One of the things I have loved the most about living in Chicagoland is its close proximity to so many beaches. Living in Idaho and Utah for over six years left me with the feeling of being landlocked. Of course those states have their charms, namely their mountains and lack of humidity. But living away from the shore for those years made me realize that I prefer to be close to some body of water. Water has always had a way of calming me. Hearing the waves roll over themselves as they made their way towards the beach and feeling the wind on my skin and blow through my hair allowed me to feel the serenity of nature.
When we lived in Chicago, the beach was just a few short blocks from our apartment. I would go quite frequently by myself with a notebook in hand and an open mind and let the creative juices flow from my brain to the paper. Or D and I would take romantic walks near the water (this was before Ladybug and Buddy graced our presence) sticking our toys in the cold lake and talking about our dreams for the future. When we left the city for the suburbs two years ago, we moved a little further away making regular beach days more difficult. But we still make it a point to go at least once a summer.
In previous years, we drove to the city and went to the beach there because it was free. This time we decided to try out Glencoe Beach. Wow! I was impressed. First of all, the views were amazing. When we first arrived and parked, we were actually quite far above the beach. We came to a lookout spot where we saw Lake Michigan from between some trees. I’ll tell you what, if I could, I would spend a long time sitting on the bench looking out onto the water. Give me a book or something to write with, and I’d be set for the day.
I’ll tell you what wasn’t fun, however. It wasn’t fun hiking down the steep hill with the double stroller filled with two kids plus all our beach gear. (It was even less fun hiking back up when we left.)
Once we got down to the sand, I was blown away. This wasn’t your average beach with sand and water and maybe a small pier. Of course there was that. But there were also swings, slides, a splash pad, and an awesome play toy. This beach was definitely made for kids. I loved that there was so much space to have gatherings. Not only was there a fairly wide pier but there were also two covered pavilions perfect for parties, reunions, and any other kind of gathering. While we were there, people were even setting up for a wedding reception.
Ladybug spent the whole time digging in the sand and building sandcastles, requesting that I refill her bucket so she wouldn’t have to halt her work in order to do such a menial task. Buddy proved, once again, his love for water by standing in the waves (with help, of course) with no complaint.
We left Glencoe Beach with plenty of sand in our bathing suits but without a Sofia the First kite that belonged to Ladybug. The Chicago wind was too strong for her to hold onto the string and it flew over the pier railing opposite the beach side and out of reach. Next time we’ll be sure to tie it to her wrist. Oh well, lesson learned.
The only complaint I have about Glencoe Beach is the amount of rocks that were piled up near the shore. Although there is sand further up the beach near the beach house and right where the water meets the shore, there is a large strip of sharp rocks in between. If you ever find yourself going to Glencoe Beach, make sure you keep your flip flops nearby because unless your feet are made of lead, you will want them close to you.
However, I still give Glencoe Beach a B+, despite the rocks. It’s clean and fun; great for families. If you find yourself in the Chicagoland area and are looking for a great beach to take the family, make sure and hit up Glencoe Beach. You’re sure to have a fun beach day.