Lake Michigan itself doesn't smell bad. Sometimes it can smell fishy depending on the wind. The smell that is really strong sometimes comes from Abbott Labs in North Chicago. I have talked to some of their scientists that say it is not a harmful smell. They say it would be Erin Brokovich like if you could not smell it.
From my house, a little over a mile from Waukegan harbor, sometimes we can hear the lighthouse and boats racing on the lake.