NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES: IN-DEPTH WELCOME CENTER
IntroductionNaval Station Great Lakes is located on the shore of Lake Michigan in northeastern Illinois. It’s the home of the Navy boot camp, so if you’ve just joined up, this is where you’ll be starting out. It’s a massive installation, stretching out over 1,600 acres of land and hosting over 20,000 sailors and other military and civilian personnel. They live and work in one of the base’s 1,153 buildings, 39 buildings of which are registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Theodore Roosevelt signed off on Naval Station Great Lakes and construction began in 1904. Legendary composer John Phillip Sousa led the Naval State Band at Great Lakes during World War I. This is just a part of the history new sailors have to greet when they end up at Naval Station Great Lakes. We hope this guide helps you get settled in your new posting and helps take some of the stress from moving.
- Where Is Naval Station Great Lakes?
- Google Map View
- Getting There – Directions to the Base
- Entering Naval Station Great Lakes and Base Amenities
- Check-in Procedures for Incoming Personnel
- Naval Station Great Lakes Visitor Center
- Naval Station Great Lakes DEERS Office
- Naval Station Great Lakes Gate Hours
- Naval Station Great Lakes Commissary
- Naval Station Great Lakes Exchange
- Naval Station Great Lakes Barber Shops
- Naval Station Great Lakes Post Office
- Naval Station Great Lakes Finance Office
- Naval Station Great Lakes Legal Office
- Naval Station Great Lakes Library
- Naval Station Great Lakes Hotels
- Where Should I Live Near Naval Station Great Lakes?
- What Schools are Near Naval Station Great Lakes?
- What’s the Weather Like in Naval Station Great Lakes?
- Things to Do Near Naval Station Great Lakes
Where is Naval Station Great Lakes?
Naval Station Great Lakes2601E Paul Jones St Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 1 (847) 688-2430
Naval Station Great Lakes Map
Directions to Naval Station Great LakesNaval Station Great Lakes is conveniently located just under a 45-minute from Chicago. Since Chicago is a major U.S. city, you’ll have no trouble arriving via any mode of transportation that’s most convenient to you.
Greyhound Bus StationYou’ll find the closest Greyhound bus station at 630 W Harrison Street. Hop on a bus from anywhere in the country and then take a cab to base.
Flights to NS Great LakesChicago’s O’Hare International Airport or Midway International Airport will both take flights from all over, and there are car rentals available at the terminal, as well as herds of eager taxi drivers. But in our opinion, Midway is much easier to navigate through than O’Hare.
AmtrakIf you’re traveling more leisurely by train, you’ll catch an Amtrak into Union Station, and while there maybe catch a bite to eat at one of the multiple food vendors before moving on to your final destination.
Naval Station Great Lakes Transportation OfficeThe transportation office is here to make your move as painless as possible. Call the staff here to make sure you’ve thought through every detail of your trip before setting foot outside for the first leg. If you want to check in to find out the best route to take, or just confirm your own plan, the staff here can help.
Naval Station Great Lakes Transportation Office1710B Cavin Dr. Building #8100 Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 1 (847) 688-5371
Hours: Call for hours of operation.
Entering Naval Station Great Lakes and Base AmenitiesTo get through the gate, you’re going to need your military ID. Your family members will need their dependent ID cards. If you haven’t gotten there yet, you can register later at the DEERS office. You’re also going to need multiple forms of identification in addition to any documentation for the vehicle you’re bringing through, like the registration or rental agreement. Make sure to follow your orders and report to your assigned location before doing anything else.
Check-in Procedures for Incoming PersonnelIf you arrive during duty hours, you will need to report to your Quarterdeck/Commander's Support Staff.
Naval Station Great Lakes Visitor CenterThe visitor center is where friends and family will need to stop first in the case that they’re coming for graduation or other events. If visitors are arriving to see you for any length of time, this is where they’ll go to get set up.
