North Avenue Beach – Chicago Photo Location

If you’re looking for the best skyline photos of Chicago, North Avenue beach should be first on your list! This is a favorite location among my couples, whether they are local to the city or traveling in from out of state! You not only get a great view of Chicago with one of it’s most iconic buildings, the Hancock, front and center, but you also get a beautiful shot of Lake Michigan and it’s sand beaches! This is the perfect place to pop the question if you’re planning on proposing or even just a chill date with an epic view!

Man and woman kissing by Lake Michigan with the chicago skyline behind them.

The skyline is such an iconic view of Chicago but North avenue beach offers more than just the skyline! The lakefront is so popular for picnics, bicyclists, walkers and runners, and in the summer beach loungers!

Best time of day for Photos

Because Chicago is on the West side of Lake Michigan the best times for beautiful images is at sunrise and sunset at North Avenue Beach. If it’s a cloudy day, any time of day will work! I’m sure you’ve heard that mid afternoon is not a great time to take photos because the harsh light from the sun typically creates unflattering shadows when positioned right above you. The clouds work to diffuse the light and is actually very flattering on your skin!


The sun rises over the lake in the morning making a dreamy blue hour effect with the sun peaking over the water horizon! Lake Michigan looks so still and peaceful most mornings. If you’re an early riser, this is such a beautiful time to get your engagement photos done!


In the evening the sun sets over the buildings of Lincoln Park. The sunset in Chicago looks diffrent day to day. Sometimes you get a beautiful light orange glow and other times you get long hash shadows! Either way, both are beautiful, but if you wait just until after the sunsets you could capture a dramatic vibrant sunset with the north side buildings being silhouetted!

Where to Park

North Avenue beach has their own paid parking lot that is typically open but if not open or full try parking across the Latin School of Chicago on Clark Street (about a 15-20 min walk). Then you’ll need to walk East on North Ave and walk through the tunnel under Lake Shore Drive. If you still can’t find anywhere to park, try apps like Spot Hero or Park Whiz to find nearby affordable parking!

Galleries Photographed Here:

Click on the images below to see these couples galleries at this location!



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