Lake Michigan in Illinois

When deciding to visit the Great Lakes, the state of Illinois may not be the first destination to come to mind. However, the Great Lakes in Illinois harbors much of the Lake Michigan shoreline making it a find destination for those wishing to tour the Great Lakes.

Lake Michigan encompasses over 22,400 square miles and is the only Great Lake located completely within the United States. Technically both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are the same large lake connected only by the Straits of Mackinac.

There are many Illinois cities along the shoreline of Lake Michigan including Chicago, Lake Forest, Evanston, Highland Park, Wilmette, and Waukegan. Chicago’s history is very closely connected to Lake Michigan as the city was founded in the early 1800’s near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. One of the many advantages of the lake in Chicago is that it works to temper the weather allowing the residential neighborhoods to be warmer in the winter and slightly colder in the summer.


The Great Lakes in Illinois is also home to the North Shore area near Chicago. North Shore is an affluent area and home to some of the richest communities in America. North Shore has also been an important background for many Hollywood films, including those of John Hughes like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. Other popular movies featuring North Shore include Risky Business, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Uncle Buck, Home Alone and Cheaper by the Dozen.

If you are thinking about visiting the Great Lakes in Illinois, there are many local attractions you should see. Ravinia Park is a must for music lovers. It is located in Highland Park, Illinois and includes many performing arts facilities both indoor and outdoor. It is also home to the country’s oldest outdoor music festival and the summer home for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there is the award winning bicycle path and trail in Wilmette called Green Bay Trail or a visit to Illinois Beach State Park that showcases over six miles of Lake Michigan’s shoreline.

If lighthouses are your thing, Grosse Point Light in Chicago cannot be missed. The lighthouse was built in the late 1800s as the major lighthouse for those approaching Chicago. The lighthouse is open for tours daily but it is best to visit during summer as you can only view the keeper’s museum area on weekends from June through September.

There is plenty to see when visiting the Great Lakes in Illinois. While it may not be the most popular destination, it is well worth the visit for those interested in the Great Lakes.


Written by admin · Filed Under Illinois 


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