Boat Rental Chicago, IL
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How to rent a boat on GetMyBoat
1. Search by location
Tell us where you want to pick up or where you want to go boating
2. Filter search results
Sort by boat type, price, and group size
3. Submit a booking inquiry
Learn more about your favorite boat and the best local destinations
4. Pay for the rental
The owner will send you a custom quote that can be booked with a credit card
Find the perfect boat rental in Chicago. Simple, easy, and secure.
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.
Try other top experiences in Chicago
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.
We had a great experience with Captain Bob! The boat was immaculate and offered great rides. He was very accommodating to what we wanted to do on the ride and taught us some history while driving us out to various points on Lake Michigan. We can’t wait to come back!
From the beginning Terry was very responsive. He and his first mate went above and beyond to make sure we had a great time. Highly recommend. Will definitely be back.
Awesome time out on the lake. Cait and Greg are very knowledgeable sailors and excellent captains! We had a blast!
Vanessa and Terry are such a lovely couple, very friendly and communicative. Boat is super nice and clean! We had the best time.
Captain Michael was PERFECT. He was incredibly kind, friendly, caring and provided the best recommendations to truly make our trip. He wrote out easy instructions to get to his dock, gave us detailed suggestions of how we could spend our time together, has a great sense of humor and made everyone feel like Same Day was their boat. Highly recommended him!
My friends and I rented the catamaran boat from Jim for the 4th of July and had such an amazing time. The boat was even better in person and comfortably fit me and 12 of my friends. Captains Russell and Brian were also amazing. They were so much fun and so accommodating. They set everything up for us (the cooler with all of our drinks, bowls of chips we had brought, etc). We rented the boat for 3 hours but were having such a good time that we asked if we could pay to extend our use for another hour. Luckily they had no other immediate obligations and they were able to make it happen. As a nice bonus, they even had those fun water noodles for us to use. So much fun and my friends and I can't wait for our next boat outing with these guys!