There are numerous beaches to go kitesurfing in and around the Chicago area such as places in Indiana and Wisconsin and not to mention some inland lakes. Some may require 3 or more hours to get to from Chicago.

Most of the beaches listed here are within 1 hour drive from Chicago with the exception of Tiscornia in St. Joe which is 1:45 and Little Sable Point which is just over 4 hours. Both these beaches are in Michigan.

An overview of wind patterns in Chicago:
Summer: SW and West winds
Fall       : NW winds
Winter  : NW ,W and beginning NE winds
Spring   : NE to SE winds though SE being a rarity.




Located on the North side of Chicago. Take LSD (Lake Shore Drive) and exit Montrose Ave. and head east. Turn right on first street and head towards flag pole.

Chicago Park Districts Montrose Beach is the unofficial kite beach for the Chicago area. The beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, meaning lifeguards are on duty and lots of swimmers are present. The beach is closed from after Labor day to the day before Memorial day. But is still accessible to kiteboarders, kayakers and windsurfers. Montrose Beach is a shallow beach, so it is necessary for beginners to walk out into waist deep water to do the water start.

The beach can be pretty dangerous during the summer months when the beach is open due to the number of beach users.

Recommended Montrose beach wind: NW greater then 320 degrees, N, NE, E and SE up to 135 degrees.

PLEASE!!! Follow rigging area and ride area on map to avoid problems with local lifeguards. We want to keep Montrose Beach accessible to us kiteboarders.

These guidelines were compiled through negotiations by our team of local kiteboarders and the Chicago park District in a “test basis”. Pls. follow them so we do not get banned again.

  Read the guidelines here


E-coli report only, Please do NOT call for wind
conditions. 312-742-7526




Directions: Coming from Downtown Chicago using  "LSD" Lake Shore Drive (41) head South, you may exit 57th. St and follow the winding road. Make a left turn on Hayes St. this is actually 63rd. st and drive east toward the beach.

This beach is shallower then Montrose beach and has flatter water on NW and N wind days due to a break wall which protects the beach. E.coli number is
312-907-3592. The head lifeguard, AJ requests that kiteboarders sign in/out with their office for safety purposes. This is also a Chicago park district beach
and is open/close with the same schedule as Montrose beach. 

Recommended 63rd./ 64th   beach wind: NW greater than 320 degrees, N, NE, E, SE  up to 135 degrees.


Directions: This is a small beach, which is the only Chicago beach that caters to true S wind riding. This beach is only for intermediate to experienced kiters with very comfortable upwind and water re-launching skills. There is a big pipe close to the water's surface around 20-30 yards from the shore, don't worry, though it seems like your board will hit this, it actually won't, I don't recommend popping a jump right over it though.

Recommended Meigs beach wind:  SE and S winds, South winds should not exceed 180 degrees or wind becomes offshore.


Directions: From Downtown Chicago, use 90/94 E and exit via the Skyway, there is a 2$ toll when using the skyway. Approx. 2 miles past the toll plaza exit on Indianapolis Blvd., drive past the Big Horseshoe casino sign and you will make a right turn (S) on 41. Drive approx. 1 mile and you will see the Wolf Lake entrance on your right side and a White Hen pantry opposite the entrance. Drive time from downtown Chicago is approximately 45 minutes. $5 parking fee for non Indiana residents during summer. Inquire about season parking passes to save money.

Wolf Lake is an Inland Lake that is used very frequently by windsurfers. This beach is notoriously gusty due to SW winds and a tiny island that produces a wind shadow close to the shore. Wolf is also very weedy during the summer and a floatation vest is recommended for safety with the weeds. Due to all these factors: gusts  ,weeds  and windsurfers, Wolf is recommended for intermediate to advanced kiters only.

During Winter when the lake is fully frozen over, Wolf is also a great kitesnowboarding area.

Recommended Wolf lake wind: W and SW winds. S is also rideable but difficult to get out off and back to the grassy starting area.


This beach is close to Wolf Lake.

Directions: From Downtown Chicago, use 90/94 E and exit via the Skyway, there is a 2$ toll when using the skyway. Approx. 2 miles past the toll plaza exit on Indianapolis Blvd, make a right turn into the Horseshoe casino sign which leads to the Casino, go PAST the casino to the end where you will see the parking. The Lifeguards are keeping the side of the beach closest, NW side,  free from swimmers to accommodate us kitesurfers. Park Office number is 219-659-4015; do NOT call for wind conditions. Drive time from downtown Chicago is approximately 45 minutes.

Recommended Whilhala beach wind: W,NW, N , NE and E


Great wide and long beach for beginners to advanced riders.  Lake and Miller are actually the same beach but the launch area is less then ¼ mile apart.

