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Old 06-16-2009, 11:58 PM
 
Location: the Great Lakes states
798 posts, read 2,173,849 times
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Well, its a summer week here in Indiana (Chicago area)... last weekend had a couple warm nights... the kind where if you're a late-night person, you just want to stay outside and maybe sit around a fire, or, you just have this drive in you to do something other than sit at home.

And I'm not all that much into bars, there's really not any I've taken a liking to around here... but...

It would have been a perfect night to hang out at a beach, listen to the waves come in, walk on the sand... it would have been really cool.

But .... in this whole area (Great Lakes, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana), the beaches close at 9pm. You might not get caught if you're walking on the beaches, but, they lock down all the parking lots, so, unless you happen to be lucky enough to live right there, you can't go.

And there's really no people to meet or hang out with, no partying or small gatherings whatsoever. Its no fun. Its a waste of lakefront if you ask me. It could be so cool.

I'm not looking for trouble... one beer and some good conversation is usually enough to keep me happy... but I'm tired of being bored, and tired of living in a place where everything shuts down after the sun goes down.

So ... is California different? Are the beaches on the ocean fun, late at night, is it really like that?

How about the Atlantic coast?

Are there southern states where you can go out to a little lake at night (or even during the day) and just hang out and meet people and have a good time?

Actually if there's anywhere in the country you'd like to comment on, I'd love to hear it.

I like places where people just gather and talk, whether its a city park like Union Square in New York, or college campuses on the quad, or the "club curb" outside the bars after they close. Easy going places like that.

Kind of the last vestiges of how people of all ages used to hang out on their front porches and make conversation, and play baseball in the street, I guess, and I grew up with that and I miss it. I'm only 35 btw.

Thanks!

Last edited by summer22; 06-17-2009 at 12:19 AM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:21 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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A lot of people where I live have bonfires at night on the beach. The city has bonfire rings set up at various beaches that groups of people use at night. There are some areas where the bars are right next to the sand, so there's people around there too. People are out at night more so in summer than winter but I think even during winter some people still have bonfires at night. Beach parking lots are usually only closed 4-6am so you can park there pretty late and city lots are free.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:04 AM
 
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In San Francisco we have Ocean Beach which is easy to access. I used to go to small parties/bonfires on the beach all the time. Usually a good gathering of 25-30 people. Sometimes smaller and sometimes bigger. I also went to a renegade(outdoor rave) that lasted till the sun rose at a beach to the south of San Francisco in Daly City. To SF's north in Marin County is one of my favorite beaches of all called Bolinas. The Locals refer to Bolinas as Dogtown. It is a big spot for parties and bonfires b/c of its laid back hippie vibe tho the locals don't really like outsiders. Also no type of authority really used to care at least until reccently when there was a stabbing and beating involving some teenagers and a bum.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
A lot of people where I live have bonfires at night on the beach. The city has bonfire rings set up at various beaches that groups of people use at night. There are some areas where the bars are right next to the sand, so there's people around there too. People are out at night more so in summer than winter but I think even during winter some people still have bonfires at night. Beach parking lots are usually only closed 4-6am so you can park there pretty late and city lots are free.
Yeah Ocean Beach has the Pits too. I believe there is also suppose to be a limit on the number of people at each pit I am not sure how many though. Is it like that at the pits is SD too?
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:20 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogetta View Post
Yeah Ocean Beach has the Pits too. I believe there is also suppose to be a limit on the number of people at each pit I am not sure how many though. Is it like that at the pits is SD too?
I've never heard of any limits on the amount of people, I think as long as it doesn't get too rowdy and loud then it really isn't an issue.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:39 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer22 View Post
But .... in this whole area (Great Lakes, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana), the beaches close at 9pm. You might not get caught if you're walking on the beaches, but, they lock down all the parking lots, so, unless you happen to be lucky enough to live right there, you can't go.
Speak for your own area. The beaches don't close around here at all (west Michigan).
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:38 PM
 
Location: the Great Lakes states
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
Speak for your own area. The beaches don't close around here at all (west Michigan).
I've only been as far north as Muskegon.

Is it more laid-back and fun up north?

Between Chicago and up through the SW Michigan coast the only word I can describe it with is "restrictive." Private property/ no trespassing signs everywhere... limited parking... not much socializing encouraged. I don't really know what the history of it is or why it turned out that way... my only guess is that when they built up this area they wanted to keep the prices high for "private lakefront property." Just a guess.

Last edited by summer22; 06-17-2009 at 03:11 PM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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In New York, Coney Island, beach and boardwalk, is a fantastic nighttime hangout in the summer time. Boston has Revere Beach which also sees plenty of nighttime action. All the vacation-y coastal places in the mid-Atlantic area, like Wildwood in NJ and Ocean City, MD, are lively on a summer night, as is Hampton Beach, NH. Vancouver, BC, has great beaches right in the city, and a huge hangout scene. Somehow I think you must be missing something: I can't believe the Great Lakes don't have nighttime action on popular beaches.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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Where do you live in the Chicago area???

I know the lakefront in the city of Chicago "closes" at 11pm, but that means that there is no one on duty, not that you have to leave. The beaches close at 9pm in the sense that you're not suppose to go swimming because there are no lifeguards on duty at the city's 33 public beaches.

I've walked along the lakefront and gone to the beaches countless times in the middle of the night, no one cares as long as you're not making huge bonfires or throwing a crazy party. It's not like the ocean where it snakes around and you can find a nice spot to build a fire. It's right in the heart of a dense urban area. I always use to go to the bars until 4am, then walk over to the lakefront with friends and hang out on the rocks in Lakeview to watch the sun come up over the lake. It's awesome.

I have no clue about parking, I never actually knew people drove to the beaches here, but I live in the city..... If they close the lots (I'm sure they do so people don't park there to sleep), just park on a side street and walk over.

I love Chicago's beaches at night, looking out over the dark lake and the skyline.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:36 PM
 
11,170 posts, read 22,361,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer22 View Post
I've only been as far north as Muskegon.

Is it more laid-back and fun up north?

Between Chicago and up through the SW Michigan coast the only word I can describe it with is "restrictive." Private property/ no trespassing signs everywhere... limited parking... not much socializing encouraged. I don't really know what the history of it is or why it turned out that way... my only guess is that when they built up this area they wanted to keep the prices high for "private lakefront property." Just a guess.

Oh, you mean between Chicago and SW Michigan as in the Indiana border up through the resorts in Michigan....I thought you meant the city, which is all public property.
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