The tourist places around Chennai include a number of beaches like the Elliot beach which is an ideal spot for swimming, situated at a distance of 11 kms from Chennai; and Ennor beach which is eighteen kilometres away from Chennai. This provides facilities for boating in the backwaters. This place is also known for local fishing crafts. Pulicat is another important sight of tourism around Chennai which is situated in the north of Chennai. This place is mainly known for the lakes and lagoons. The Pulicat lakes which spread over an area of 350 kms support a large variety of life forms like fish, reptiles, insects, birds and animals. Pulicat also includes the second largest lagoons of India that receive water from the Bay of Bengal. The lakes and lagoons of Pulicat attract a large number of tourists every year raises the state's income to a large extend.
Ancient ruins of the Dutch Fort and the cemetery are reminiscent of the Dutch Empire that ruled the area of Pulicat. This region was occupied by the Portuguese during 1502. The place is popularly known for the ruins of Dutch churches, Dutch fort and the old lighthouse. It also includes the Dutch crematory which is dates back to 1622. The Dutch tombs and graves here are carved with skeletons rather than cross. This cemetery has been maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Alongwith this Pulicat is also known for its salt water lagoons and the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary.
The tourist places around Chennai also include the Red Hills which are the largest source of water for the metropolitan city. Located about 14 kms away this is another picnic spot that attracts a huge number of tourists every year. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is is also popular with the travellers.