Waukegan Municipal Beach

BeachFeatures & Attractions

Waukegan Municipal Beach is easily accessible by car, train, plane, bicycle or boat and is open daily throughout the year. Our 400-acre lakefront, with a mile-long beach and 1,000-slip marina offer opportunities for the recreational fisher, competitive boat racer, beginning kite-boarder and the general public who just want to enjoy the water.

A great location for live music, the Stiner Pavilion is home to the Waukegan Band Foundation on Tuesday nights and a variety of other concerts and festivals throughout the summer months. Stop for ice cream and brats at Dockside area - a few of Waukegan's favorites - or enjoy mobile food vendors there on the weekends, or bring your own picnic and watch sailboat races. The beach is also just a short walk or bike ride from downtown Waukegan’s growing arts district, and a dozen restaurants.

The Waukegan Beach features one mile of sand along with some of the only remaining natural dunes in the area. Recreational activities (PDF) include swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, kiteboarding, sand soccer, and sand volleyball. Additionally, many engagement pictures, expectant parent and baby pictures, quinceañera pictures, and weddings are held on Waukegan Beach in Spring, Summer and Fall.

The City has a partnership with Lake County Audubon Society (LCAS) to advance bird conservation and public environmental awareness; the partnership is Sharing Our Shore-Waukegan and received national acclaim.  LCAS put together a self-guided, family friendly walk to encourage beach exploration.  The self-guided walk is available by clicking here.

Important Safety Information

No lifeguards are on duty at this facility and swimming is at your own risk.

Beach Hours: 6am - 9pm

The Waukegan Municipal Beach is open for free to the public daily from 6am to 6pm seven days per week prior to Memorial Day and after Labor Day.  During the summer season, free access to the Beach is restricted to vehicles with a current Waukegan vehicle sticker on the weekends.  Non-residents and any vehicles without current Waukegan vehicle stickers may be required to pay for parking. Fees are waived for active military and first responders.  Access is free for cyclists and pedestrians.    

Beach operations will comply with Restore Illinois BRIDGE PHASE guidelines and restrictions.   

(City of Waukegan Ordinance Chapter 11, Article IV, Section 11-40.)

Beach Rules

  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted at the beach.
  • No glass containers are permitted at the beach.
  • No littering permitted on the beach. All litter must be deposited in receptacles provided or carried out.
  • No pets allowed on the beach.
  • No vehicles allowed on the beach.
  • No loud music.
  • No fires or grilling other than in designated areas. 
  • No walking outside of clearly marked trails or dunes, except as necessary for first responders or maintenance. 
  • No indirect or direct feeding of birds or any wild animals.
  • No motorized watercraft are allowed to land on the beach except in the area north of the designated marker and no such motorized watercraft are allowed to enter the public swimming area adjacent to the public swimming beach.

If you have questions or to report violators, call 847-599-2608. In case of emergency, call 911.

(City of Waukegan Ordinance Chapter 11, Article IV, Section 11-41.)

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