Waukegan Municipal Beach

BeachFeatures & Attractions

Waukegan Municipal Beach is easily accessible by car, train, plane, bicycle or boat and is open every day of the year. Our 400-acre lakefront, with a mile-long beach and 1,000-slip marina offer opportunities for the recreational and competitive boaters, kiteboarders, and people 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 in summer months. Stop for ice cream and brats at Dockside area, enjoy mobile food vendors at the beach on the weekends, or bring your own picnic and watch sailboat races. The beach is also a short walk or bike ride from downtown Waukegan’s growing arts district, its 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 special occasion pictures are captured and weddings are held on the beach.

The City is in partnership with Lake County Audubon Society (LCAS) to advance bird conservation and public environmental awareness; the partnership, Sharing Our Shore-Waukegan, has 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 Accessibility

The City of Waukegan is committed to providing a safe and accessible swimming beach.  The City has embarked on a mission to include amenities that enhance the beach experience for mobility impaired visitors.  In 2022, the City enhanced the concrete turnaround and drop-off area through an expansion of the patio and installation of a ramp that leads to a portable roll-out accessibility mat (also called Mobi-Mat).  The mat was installed at the beginning of the 2023 season.  The City also purchased two beach wheelchairs for use by the public.  Accessible parking and bathrooms are available at Waukegan Municipal Beach. 

Beach Wheelchair Service 

Beach wheelchairs are available for use by the public free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.  However, you may reserve a wheelchair ahead of time. Reservations are taken no earlier than five days in advance of, and no later than 24 hours before the reservation date.  You can make a reservation by calling the Waukegan Municipal Beach Office at 708-533-5192. 

In order to borrow a beach wheelchair, you must submit a waiver and valid driver’s license or state identification card with the Beach Office.  The waiver only needs to be completed once per season.  If you need assistance completing the waiver, a staff member onsite will be available to assist you. 

View and download the waiver and liability form. Physical copies of the waiver are available at the Municipal Beach Office and may be completed at the time of checkout.   

  • Wheelchairs Available: 2 
  • Days Available:  7 days a week when Beach Rangers are on duty
  • Hours Available:  9am – 7:30pm 
  • Time Limit: No maximum time limit. Beach wheelchairs must be returned by 7:30pm.
  • Parking:  Accessible Parking is available 
  • Requirements:  Signed liability waiver and an ID to be left at the Beach office. ID will be returned when the wheelchair is returned.
  • Bathrooms: Accessible portable bathroom stalls are available. 

Beach Wheelchair Rules and Guidelines 

  1. A valid photo identification (i.e., state-issued ID/Driver’s License, passport, military ID) is required to check out a beach wheelchair (“Wheelchair”). The ID must be left with authorized City of Waukegan (“City”) personnel during time of the Wheelchair checkout. The ID will be returned when the Wheelchair is checked back in. 
  2. For your safety, inspect the Wheelchair and review the manufacturer’s guidelines prior to use. 
  3. Individuals making reservations must be 18 years of age or older. Wheelchairs may not be loaned to minors without a signed waiver by a parent or guardian. An adult over the age of 18 years old must be present to checkout a Wheelchair.  
  4. Users shall be responsible for transporting the Wheelchair to and from the beach offices. 
  5. Wheelchairs are intended to assist those with disabilities. 
  6. Observe uneven terrain to prevent tipping (slopes, inclines, angles, etc.)  
  7. No water activity. The Wheelchair must not enter the lake. It is not a floatation device. 
  8. Users' personal property will be stored at their own risk; the City assumes no liability for care. Personal wheelchairs may be left at the Beach Office. 
  9. No modifications are to be made to the Wheelchair. 
  10. Users are strongly encouraged to properly wear and fasten the safety belt. 
  11. Sun and heat may cause metal parts to become extremely hot – use caution. 
  12. The anti-tip/parking brake mechanism is one of the most important safety features. This component doubles as a wheel brake and anti-tipping device. To prevent free-rolling and tipping, users must engage the parking brake when the wheelchair is stationary. 
  13. Users or their guardians/parents will be required to pay for any damages to the Wheelchair. 
  14. City of Waukegan reserves the right to revoke the privilege of Wheelchair use if the Wheelchair is misused.

About the Beach Wheelchair 

Beach wheelchairs are equipped with large, wide wheels which can roll across the sand without sinking. They usually require users to be accompanied by someone pushing them.  

View manufacturer instruction manual.  

Wheelchair Specificationsbeach wheelchair specifications in table formatNeed more information?  For more information about beach wheelchairs or accessibility call Beach Office at 708-533-5192 or Lisa May, Lakefront Coordinator, at 847-599-2504. 

Beach Hours: 6am - 9pm

The Waukegan Municipal Beach is open for free to the public daily from 6am to 9pm seven days per week prior to Memorial Day and after Labor Day.  During the summer season, free access is available Monday through Friday to everyone, except on holidays; on the weekends, free access is restricted to vehicles with a current Waukegan vehicle sticker.  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.    

(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 about the beach, call 708-533-5192.

To report violators, call 847-599-2608. In case of emergency, call 911. 

Lisa May, the Lakefront Coordinator, may be reached at 847-599-2504.

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