Naval Station Great Lakes Visitor Center620 Farragut Ave Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 1 (847) 688-5648
Naval Station Great Lakes DEERS OfficeThe DEERS office is the place to go to apply for your military IDs and dependent ID cards. You can also complete the application online. If you lose your card, you’ll need to stop in to secure a replacement.
Naval Station Great Lakes DEERS Office521 Cluverius Ave Building #322 Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 1 (847) 688-5550
Naval Station Great Lakes Gate HoursMake sure to check up on the hours before you plan to arrive, as they’re always subject to change.
Gate 1: 24/7
Gate 5: Monday-Friday 0600-1400
Gate 5A: Monday-Friday 1500-1700
Gate 6: 24/7
Gate 7: 24/7
Gate 7A: Open only for special events or construction
Naval Station Great Lakes CommissaryStop by for a wide selection of groceries at an affordable price. You’ll find everything you need to fill your cabinets at the commissary on base.
Naval Station Great Lakes Commissary2630 Green Bay Rd Bldg. 3451 Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 1 (847) 688-2644
Naval Station Great Lakes Commissary Hours
Tuesday - Friday: 1000 to 1900
Saturday: 0800 to 1900
Sunday:1000 to 1800
Naval Station Great Lakes ExchangeThe Exchange is the place to get your shopping done at Great Lakes. You’ll find a number of stores here all serving a different need, from clothing, to restaurants, to tactical gear. Come to the PX to squash the shopping bug without ever having to leave the base.
Great Lakes Burkey Mall Navy Exchange2650 Green Bay Road Building 3452 Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 1 (847) 578-6280
Naval Station Great Lakes Exchange Hours
Daily- 1000 to 1800
Naval Station Great Lakes Barber Shops
1. Leopleon Hair Care1806 Martin Luther King Jr Dr North Chicago, IL 60064
Phone: 1 (847) 689-0415
2. Dave’s Barber & Beauty2301 Martin Luther King Jr Dr North Chicago, IL 60064
Phone:1 (847) 689-9729
3. L"s/ Tony' Barber Shop2506 14th St Waukegan, IL 60085
Phone: 1 (224) 235-5775
Naval Station Great Lakes Post OfficeGet to the post office on base to take care of all your mailing and packing needs.
Naval Station Great Lakes Post Office525 Bronson Ave Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone:1 (800) 275-8777
Naval Station Great Lakes Finance OfficeThe finance office on base can help you plan for your future. Make sure you’re managing your money in the most efficient way possible with assistance from the staff here. Get help with simple things like setting up a checking account or forming a budget, or hear from the experts about how to reach a comfortable retirement or how to invest in the stock market.
Naval Station Great Lakes Finance Office521 Cluverius Ave. Building #322 Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone:1 (847) 688-5550
Naval Station Great Lakes Finance Office HoursCall 1 (847) 688-5550 for hours of operation.
Naval Station Great Lakes Legal OfficeThe legal office can help if you ever need representation. The staff here is knowledgeable in many aspects of law and can assist with simple things like notarising documents, to complex issues that may involve serious legal defense. Make an appointment to have a consultation with a lawyer and find out how they can help you.
Naval Station Great Lakes Legal Service Office2540 A Paul Jones Street Building 2, Suite 100 Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 1 (847) 688-3805
Naval Station Great Lakes Legal Service OfficeCall 1 (847) 688-3805 for hours of operation.
Naval Station Great Lakes LibraryThe library at Great Lakes is a fantastic resource for sailors and their families. They have a large collection of books, movies, and music that you can check out in physical or digital copies. They also provide study guides for common exams that you or your children might be taking, as well as a wealth of other educational services and programs. There’s a children’s room on the premises, complete with child-sized furniture.
Naval Station Great Lakes LibraryBuilding 617 Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone:1 (847) 688-4617
Hotels Near Naval Station Great Lakes
1. Sleep Inn3250 Bittersweet Ave Lake Bluff, IL 60044
Phone:1 (847) 578-9900
Phone:1 (847) 689-9240
Phone:1 (847) 473-4400
Phone:1 (847) 473-6600
Where Should I Live Near Naval Station Great LakesIf you’re considering living on base, check out the available on-base housing options. Otherwise, read on to find out more about living off base. There are so many great places to live around the base. The most obvious is the city of Chicago, which is under a 45-minute drive away. Other than that, though, the several cities and communities surrounding Naval Station Great Lakes offer plenty of unique amenities for everyone. Lake Michigan holds several lakefront areas that will suit those in search of America’s scenic vistas.
