North Point Marina is the largest marina on the Great Lakes
BY WENDY ALTSCHULER For Sun-Times Media
The stunning world-class North Point Marina is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, just south of the Illinois/Wisconsin border, in Winthrop Harbor. Combined with adjacent Illinois Beach State Park, North Point Marina has beaches and nature preserves as far as the eye can see. With its proximity to the Gurnee/Pleasant Prairie economic corridor and neighboring northern lakefront communities, this marina lives up to its billing as the largest marina on the Great Lakes.
About halfway between the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago and Milwaukee, the marina, with a nearly 1,500-boat capacity and utilization of a unique floating docking system, is set apart from these urban centers. It offers a scenic, natural refuge from the urban sprawl. The marina is easily accessible via the Union Pacific North Metra rail service from Kenosha to downtown Chicago.
In addition to the natural beauty and family-friendliness of the marina, the boating fees are reasonably priced, which makes the experience accessible to families and community members. The marina is safe, and it provides ample opportunity to enjoy and create lifelong, family memories. Gated and secure boat docks, parking lots and six conveniently located bathhouses with restrooms, showers, washer and dryer machines and 24/7 security ensures peace of mind. Several of these bathhouses are now air-conditioned. Other boating amenities include a free water supply, electricity, pump-out service, dock boxes, cable television, Wi-Fi Internet service, a fishing pier, a state-of-the-art fish cleaning station and ten lane launch ramps.
Families will benefit from miles of hiking and biking trails, natural wildlife, beaches, campgrounds, resort accommodations and more, which will keep everyone healthy and in the big outdoors all summer long. Picnic grounds, fire pits, grills and several sand volleyball nets help to round out family summertime activities.
Governor Pat Quinn recently awarded $1.3 million toward a project to preserve and enhance the beachfront stabilization. It moved excess sand from the northern to southern beach areas, which will also be getting a reef extension. Such improvements will further honor the state’s commitment to the marina and its natural resources.
During boating season, Salmon Unlimited conducts various competitive fishing tournaments, sailboat races occur regularly, Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club social events and activities are held and charter-fishing excursions capture bountiful and prized King/Coho Salmon and Lake Trout. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Skokie Valley Power Squadron conduct free, periodic boat-safety courses and other special educational opportunities.
In partnership with other businesses such as Skipper Bud’s, full boating services are available along with brokerage, indoor and outdoor storage and fueling. The onsite, full-service Tropics Restaurant provides an array of fine food, live entertainment and majestic views of Lake Michigan.
Events in August include The North Point Triathlon, Harbor Days, Venetian Night Boat Parade and an incredible fireworks display, which helps to extenuate community excitement and spirit. An End of Summer Bash celebration with live entertainment occurs during the final weekend of August.
For more information, visit www.npmonline.com, www.northpointdigital.com and www.goflo.com as well as North Point on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.