Where Can I Fly A Drone in Chicago?

drone photo of chicago skyscrapers

by William Comstock, Owner, Dragon Drones, 3 min read


You might be thinking about getting a drone for the 2021 holiday season, or perhaps you already have one and are in the Chicago area! Following up to our last blog post "Can I Fly My Drone In Winter?We're going to run through some amazing places where you can fly your drone in the city of Chicago.  As always - follow local, state and federal laws and make sure you know those before you fly!  There's no excuse for being safe all day, every day.


Great Southshore Views

 drone picture of chicago from the south


31st Street Beach


31st Street Beach is a great place to fly from, especially north of the beach on the seawall structure.  It offers a fantastic view of the city, looking north along the lake.  On clear days you are easily able to see the city, Willis Tower, McCormick Place and the John Hancock Building that dominate the skyline.  Plus, it's easy to set up a drone to fly here, as there's lots of places to launch from that are concrete and flat.

What to Watch Out For:

Be careful of flying here when the Chicago White Sox or the Chicago Bears are in town and playing their games.  This site is definitely within the 3 nautical mile exclusion zone that appears before, during and after these games.  Additionally, it's a popular flyby spot for helicopters doing lake and skyline tours, so stay on your toes and make sure that you have a spotter.

Quite Possibly The Best View Of Chicago

drone shot north of Chicago looking south


Montrose Beach


One of the very first places where we flew our drone in Chicago - Montrose Beach offers fantastic views of the city, the lake, boats and high-rises all around it.  In any season you'll be able to capture the essence of Chicago here, downtown skyscrapers and have your breath taken away with the awesome majesty of the city.

What To Watch Out For:

As with most areas of Chicago, this can be rather active in the airspace.  It's also within the exclusion zone of the Chicago Cubs, so check their schedule for potential times of conflict.

Downtown Skyscraper Shots

drone photo of downtown chicago from inside downtown


Seward Park (Cabrini-Green/Old Town)


This park is a fantastic place to fly a drone, getting great views of skyscrapers near the lake but without the concern of getting too close to them.  There's a lot of opportunities to get great shots, and you can get up to 400 feet above ground level (AGL) without worrying about being near an airport. The view looking west isn't bad either, getting the layout of Chicago streets quite easily.

What to Watch Out For:

This is active airspace and you'll likely need a spotter to make sure that you're being safe.  News and police helicopters are frequent around this area.  Don't forget to be aware of the Chicago Bears or Chicago Cubs playing, as it's right on the cusp of both of those exclusion zones.


Suburban Splendor

drone shot of far north of the city of chicago from evanston


Evanston Beach


While not technically Chicago, Evanston and Evanston Beach offer great suburban Chicago vibes.  Pretty, well-kept houses dot the tree-lined boulevards in Evanston and the suburb has long embraced the outdoor lifestyle.  You can easily find individuals that will be out and about, adding realism to your videos. On extremely clear days, you might even catch a hint of the Chicago skyline to the south.  Definitely worth a look!

 What to Watch Out For:

This area is pretty quiet in terms of air traffic.  You might have one or two single engine private planes flying low over the area though, so be sure to always watch out for air traffic.  Additionally, seagulls sometimes gather here, so don't get near birds!


Final Thoughts

There's really cool places to fly drones in Chicago, as you can see.  The city of big shoulders, the windy city, Second City... and now, known as one of the best places to fly a drone in the country!  If you'd like to stay up to date on some other areas we fly, feel free to sign up for our newsletter and subscribe to our channels.  And in case you ever need a professional drone pilot, feel free to get in touch here.

Happy flying, and be safe!