The beaches of the western coast [of Lake Michigan] and the northernmost part of the east coast are rocky, while the southern and eastern beaches are sandy and dune-covered. This is partly because of the prevailing winds from the west which also cause thick layers of ice to build on the eastern shore in winter.
The Chicago city waterfront is composed of parks, beaches, harbors and marinas, and residential developments. Where there are no beaches or marinas, then stone or concrete revetments protect the shoreline from erosion. The Chicago lakefront is quite walkable as one can stroll past parks, beaches, and marinas for about 24 miles from the city southern limits with Lake Michigan to its northern city limits point.
The Chicago skyline can be seen from the northwest Indiana shoreline and, on a clear day, extreme southwestern Michigan. When standing at the waterfront in Illinois, Wisconsin, and the lower peninsula of Michigan, it is impossible for one to see directly across the lake to another state. This gives the lake a view similar to that of an ocean. Viewing a state across the huge lake is possible from several Chicago skyscrapers. It is possible from some of the taller buildings in Chicago to make out points in Indiana and southwest Michigan such as the NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company) cooling tower of its power plant in Michigan City, Indiana.