Find The Best Boat Rentals Near Chicago, Illinois.
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What to Know About Renting a Boat in Chicago or Booking a Chicago Boat Tour.
When you’re not walking around the busy city, attending an outdoor festival, or running along the path, checking out boat rentals in Chicago is a great way to experience Chicago. Once you are on a boat, you will see beautiful views of the skyline and downtown, and you can really disconnect from the hustle and bustle. Although famous for being the Windy City, boat lovers know that this epithet rarely does justice to Chicago. You have endless options for finding boat rentals, yacht charters, and fishing charters in Chicago. You can choose from powerboats, cruises, party pontoon boats, sailing charters, motor yachts, Jet Ski Rentals, and more. The city’s typically continental type of climate which includes hot summers and pleasant spring and fall seasons which adds its own charm to explore the waterways. The temperate weathers and relaxed waters makes the time of year ideal for your travel plans.
Although the seasons are open for boating all year round in Illinois, the best time of year to enjoy the water and find a boat rental in Chicago is during the summer season. Illinois itself as a great state for boating and fishing enthusiasts. Most people don’t think of the Midwest when they think of beaches, but Chicago has some great areas for relaxing and enjoying the city’s beautiful summer weather.
If you are looking to visit one of the most popular boating destinations in Chicago, then rent a boat to visit the Playpen. Charter a yacht and go out for a fun filled day on the water, then walk over for some of the best nightlife in town.
The city promises thousands of miles of shoreline and many beautiful lakes. Add to that the splendid view of Chicago’s skyline from the water and you have an experience that you wouldn’t want to miss. Events in the Chicago area take place all year round so finding activities to keep you busy will not be difficult. During the summer, all harbors open for most of the season. Try booking a trip during the Chicago Air and Water show and watch the event festivities from the water. Simply cruise towards Navy Pier for a view that you will remember for life. Take a day or a night cruise in one of the powerboats and don’t forget to watch the fireworks near Navy Pier on Wednesday and Saturday nights. In fact, if watching the show is on your bucket list, it is best to take a fireworks cruise and enjoy it from the water. Columbia Beach is a hidden gem with great views without the crowds. The 31st Street Beach in the South Side has a nearby park and there’s easy access for small boats.
There are many great boating destinations in and around Chicago including Winthrop Harbor, Hammond, Waukegan, Milwaukee, Kenosha, and Winnetka. If trekking is your thing, you may even explore the Fox and Crystal Lakes for a nice boating experience.
Boating Events in Chicago
Whether you are looking for a boat rental for a bachelorette party or a birthday party, there are some very popular days to rent a boat and head out on the water. If you are looking to rent a boat for the Chicago Air and Water Show, we suggest you book far in advance of August because these dates book up months in advance.
Need a captained yacht charter for the Chicago Boat Scene Party? We have you covered. GetMyBoat has all sorts of captained charters so that you can celebrate the 16 year tradition that is hosted in the Playpen. It is advised to book a rental early as this is the second most popular day to hit the waters.
Marinas Around Chicago
Chicago is comprised of over 24 marinas that are able to hold thousands of boats in their combined slips. While marinas are spread out across the town, a few of the most popular marinas in Chicago are Burnham Harbor, DuSable Harbor, Diversey Harbor Lagoon, Belmont Harbor, River City Marina, Monroe Harbor, and 31st Street Harbor. These harbors give access to some of Chicago’s best boating hot spots and are close by hotels and plenty of city life.
As the third largest city in the U.S., Chicago is a vibrant urban destination with a lot to do and see. Its picturesque location on Lake Michigan, its stunning architecture, and its position as a cultural leader make Chicago a popular tourist destination.
The best times to visit and rent a boat in Chicago is in the summer months between June and August. Between these months you can expect the temperature to be around the high 50s to high 80s, depending on if there are any unforeseen heatwaves. Even though the temperatures will tend to be on the higher side, it is advised to bring layers while boating because it can get breezy and is also known to rain in August. The summer months in Chicago are also great for boating because of the long days with sunrise around 6am and sunset around 8pm.
