgeable guides.

From Lake Michigan's scenic shores, dine and dance the night away while admiring some of Chicago's most iconic landmarks, such as Buckingham Fountain and Navy Pier. Surely, eating delicious food while cruising the Chicago shoreline and admiring the beautiful skyline at night is a great way to spend a romantic evening or any celebration.

When it comes to fireworks displays for the Fourth of July, Michigan's beach towns don't let you down. Fireworks over Lake Michigan delight both children and adults. During Wednesday and Saturday evenings when you stroll along the pier, you'll also be able to see spectacular firework displays over the lake.

Plenty of beaches line the shores of Lake Michigan, making it a great place to go swimming. And if you add in candy-striped lighthouses and more ice cream carts, you've got the makings of an excellent beach vacation. Visitors can also take pleasure in hiking opportunities, dune climbing, family fun, picnics, and dog recreation.

An improvised ship houses a bar and restaurant called Castaways, which offers a variety of drinks and food. On the first floor, you'll find an ice cream shop and a beachside burger stand where you can grab a quick bite. Enjoy tasty appetizers and sandwiches as well as refreshing beers and tropical cocktails on the rooftop terrace.

Anyone looking for a calm fishing experience or a thrilling and engaging fishing charter expedition out on the lake is welcome to visit Lake Michigan. West Michigan's Grand Haven, St. Joe, and Ludington are the best places to cast a reel. Because the weather on the lake can be uncertain, you'll need a guide to keep you safe for the period of your time on the water.

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