The nearest ocean might be nearly 1,000 miles away, but that doesn’t mean you and your kids can’t build an awesome sand castle. Here are some of our picks for the best places to put your imagination, buckets and shovels to use.
Oak Street Beach in Chicago: If you’re up for a trip into the city, the famous “Dr. Beach” (known for his annual list of Top 10 Beaches) singled out this urban beach, along Lakeshore Drive, on his list of “Five Great Great Lakes Beaches” this year.
Harold Hall Quarry Beach in Batavia: This former stone quarry has a huge sand-bottom swimming area and lots of beach for building sand castles, along with a playground and plenty of picnic areas. It was one of Go West's favorite spots last summer.
Centennial Beach in Naperville: This beach, around since 1932, also operates out of a former quarry property. It’s a popular spot – attracting more than 135,000 visitors each summer.
Otter Cove Splash Park in St. Charles: One of the four play sections at this fun site is devoted to sand and water. When your kids get tired of sand play, they just have to rinse off to enjoy spray columns, dumping buckets, geysers and more.
Go West Readers: Where’s your favorite spot to build sand castles?