Dozens of neighborhoods in Chicago have sprung up in the past 150 years, and developed their own personalities, styles, attractions and housing options. Whether you’re looking for an area that’s luxury, family-oriented, or hip and new, there is something for everyone.
Here are a few examples of some of the most popular and valuable up-and-coming neighborhoods in Chicago. Each of these areas have received high rankings from Niche, a website that analyzes schools and neighborhoods throughout the U.S., for their attractions, nightlife, school systems and diverse housing.
1. River North
Among popular neighborhoods in Chicago, River North has made a huge transformation through the years. Art galleries, photographers and agencies flocked to the area decades ago because of inexpensive office and gallery spaces. Now the area has more than 100 art galleries, which is the greatest concentration in the country — only second to New York City. River North is also home to the Trump International Hotel and Tower and the Merchandise Mart, world’s largest commercial building.
The area was ranked as 19th by Niche in its 2016 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Chicago. The neighborhood received an overall A- after getting high points for its nightlife, diversity, public schools and family atmosphere.
2. Gold Coast
Just like its name suggests, this neighborhood is extremely affluent. Home to high-rise, luxury condos that face Lake Michigan and prestigious mansions, the Gold Coast neighborhood has retained its prestige and reputation for more than a century, according to Chicago Traveler. Tree-lined blocks offer a variety of housing options, including vintage architecture, new homes and penthouse condominiums. This area also offers plenty of upscale shopping and one-of-a-kind boutiques.
It was ranked as the second best neighborhood to live in Chicago by Niche with an A for its public schools, nightlife and low-crime rate.
3. Hyde Park
Thousands of people came to this south side neighborhood during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which introduced them to electricity and the Ferris wheel, according to ChooseChicago.com. The area is anchored by the University of Chicago, which has a scenic Victorian-Gothic style. It’s also very popular with locals and visitors, and many people head to this part of town to visit the enormous Museum of Science and Industry.
Ranked 18th by Niche, this neighborhood received an overall A- because of its valuable characteristics of great public schools, diversity and a safe environment.
4. Wicker Park/Bucktown
Wicker Park and Bucktown are located just outside of downtown Chicago, and they feature plenty of nightlife, live music, renowned restaurants and countless art galleries. If you love shopping and coffee, this neighborhood might be a good fit for you because there are a number of vintage stores and coffee shops to check out. On the same street as old-fashioned record stores and funky bars with craft beers, you’ll find widespread retail chains. This neighborhood also provides you with the perfect opportunity to attend many street festivals from spring to fall, according to the Bucktown Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce.
These neighborhoods got an A- from Niche, with Bucktown being ranked 22nd and Wicker Park being ranked 15th on its best neighborhoods list. Both areas received their high grade due to their nightlife, diversity and family atmosphere.
5. Lincoln Park
Huge 100-year-old trees line the streets of Lincoln Park, giving this neighborhood plenty of charm. Many of the three- and four-story single-family houses in the area offer luxury, but there are also condos, penthouses and townhouses available, and attached garages and rooftop decks are commonplace. This area has seen property values climb rapidly over the past few decades as it has become a desired neighborhood for families and young professionals. The Lincoln Park Zoo, which is free to the public, is one of the most popular attractions in this area.
Niche ranked Lincoln Park as the 5th best neighborhood in Chicago with an overall A. The area’s strong public schools, nightlife and family-friendly atmosphere were driving factors for the high grade.
Chicago is made up of more than 77 community areas and 100 neighborhoods, according to the City of Chicago. Each one has its own vibe and offerings. Start by looking into these top spots, and when you’re ready to begin the search for your perfect home, head to Owners.com.
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