Cities Near Naval Station Great LakesThe major U.S. metro area of Chicago is the base’s largest neighbor, and just a short drive away. The city of North Chicago is also right next door, as is the city of Waukegan. Park City and Evanston are also nearby. Best Places to Live Near Naval Station Great Lakes
ChicagoAmerica’s Second City, Chicago has everything you could want, and whenever you want it. The Windy City provides access to loads of cuisines, entertainment, and attractions for yourself and your family. It’s a great place to entertain visitors from out of town, or to enjoy some off-duty quiet in one of the many suburban neighborhoods.
Lake BluffLake Bluff is a village on Lake Michigan with a population of under 6,000. It was founded in the 1830s and originally served as a railroad town. Every year the town hosts a haunted ghost walk for Halloween. The Lake Bluff History Museum provides residents and travelers with tales of the area’s past. This is a great place for those who have experience with living on the water or would like to take up sailing.
KnollwoodKnollwood is a census-designated place in Lake County. The population here is under 2,000 people, and as such is a good place to find that small-town feel where everyone knows your name. Blend into nature here and settle down in the peace and quiet, but still be close to the big cities. It’s an extremely convenient 11-minute drive from Knollwood to base, which is less time than it’ll take for your car to warm up in the winter.
Park CityPark City is a nice compromise between the rural and urban environments that surround Naval Station Great Lakes. The city is located at the northern end of Chicago and has a population of under 10,000. The people here formed a city in the 1950s to avoid becoming part of nearby Waukegan, and the foundations retain this rebellious, isolationist feel. Become a resident of Park City and watch its burgeoning business district grow. Commuting to base from here is insanely fast at just 13 minutes by car.
BannockburnBannockburn is a village with a population of around 1,500 people. It was founded by a wealthy businessman to hold large grounds for estates. Nowadays, it’s a diverse community with multiple business parks and a growing local economy.
Hot Tip: Look for NS Great Lakes homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.
Naval Station Great Lakes SchoolsThe school district serving Naval Station Great Lakes is the North Chicago Community Unit School District 187. The district has almost 5,000 children within its branch campuses. There are other districts in the surrounding area as well, and the one your children attend will depend upon where you eventually settle down.
Naval Station Great Lakes WeatherThe bad news is that lake weather can be extremely cold. It’ll dip below freezing in the winters, often falling into the teens and sometimes even lower. You’re going to want to invest in several layers for the harsher days. Summers here are very comfortable, with an average temperature resting somewhere in the 70s. It’s partly cloudy on and off all year, so don’t expect any significant cloud coverage or clear access to the sun, either. Spring and fall are chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings, but will occasionally surprise with more comfortable weather here and there.
Things to Do Near Naval Station Great LakesNaval Station Great Lakes is a paradise for those with a thirst for adventure, especially on the water. Charter boats, learn to sail, rent canoes and kayaks or bring your own, paddleboard, fish, and find yourself lost in the waters of Lake Michigan. With Chicago practically down the street, you’ll have access to a range of cultural activities like musical theater, museums, movies, food, and more. For fans of nature beyond the waves, there’s plenty of that to be found as well. Naval Station Great Lakes never bores the sailor that’s looking to lead a full and adventurous life. For a full list of ideas and things to do while you’re here, make sure to check out our guide here.
Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for NS Great Lakes at MyBaseGuide.
ConclusionNaval Station Great Lakes is such a fantastic place to find yourself. If you have family coming along, get ready to find the whole bunch splashing away in Lake Michigan, or touring the cuisines in downtown Chicago. There are so many things to do and see around the base that it’ll take you years to catch up with everything.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Get the latest news and military discounts