Directions: From downtown Chicago take I90/94 to the Skyway, $2 toll,  continue on the skyway until you get to the  I65/ Rt. 12 exit (Indiana) . Take the first right which is Rt. 12 east and drive until you see Lake St. , make a left on Lake St. and drive through the town. FOR: Lake St. beach: just drive on Lake St. all the way to the beach. For: Miller beach: after making a left on Lake St. you will turn right on Hemlock then left on the dead end which will take you
to the Marquette Park entrance, this park is a one way loop, so if you overshoot where you wan to go you will have to go around again. Just go slightly past the Bathing Pavillion ( Roman looking structure ) and you will see the road break in two, take the small road to the right which heads to the parking lot and walk up the dunes.

Recommended Miller/Lake St. beach wind: W, NW, N,NE and E winds.



Zion beach, Zion IL.

Direction: From downtown Chicago: Take the Kennedy 90/94 West, then take the Edens Expway 94 north to Six Flags Great America. Exit Grant st. and head East. Take Rt. 21 North which becomes Rt 41. Make a right onto Wadsworth. Take Wadsworth all the way to the beach.

Recommended Zion beach wind: N,NE,E,SE and S



Waukegan beach, Waukegan IL

Directions from Chicago: Take the Kenndy 90/94 west , take the 94 Edens expressway North going to Six Flags Great America. Exit Rt. 120 and travel East. Take Rt. 120 east all the way to the beach dead end. Make a left on the dead end then make a right turn right after the RR tracks.

Recommended Waukegan beach wind direction: NE, E and SE.



Just like the water, there are lots of places to go kitesnwoboarding during the winter. Some are fields or forest preserves by the suburbs while others are frozen lakes in Wisonsin, Michigan and Indiana etc. I am keeping this where to ride area to places close to the city and to areas i have personally ridden and tested. This places are NOT the most ideal places to kiteing compared to frozen lakes like Koshkonong in Wisconsin but make do if you prefer not to drive far from the city.

Northerly Island ( Old Meigs Filed )
Directions on Mapquest, 1500 S. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago IL.

Drive like going to the Adler Planetarium. While driving east towards the museum, make a left on the last small street before the Planetarium, this will lead to the Meigs airport tower.

Parking: Park by the Old Meigs Airport Tower. You will notice the park is fenced but there is easy access behind the Tower building where there is no fence.

This place works best for Northerly winds N, NE, E as it is right off the lake. There are a few trees but nothing to worry an intermediate rider. This place can accomodate only about 3 to 4 kiters at a time. Full bar safety leash always required.


LaSalle Park ( LaSalle and Lake Shore Dr. )
Directions on mapquest 1800 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago IL.

This is a small park field with a few football posts and trees in the fringes but works very well for N to NE winds. This place works best when it is blowing over 30 knots as it is slightly further inland and conditions here are slightly tamer then they would be
by the lake. Intermeidate kiting skills are required with full bar kite safety leahses required. This place will accomodate about 4-5 kiters at a time.

Parking: You may park by Clark and walk east 1/2 block to the park or use the Lincoln Park Zoo parking lot with the entrance along Fullerton, this will actually take you direclty to the park itself.


TiscorniaPark( St. Joseph, MI)
Acceptable Wind Directions: SW, W, NW, N

Directions: Take I90 or I294/I80/94 from the city south around the lake through N. Indiana into Michigan. Exit I-94 to St. Joseph (red arrow highway) and follow it for several miles into the downtown area. Take Main St. through town (North) and go over the bridge. Take the first right turn to Edgewater Drive. Turn left at the stop sign and follow road to stop sign. Right on Upton Drive. Left to Marina Drive. Left to Ridgeway Drive.  Right at the Tiscornia Park entrace sign. Pay parking fee.


Little Sable Point (30 mins North of Grand Haven City)
Acceptable Wind Directions: S, SW, W, NW, N.

This place rocks when it is blowing S or SW. If the sky is clear and temperature hot, this combination heats up the dunes. The heat difference between the hot dunes sand and colder water make for excellent thermals. When you have these favorable conditions and the forecast is calling for wind in 10-15 knots you can be sure to have much more wind then the local forecast due to the thermal effect of the dunes.

Directions: The drive is about 4.5 hrs. Grand Haven has most of the accommodations and just drive the 30mins to Little Sable. Take I90 or I294/I80/94 from Chicago around the lake through N. Indiana toward the Michigan border. Continue on I94 into Michigan towards St. Joseph. Take  I196 toward Grand Haven. I196 becomes Rt. 31 when in Grand haven. Take 31 North through Grand Haven about another 45 minutes North to Shelby Road exit.. Take Shelby West exit towards Lake Michigan. You will ride for about 5 miles on Shelby until it dead ends. Make a right at the dead end and follow it to the end. Follow marked directions that lead you to the “Lighthouse”. There is parking close to the lighthouse, pay parking fee or else you will get a 10$ ticket. Climb over the dunes. The rigging area is just walking distance South of the lighthouse. On S wind directions the wind is a little gusty close to shore but cleans up considerably just a few feet off shore.
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