3 lakefront lookouts to savor with your family this summer


Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline unite to create stunning views at Promontory Point within Burnham Park on the South Side.


As a globetrotting twenty-something, one thing that I always missed while I was traveling was taking in views of Chicago’s knock-your-socks-off shoreline and, of course, its skyline. These days I share my love of the lakefront with my husband Walter and Isaiah, our curious 14-month old. I’d like to share a few prime spots where you can take in the views with your crew too.


Montrose Harbor


One of Isaiah’s first forays into lakefront fun was a leisurely stroll starting at Montrose Harbor and heading south along the shore. There is so much for little ones to take in, from the shapes of the boats at the harbor to the natural beauty along the way. We took a few moments for him to feel the tickle of a Weeping Willow branch near the main path. He giggled with glee! There is plenty more in the nature department for your family to take in at the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, which is home to more than 300 species, including one of my favorites: the red winged blackbird. There are many stops to take a breath of breezy lake air and snap some family photos of everything from the skyline to the boats dotting the horizon as your backdrop.


Lighthouse Beach


This idyllic beach in Evanston has been a family favorite for years and is a great place for a quiet picnic on the grassy areas on the same level as the parking lot. There is a lakefront overlook where you could easily take a stroller along for some prime lake-gazing. All of the amenities except for the beach are free for everyone. The beach does charge admission fees ($8 adult and $6 child) for people who are not Evanston residents. If you are looking for a beautiful family-oriented beach, a day spent taking in the sun and the sand here would be well worth the money. I have had many memorable days on this beach with my family over the years and will love to introduce my son to it this summer. If you visit, be sure to snap a few photos with your family near the beach’s namesake lighthouse.


Promontory Point within Burnham Park


This is a hidden gem of the South Side! My husband and I scoped this spot out as an option for our wedding and enjoyed a romantic and peaceful picnic there. While we did not end up choosing it as our venue, George Lucas and his Chicago sweetheart Mellody Hobson actually celebrated with a wedding reception here! With absolutely stunning skyline views that you and your little ones will enjoy day or night, this tucked away spot will provide movie-worthy views for the whole family.


From the North ‘burbs to the South Side, I love finding places to take a dip, a stroll or just enjoy a breathtaking view. What lakefront spots are you planning to enjoy with your family this summer? Chime in! I would love to hear from you.


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