Located at the northernmost tip of Lincoln Park near the Edgewater neighborhood, Osterman Beach is one of the most popular getaways in northern Chicago. The park boasts a new silver LEED certified beach house, with a comfort station inspired by turn-of-the-century Chicago Park District buildings. There is also a natural area for migratory birds. This accessible beach has other perks like on-site food and WiFi access.
Kathy Osterman Beach History
Osterman Beach has been referred to as Hollywood and Ardmore beach in the past, due to its proximity between those two avenues. Believe it or not, a surprising amount of today’s Lincoln Park is made from landfill. Completed in stages, the landfill extension was finished in the 1950s to include a new beach at Ardmore Avenue. Planning for the park began in 1947, with ground breaking three years later. The beach was finally completed in 1958.
In 1993, Ardmore beach was renamed for dedicated public servant Kathy Osterman, who was very beloved by her community. She was Alderman for Edgewater and President of the Edgewater Community Council, so it stands to reason this beloved Edgewater community park bears her name.
Kathy Osterman Beach Details
Thanks to the new 2,750-square-foot comfort station, Osterman Beach boasts a lot of perks. Inspired by traditional Chicago architecture, this Silver LEED certified building is equipped with restrooms and changing rooms. Plus, the park has WiFi access.
The beach is lifeguarded from 11am to 7pm daily, so swimming is available, and distance swimming is allowed parallel to shore at boat line. The accessible beach offers access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for sports like kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddleboarding. Osterman Beach is home to water recreation rental building the Chicago Paddle Project, so you can rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard just for the day.
Hungry? The beach has several concession areas, including Nacho Mama’s and Boucher Brothers. Boucher Brothers also offers beach chair and umbrella rental, so you can really settle in for the day at Osterman Beach.
If you’re looking to take in nature, a nearby natural area attracts migratory birds in the spring and fall. In the summer, there is no better place to soak in the sun and swim in Lake Michigan.
To get here, take the CTA Red Line to Bryn Mawr station, or stop off of many CTA bus routes. There is also limited street parking.
Kathy Osterman Beach Events
In the summertime, Osterman Beach hosts summer camps between mid-June and late-August. The Junior Lifeguards at Osterman Beach are held here for youth between the ages of 8 and 16.