5 Fantastic Places to Paddleboard in Chicago

The Windy City offers a plethora of places to SUP. While you certainly can’t enjoy them during the winter, you’ll love paddling around in the summertime. Lake MIchigan can be a paddler’s dream – depending on where you go.

Chicago offers a plethora of great SUP spots on the lake. Here you can SUP surf and paddle around regularly. As the SUP boarding is seasonal here, you’ll want to make sure you enjoy as much time on the water while you can.

Best Places to SUP in Chicago

You’ll notice most of these spots are on Lake Michigan. That’s because the lake is Chicago’s biggest body of water and best place to SUP. Still, we included a few other areas for good measure.

So, here are five fantastic places to Paddleboard in Chicago:

Montrose Beach, Lake Michigan

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  • Montrose Beach, Lake Michigan

On a calm day, there’s absolutely no better way to enjoy Lake Michigan than paddling around Montrose Beach. Here you’ll find stunning views of the Chicago skyline and so much more. For a classic Chicago SUP experience, Montrose Beach is where to go.

If you’re looking to rent here, go on a tour, or take a SUP yoga class – check out Kayak Chicago. The outfitter has been helping locals and tourists alike enjoy SUP in Chicago for years.

Chicago River

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  • Chicago River

If the big lake is a little too intimidating for you, then paddling along the Chicago River could be the perfect SUP spot for your needs. Here you’ll find a slow moving river and stunning views of the city from a unique vantage point.

Beginners should take a lesson or tour at this location. The waterway can get crowded at certain points, which means you need to have some skill maneuvering around.

Your best bet for tours and rentals here is Chicago SUP. The outfitter specializes in paddling around the river.

Kathy Osterman Beach, Lake Michigan

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  • Kathy Osterman Beach, Lake Michigan

Another Chicago SUP spot in the heart of downtown is Kathy Osterman Beach. Similar to Montrose Beach, the spot offers stunning views. However, this area is never as crowded as Montrose Beach.

What made Kathy Osterman Beach so fun was the unique SUP offerings from outfitter Chicago Paddle Co. The company offers tours, rentals, yoga, pilates, and core training classes – all on a paddleboard.

Get in touch with Chicago Paddle Co. here.

Skokie Lagoons

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  • Skokie Lagoons

If you’re ready to get out of the big city and enjoy some smooth, relaxing paddling, then Skokie Lagoons could be a great place for you to paddleboard in Chicago. The location is close to the city and perfect for beginners – due to the calm water.

Here you can bring your own board, but rentals seem to be limited to kayaks and canoes. Still, you could rent from a different location and then head out to Skokie Lagoon.

Big Bend Lake

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  • Big Bend Lake

A smaller, nearly unknown lake near Chicago – Big Bend Lake is the ideal SUP spot for beginners looking to avoid the crowds. The best part about this spot? The water is crystal clear and fresh. On a semi-sunny day, you’ll be able to gaze down on all the wildlife and vegetation below you with no issue.

Definitely bring your own board here – as there’s not a rental company anywhere around.

SUP in Chicago!

In the 3-4 months of summer the Windy City has, you’ll find a plethora of great SUP spots. Paddle boarding in Chicago is growing in popularity and there’s good reason why. Here’s to a safe and happy paddle trip in Chi-Town!

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