America’s Great Neighborhoods: Chicago

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Chicago near Navy Pier

Chicago is a big city – spreading over six counties big. If you are preparing to move to the Chicago area, you may find the city, its suburbs, and its multitude of neighborhoods a little overwhelming. But with so many diverse neighborhoods to choose from, the perfect neighborhood for you is out there – you just need to find it. Here are some of the great neighborhoods of Chicago:

Bucktown: Funky, trendy, and affordable, Bucktown has always been a popular Chicago neighborhood. This neighborhood is a great mix of old and new architecture, it is pedestrian friendly, and every August it draws thousands of visitors to its Bucktown Arts Fest. Enjoy great restaurants and bistros, shops, and art galleries in this great neighborhood. Holsein Park is located on the northwest side of Bucktown, a popular park with an outdoor swimming pool, a playground with a spray water feature, and ball fields.

Logan Square: This neighborhood is considered up-and-coming. It is an affordable neighborhood that is catching on with young professionals – so much so that it is now considered one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods. It is filled with restaurants, cafes, and unique specialty shops. The lovely, landscaped boulevards that define this neighborhood were developed in the 1800s for carriage rides. These beautiful, pedestrian-friendly streets are part of the Logan Square Boulevards Historic District. The neighborhood wraps around two squares – Logan Square and Palmer Square.

Lincoln Park: Lincoln Park is one of Chicago’s most famous neighborhoods. Home to top-rated schools and DePaul University, Lincoln Park has a college-town vibe to it and is very popular with families. The large and beautiful Lincoln Park is Chicago’s largest park, covering more than 1,200 acres. The park is home to the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, and the Chicago History Museum. The neighborhood features upscale boutiques, numerous restaurants, nightclubs, and coffee shops. This is one of Chicago’s most expensive neighborhoods, with home prices around a million dollars, and is considered one of the most fashionable places to live.

Gold Coast: If you head south and east of Lincoln Park, you’ll find the Gold Coast. This gem is situated below the southern edge of Lincoln Park along the coast of Lake Michigan. If the price of real estate in Lincoln Park staggers you, the Gold Coast will make you swoon. Oprah has a house here, and a two-bedroom condo can sell for millions. If you can afford it, Gold Coast is an amazing neighborhood filled with five-star restaurants, boutiques with names like Versace, Hermes, and Gucci, and several hot nightclubs.

Humboldt Park: Humboldt Park is considered one of Chicago’s up-and-coming communities. It has a somewhat rocky history, but today there’s new construction, several popular festivals, and a large Puerto Rican community. The neighborhood is named for the park it surrounds. The park covers 207 acres on Chicago’s northwest side. Humboldt Park is a Chicago landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park contains several statues, a boathouse, and the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.

Roscoe Village: A charming throwback to another era, Roscoe Village may first appear to be a humble little village, but it is a young, sophisticated neighborhood. With its great schools, Roscoe Village is very popular with families. This is the hip, cool neighborhood where shops are trendy and the restaurants are small and friendly. Historic walkups and lofts abound in Roscoe Village, and young families are snapping them up. On nice days, those families are wheeling their strollers down tree-lined streets to Hamlin Park, located on the southern edge of the neighborhood. Hamlin Park is focused on fitness and offers programs for kids such as Tiny Tot Tumbling for the preschoolers and summer camps for school-age kids, a walking club, and Qi Gong yoga. The park also offers a playground, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and two gymnasiums.

Beverly: One of the country’s top five historic districts, Beverly has several homes on the National Register of Historic Places – four of which were built by Frank Lloyd Wright. With everything from stately mansions to modest bungalows, Beverly is a diverse neighborhood with something for everyone. Beverly is located in extreme southwest Chicago and was originally built as a “streetcar suburb.” Its Irish heritage is celebrated through the Chicago Irish Film Festival and the annual South Side Irish Parade. The neighborhood is home to five Metra stations, so no matter which house, loft, or apartment you choose you’ll be within walking distance to public transportation.

Hyde Park: Nestled along Lake Michigan in Chicago’s South Side, Hyde Park is home to the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, Washington Park, and Jackson Park. The miles of shoreline draw joggers, walkers, and bicyclers. It is a community punctuated with bookstores and restaurants, restaurants and shops, historic landmarks and street festivals. Hyde Park contains some beautiful historic buildings and has some famous residents – including President Barack Obama, who has lived in Hyde Park for more than 20 years. Other famous residents include Mary Todd Lincoln, Muhammad Ali, John Paul Stevens, Hugh Hefner, and Amelia Earhart.