Leone Beach is one of the most equipped parks in the Rogers Park neighborhood. The perfect place to enjoy Lake Michigan’s sandy shores, Leone Beach features a playground and kayak launch for family-friendly activities. Locals love the food stands who serve up snacks, crepes, and eats for the beach. There are also restroom facilities, so you can really spend the whole day here.
Leone Beach Park History
One of Chicago’s most historic swimming spots, Leone Beach Park dates back to 1919, when it was acquired from the Department of Water. After obtaining the property, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation remodeled the on-site pumping station to function as a fieldhouse. At the time, the par’s Touhy Avenue beach featured diving boards and rafts that made it a favorite for neighborhood children.
By 1937, the park stretched 250 feet of waterfront. And in 1966, it was renamed from Rogers Beach and Park to Leone Beach after park district employee Sam Leone. Leone was employed as a lifeguard at the beach after serving in the Navy during World War I. The beloved employee was still living above the Rogers Park beach house and supervising lifeguards at the time of his death in 1965.
Leone Beach Park Details
Getting to Leone Beach Park is easy, with metered parking available in two nearby lots at Touhy Avenue and North Sheridan Road and Lunt Ave and North Sheridan Road. (The Lunt and Sheridan lot also offers monthly parking passes.) Once you’re here, be prepared for a day of fun. While the historic diving boards are no longer in existence, there is plenty of family fun in the form of kayak rentals and a large playground nearby.
Distance swimming is available from Lunt to Farwell Avenues, but swimmers are not allowed to go far out into the lake’s waters. Lifeguards are sticklers about keeping swimmers within a safe distance. Swimming is permitted while lifeguards are on duty, daily from 11am to 7pm. More activities and facilities are available at nearby Loyola Park, with a field house, tennis courts, and sporting fields.
Leone Beach offers access to the Lake Michigan Water trail for sports including kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding—there are no motorized boats allowed. Kiteboarding is also not permitted, as it is only allowed at Montrose Beach. There are also restrooms and several snack stands so you can easily spend the whole day at Leone Beach Park.
Leone Beach Park Events
The city’s Junior Lifeguard program hosts many of its programs at Leone Beach Park. Leone Beach Park also hosts many of the city’s music and Night Out in the Park events, like Tsukasa Taiko in the Parks.