Chicago is one of the largest cities in the country, with over 2.7 million residents. Its impressive size allows it to offer diverse living experiences, from quiet, family-friendly neighborhoods to bustling meccas of art and nightlife. Read below as our team shares some of the best neighborhoods in Chicago.
Lincoln Park offers gorgeous lakefront neighborhoods with picturesque brick homes on tree-lined streets. Nearby amenities abound, including the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Nature Museum. You’ll also find ample shopping and dining in the area, including the Michelin-starred Boka. Despite all these attractions, the neighborhood has a distinctly homey feel. The family-friendly area offers outstanding schools, great walkability, and a high safety rating. Lincoln Park is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Chicago, but for those who call it home, it’s well worth the price.
An architectural jewel box, the Gold Coast neighborhood is a true pleasure to stroll. The Gold Coast district is on the National Register of Historic Places thanks to stunning buildings, such as the Florsheim Mansion, the Patterson-McCormick Mansion, and the Original Playboy Mansion. The glimmering Gold Coast also includes the famous Magnificent Mile with its upscale shopping destinations, such as Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Max Mara, Gucci, and dozens more. The neighborhood provides easy access to Lake Michigan, and many apartments offer lake views. It’s an opulent retreat in the heart of Chicago.
Streeterville is a favorite of working professionals who appreciate its proximity to major employers and other downtown highlights. Situated beside Lake Michigan and Navy Pier, Streeterville puts some of Chicago’s most popular highlights at your doorstep. It’s ideal if you dream of easy access to places like Winter’s Jazz Club, Crystal Gardens, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. You’ll also find the Lakefront Trail a few steps away for your morning run. It’s a great choice if you enjoy the bustle of the city and don’t mind a bit of a crush during prime tourist season.
The South Loop is a diverse area that includes everything from families in cozy brownstones to professionals in sleek, high-rise condos. You’ll enjoy the vibrant urban feel of living amidst major Chicago highlights, such as Soldier Field and Museum Campus, which features the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and Field Museum. South Loop also includes the historic districts of Motor Row and Printers Row, the latter of which is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city.
The Lakeview neighborhood is home to Wrigley Field, making it a prime setting for Cubs fans. Lakeview has solid schools that make it popular among families, though the A+ nightlife also has plenty to offer singles. This popular area has a little of everything and features the Belmont Theater District, which includes over 50 theaters hosting more than a hundred shows a week. Head to Southport Corridor for charming boutique shopping or unwind along the picturesque shoreline.
Lincoln Square is a family favorite, with tree-lined cobblestone streets, quaint coffee shops, charming homes, and a welcoming Farmers Market that pops up Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings from May to November. Timeless Toys is a family favorite, offering an abundance of creative, educational, and wooden toys. The century-old Davis Theater is another local delight where you can catch movies indoors or on the lawn. You’ll enjoy the distinctive small-town feel of this historically German neighborhood despite its proximity to all the conveniences of Chicago.
Formerly an industrial zone, West Loop is now a popular neighborhood with perks for children and professionals alike. The area is convenient for healthcare workers, thanks to its proximity to many of the city’s medical centers. West Loop’s schools are among the best in the city, and Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is among the best in the nation.
Home to Restaurant Row, many laud this area as a foodie paradise. Pair your decadent dinner with a show from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra or Joffrey Ballet for the perfect cultured pairing. Residents of West Loop have all this at their doorstep in one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago.
Many know Bucktown for its refined airs and up-and-coming highlights. It’s a popular place for young professionals who enjoy the nearness to downtown and the quiet ambiance. Millennials and Gen Xers have flocked to the area recently for its trendy vibe, diverse dining destinations, and prime entertainment at venues such as The Hideout, Gallery Cabaret, and Trap Door Theater. The 606 is one of Chicago’s newest parks, covering almost 3 miles of green space along an abandoned elevated rail line.
Wicker Park has a culturally diverse and distinctly eccentric feel, with an exciting nightlife and lively artistic community. Music, art, and theater thrive here. Wicker Park has much in common with its neighbor, Bucktown, including a joint Chamber of Commerce. But Wicker Park is a bit livelier, with an abundance of bustling boutiques and chic coffee shops. The central “Six Corners” area of Wicker Park is trendy for its shopping, dining, and live music venues.
The Loop got its name from the cable car lines that circled the district in the 1880s. Today the L train follows this route, defining this 35-block district. Public transportation is more abundant here than anywhere else in the city, as all of Chicago’s train lines merge here. You won’t need a car to get around, and you’ll have a wealth of shopping, dining, and entertainment at your feet. The Loop includes Chicago’s financial district, Millennium Park, the Art Institute, and Cloud Gate (AKA “The Bean”). It’s the place to be for high-rise living in the heart of the city.
So, now we’ve shared 10 of the best Chicago neighborhoods. What’s your favorite neighborhood in Chicago? Contact Dr. Schoene’s team at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine Assoc. to tell us what you love most about the city. We’ll pass along your recommendations and let everyone know what Chicago offers.