SAILING BEACH GENERAL INFORMATION & Contact Info

Location: 100 Lake Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois 60091
Lakeview Phone: 847-256-9656
Sailing Shack Phone: 847-256-9662 Sailing Staff hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Email: lakeview@wilpark.org
Season: Mid-May to Mid-October
Hours: Open daily, 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Sailing Beach vehicle access road gate is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Megan White, Lakefront Supervisor
Tel: 847-256-9658 | Email: mwhite@wilpark.org

Ben Wozney, Lakefront General Manager
Tel: 847-256-9659 | Email: bwozney@wilpark.org

Vessel Waitlist Self Check

CLICK HERE to view our waitlist document

  • 2021 Sailing Lessons

    *We are all booked through the rest of the season. We look forward to teaching more sailing lessons in 2022!*

    Not a sailor? Do your children want to learn to sail? Need a refresher course? Our knowledgeable sailing staff offers private and semi private lessons. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate sailor, we have what you need to get out and have a great experience on Lake Michigan. Lessons begin in June with sessions running through mid August. Lessons are taught on Sunfish and Hobie Cats.

    Sailing Lessons Fee
    Small Group (up to 3 people)
    R-$447 / NR-$577
    Private Lesson
    R-$263 / NR-$331


    Private and Small Group Sailing Lessons

    Learn to sail at a time that suits your schedule. Beginning students will learn the basics of sailing from how to rig a boat, basic safety on the water, knots and sailing terms. Students will get out on Lake Michigan, learn boat handling techniques, tacking, capsizing and recovery. Intermediate sailors can expect to gain more boat handling techniques.

    Private and small group lessons are taught in four 60 minute lessons--both on land and on water. All participants must be able to swim 50 feet.

    Sailing Instructors will contact you to arrange lesson times and the boat type you prefer after June 1.

  • Weekend Kayak & SUP Rentals

    Our Wilmette Park District fleet of single and double kayaks, along with stand up paddle boards, are available for rental. Staff is on hand to help visitors evaluate their skills and to assess weather conditions. For safety, staff reserves the right to refuse rentals at any time.

    Rental Location: The Cove (on south end of the park, at Aquatics & Dog Beach)

    Boat rental does not give you access to the sailing beach, but it does give you access to the swimming beach on the date of rental only.

    Rental Available Times Fee
    Single Kayak / SUP (Sa-Su ONLY)* 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. R-$50 / NR-$63
    Double Kayak (Sa-Su ONLY)* 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. R-$75 / NR-$94

    *90-minute rental

    Reservations and Payment

    Reservations may be made at 847/256-9662, not more than 48 hours in advance. Reservations for weekend times may be made at 9 a.m., Thursday (for Saturday) and Friday (for Sunday). Rental fees are non-refundable regardless of cancellation prior to rental. A government-issued ID must be presented at the time of rental. MasterCard, Visa, and Discover are accepted for sailing lessons and rental fees.

  • Hobie & Sunfish Rentals

    We offer Hobie Getaways, Hobie Waves and Sunfish for rental. Staff is on hand to help visitors evaluate their skills and to assess weather conditions. For safety, staff reserves the right to refuse rentals at any time.

    Rental Location: The Sailing Shack

    Hobie & Sunfish rental gives you access to the sailing beach and the swimming beach on the date of rental only.

    Rental Available Times Fee
    Hobie Getaway (up to 4 people, Sa-Su ONLY)* 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. R-$85 / NR-$95
    Hobie Wave (up to 2 people, Sa-Su ONLY)* 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. R-$73 / NR-$82
    Sunfish (up to 2 people, Sa-Su ONLY)* 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. R-$52 / NR-$58

    *60-minute rental.

    Reservations and Payment

    Reservations may be made at 847/256-9662, not more than 48 hours in advance. Reservations for weekend times may be made at 9 a.m., Thursday (for Saturday) and Friday (for Sunday). Rental fees are non-refundable regardless of cancellation prior to rental. A government-issued ID must be presented at the time of rental. MasterCard, Visa, and Discover are accepted for sailing lessons and rental fees.

  • SAILING BEACH

    IMPORTANT RULES AT A GLANCE

    • No swimming or wading allowed at the Sailing Beach.
    • ID cards are required for access to the Sailing Beach.
    • No dogs allowed on the Sailing Beach.
    • The sailing road is for pickup/dropoff only. Vehicles must park in designated parking areas outside the Sailing Beach gate.
    • Glass bottles, alcohol, portable grills, tents, canopies, tables, or E-Z Ups are not allowed at the Sailing Beach.
    • DNR registration is required for all sailing vessels, i.e. Catamarans, Lasers, Sunfish.
  • SAILING BEACH

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Q - How do I get a membership to the sailing beach?
    A - You must get on the waiting list for your preferred vessel. All vessels have a waiting list at this time.

    Q - Can I bring food and drink onto the sailing beach?
    A - Yes, you are allowed to bring food. Glass containers or bottles are not allowed and alcohol is prohibited.

    Q - Can I get on the water if I don't have a sailing membership?
    A - Gillson beach offers private lessons and boat rentals on the weekend for both residents and non-residents, call our sailing office for more info.

    Q - Can I bring my SUP or kayak and use it at Gillson beach?
    A - A trail-in season permit is required for all self-launch vessels at Gillson beach and are limited to SUP, kayak, canoe and windsurfer. Trail-in permits allow for launch on south beach and in the cove and does not give you access to the sailing beach. Click HERE to learn more about trail-in permits.