Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, IL

Last Updated: Jan 29, 2018

Naval Station Great Lakes is the home to the only Naval Boot Camp in the United States. Located in North Chicago, Illinois, it is the largest training station for the Navy.

Some of its goals include preserving Naval heritage and customs by representing the Navy through professional and personal excellence, delivering unrivaled services to our tenant commands and their families, ensuring their safety and security, and providing unsurpassed quality of life for Naval Station Great Lakes' military service members, civilians and their families.

The Climate in North Chicago is very distinct. ​Summers are often both hot and humid with temperatures commonly in the 90's. Winters are cold and snowy and days rarely exceed temperatures above freezing and its effects can often extend into late April. Spring is pleasant, but often wet and rainy with frequent thunderstorms. Fall weather is typically pleasant and warmer than other Midwest locations.

The Naval Station Great Lakes is a quick 30 minute drive to O'Hare International Airport and 45 minutes from Mitchell Airport in Wisconsin.

Quick Facts
Coordinates42° 18' 29.38" N 87° 51' 02.75" W
CityNorth Chicago, IL 60088
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Naval Station Great Lakes History

The Naval Station was first conceived by President Theodore Roosevelt and was considered an outlandish concept to have any Naval training away from the Ocean. During the Spanish American War, it was noted that many of the best Navy's best sailors were originating in the Midwest and, in response, the Naval Station was built along Lake Michigan where it remains today.

During World War I, more than 9,000 sailors enlisted at Great Lakes in one month. By the end of the war, over 125,000 sailors had trained at Great Lakes. During World War II, at least one in four Naval battles included sailors who had trained at Great Lakes Naval Station. ​ The decades following the Second World War, the Naval Station expanded to its present 1,628 acre facility with over 1,100 buildings.

Hotels and Lodging

Most lodging units on site come with kitchenettes, television, radio, wireless data as well as breakfast to go, taxi services, cribs, playgrounds, and wake up services to name just a few of the amenities. A standard room is less than $100 per night. Most rooms are child and pet friendly. For more lodging information, please call (877)-628-9233.

Moral, Welfare and Recreation

The Naval Station offers Child Care Providers, youth centers, as well as Post-Secondary Preparations for children. School programs are offered for students K-7th grade

A Navy Fitness Center is available including outdoor courts, a gymnasium, and a “warrior zone” for intense training. Intramural teams of Dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, Softball, Football, Volleyball, Soccer, Wallyball, Golf, and Racquetball are available as well.

Bowling, archery, movies, 5K runs, and a library are also several popular amenities offered.

Its proximity to Lake Michigan also offers various water sports and camping.

Schools Near the Naval Station

Lake County Schools offer public education for grades K-12 and their mission is to serve as an advocate for education by providing positive leadership. For more information, please call 847-543-7833 or e-mail [email protected].

Things to Do

Naval Station Great Lakes and its proximity to Chicago allow for ample activities and services.

Navy Lodge Great Lakes is a short drive to the Navy Exchange, Commissary, Family Service Center, Community Center, Swimming Pool, Community Center, Golf Course, Lake Michigan/Illinois State Beach Park, Hertz & Enterprise Car Rentals, Hospital, MWR Recreation Center, Commuter Trains, and Navy Federal Credit Union.

There are several family attractions near Navy Lodge Great Lakes including Great America (Six Flags), Wisconsin Dells Water Parks, and Lego Land.

Other popular sites include the Botanical Gardens, and the City of Chicago (1 hour drive).

Historical sites to visit include: WIlis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower), Navy Pier, and Jelly Belly Factory.

Recommended local restaurants include Full Moon, Austin Steakhouse, Jimmy's Char House, Emily's Pancake House, Anastastia's and Wild Berry's Pancake House.


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