Grosse Point Lighthouse
While this winter in Chicago has been relatively mild, I'm sooo ready for it to be over. More often than not, I find myself daydreaming of toastier temperatures, longer days, and sunnier skies. Until then, I have my past memories of summertime Chi to keep me warm. One, in particular, I've been thinking of lately is my little excursion last year to Grosse Point Lighthouse and the adjacent Lighthouse Beach up in Evanston.
As a proud card-carrying member of the United States Lighthouse Society (yeah, it's a thing), I knew I had to check this gem out when I arrived in the Chicagoland area. I'm not gonna lie, it's a bit of a hike to get there, but it is possible using CTA, and so worth it, in my humble opinion. From ICO, catch the Red Line over at Sox-35th and take it all the way up to the last stop at Howard. Next, transfer over to the Purple Line and get off at Central. From there, it's about a five-minute walk to the lighthouse and beach. In total, you're looking at about an hour of travel time with public transit.
You can visit the grounds of the lighthouse anytime, but if you want to tour the interior, learn about its interesting history, and climb 112 feet up to the top, you have to visit at their normal hours of operation. The hour-long tours run from June through September on Saturdays and Sundays at 2, 3, and 4 PM. Admission is $6, and they only take cash. The hours are admittedly a little restrictive, but if you plan it out properly, it can make for a great weekend day-trip. You can check out their website here for any other inquiries you might have.
As for my personal experience, the vibe was so much different in Evanston than in the city. Up until that point, Chicago was the only part of Illinois I had ever experienced. It was a nice change of scenery to be in a quieter, slower-paced environment. I'm so
happy to be in a city with such a robust transit system that can take you all over. It opens the door for so many unique experiences. The public beach was also a nice touch, as I was unaware of its existence prior to us visiting. It makes the trip up there that much more worth it since you can spend plenty of time chillin' in the sand by the lakeshore before heading back to Bronzeville.
Even if you're not a lighthouse nerd like me, I suggest you check it out if you have a day to kill once the weather gets warm. If nothing else, you can geek out over the optical majesty of the Fresnel lens that used to shine a light, guiding boats on Lake Michigan safely back to shore.
After all, L+F=L', amirite?