Once you’re docked, check out some of Chicago’s outdoor spaces on foot, including nearby parks, sculptures, and events. Cloud Gate, also known as The Bean, is one such sculpture, located in the middle of Millennium Park. The Bean makes for great vacation photos and there are thousands of photos tagged here on Instagram. Lincoln Park and Grant Park are also excellent spots to visit. If you are interested in Chicago’s unique events, check out their food, music, and dance festivals throughout the year. Lollapalooza, Chicago Dancing Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, and the Food Truck Social are just few of the many events held in the area.
Chicago Boat Rental FAQs
How much does it cost to rent a boat on Lake Michigan?
Renting a boat in Chicago starts at $100 an hour for a small powerboat and goes up to $800 an hour for a luxury motor yacht.How much is it to rent a yacht in Chicago?
A smaller size motor yacht rental will cost around $250 an hour, while a larger yacht can cost up to $700 an hour. When getting a quote, inquire if the captain’s fee and gas are included in the price.
What are the best places to go boating in Chicago?
While there are many options while boating in Chicago here is a list of the most visited boating destinations and tours in Chicago.
- Navy Pier
- Chicago Architecture Tour
- Cruise The River
- Shoreline Tour
When is the boating season in Chicago?
While boating season in Chicago can vary depending on the weather, it usually starts at the beginning of May and can extend through to October.
What is the Playpen in Chicago?
The Playpen is one of the most popular boating destinations in Chicago. It’s a protected area in front of Lake Shore Drive created by a breakwall in front of the water filtration plant. It’s the perfect destination for swimming, boat parties, and floating. Boaters stop here and tie-up with other boats for an on-the-water social affair. In fact, the Playpen hosts the largest annual boat party in all of Chicago, dubbed the Chicago Scene Boat Party.
What is the Chicago Scene Boat Party
The Chicago Scene Boat Party is an annual event held in the Playpen where hundreds of boats tie up for what is now the largest boat party on Lake Michigan. This event is usually held the last weekend of July, but boat rental reservations fill up months in advance. The Chicago Scene Boat Party was started in 2000 by Ted Widen, the publisher of the luxury lifestyle mag Chicago Scene.
GetMyBoat customer reviews for boat rentals in Chicago.
Nijole and her husband were just amazing! Even though we were a little late, they welcomed us with enthusiasm and ensured that our time onboard was comfortable and enjoyable. Nijole took great care of us and gave us blankets and pillows to make us comfortable and keep us warm. The couple are super nice and hospitable, very warm and welcoming and made us feel like family. We were celebrating my sister’s birthday and Nijole encouraged her to take a swim in the after too, which she enjoyed immensely. Overall, I would recommend Nijole to host anyone on Harmony! Super fun experience!
We highly recommend this activity. Nicole and her husband are so sweet, they were kind, and they know exactly what to do to make this unforgettable! They would serve us our own champagne, provide us with blankets even if we didn’t ask. They took 200 pictures of us with our phone, because every single moment could be an Instagram winning picture!!! We will definitely come back and send her name to family and friends!!!! Thanks!
Nijole and her husband were absolutely fantastic! She was extremely responsive to all communication and everything went exactly as planned. We booked a trip to watch the fireworks and they got us to a perfect spot for viewing. Wonderful experience and hope to do it again soon!
I had my bachelorette party aboard Nijole's vessel and we all had an amazing time! Nijole was very helpful in communicating with us about the weather prior to the trip, and during the trip she helped us take some fun photos around the boat. We had a great time would definitely recomend this boat and captain to everyone!
Captain Jack and the boat were awesome and even better in person than the photos! Tons of cooler and fridge space for our drinks. Lots of space to hang out in the sun and shade. The kitchen and bathroom area was very spacious. Perfect day, highly recommend!
This was our first time in Chicago and it was a great way to see Chicago from the Lake Michigan perspective. Captain Jack was friendly and very knowledgeable, pointing out landmarks on the way. Very flexible as to where we wanted to go and see. The boat was beautiful and very clean. We had a great time and got some wonderful pictures. Highly recommend this trip!