When you think of beaches (or at least me anyway) I don't think at all of Illinois, but I was surprised to find out that not only are there beaches in Illinois, there are some nice ones that I need to visit soon.

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Illinois has lakes, rivers, ponds, and beaches. I had some idea that Illinois had beaches. I've been to Chicago I've seen Lake Shore Drive, but that was really the only famous one I know, that's until I did a little research and found at least five beaches that are pretty popular in the state.

5 Beaches in Illinois You Have to Visit

Now I am sure we all knew that there were beaches in Chicago and along the Northern part of Illinois, but now you know that there are some amazing ones all over the state to enjoy.

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.