Heading out over the weekend or maybe you have plans for a little Illinois staycation?

There's probably a beach somewhere in your future.

ILLINOIS: MORE BEACHES THAN YOU THINK

Luckily, Illinois is filled with some phenomenal beaches, and even better you won't have to drive all the way into Chicago.

For me, I don't mind going to Chicago for a nice day at the beach. To me, North Avenue Beach is one of the best on the planet. I'd also take a day at Montrose or Foster Beach if I couldn't find a spot at North Avenue.

THE BEST BEACH NEAR ROCKFORD

If you want to stay close to Rockford, the best bet would probably be Pearl Lake Beach. It's in South Beloit and plenty of folks in the area visit during the summer.

However, Yelp doesn't even list Pearl Lake Beach as the best beach in the area. Instead, Williams Bay Beach in Wisconsin is said to be the best around.

When you consider how easy it is to hop on a plane in Rockford and get to a beach in just a few hours' time you can leave the state to get to a beach.

My family and I make yearly pilgrimages to Florida just to spend time at the beach.

THE BEST BEACHES IN ILLINOIS

Since my beach knowledge is essentially limited to my time in Chicago, (or going to Florida) I figured I'd enlist the help of Trip Advisor to put together a top 10.

1. ILLINOIS BEACH STATE PARK

2. ROSEWOOD BEACH

3. CENTENNIAL BEACH

4. LAKE SHELBYVILLE

5. WAUKEGAN MUNICIPAL BEACH

6. LEE STREET BEACH

7. NORTH AVENUE BEACH

8. MILNOT BEACH

9. GLENCOE BEACH

10. WILLOW POINT BEACH AND PARK

What's your favorite Illinois beach?

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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