Welcome to North Shore
Located north of Chicago and bordering the shore of Lake Michigan, you’ll find the iconic neighborhood of North Shore. (Pretty self-explanatory name, right?) Comprised of various communities with their own distinctive charms and attractions, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful community. Whether you want to walk downtown and shop at unique, locally run businesses or get some fresh air on a tree-lined trail or tranquil beach, North Shore is the place for you.
The real estate is just as diverse and impressive as the amenities. North Shore has a wide variety of housing options, from stylish apartments and condominiums to stunning lakeshore estates. Contemporary and classic homes can both be found in abundance here. Whatever home style you’re looking for, the North Shore is sure to have something that will suit your needs.
North Shore is the wealthiest part of the state, meaning you can find a plethora of famous figures living within its borders. From entertainers like Bruce Dern, Ben Savage, and Rachel Brosnahan to athletes like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Bay Darnell, many notable celebrities gravitate to the area.
North Shore has also gotten its turn in the spotlight and served as the filming location for many popular movies, including Home Alone, Cheaper By the Dozen, Sixteen Candles, and Risky Business.
What to Love
● Historic downtown areas
● Beachfront communities
● Ravinia music festival and other events
● Trails and parks
● PGA Tour golfing
The Communities of the North Shore
The diverse communities in this area are close to downtown Chicago and have much to offer. Evanston is a historic village with outstanding cultural attractions and an urban vibe, while Winnetka is a desirable village with luxurious homes and Tudor-style shopping centers.
Want to get out and get active? The North Shore has you covered. Wilmette is a lakeshore favorite for its beaches and pleasure boating. (Not to mention it also boasts one of the nation’s finest school districts.) With its 10 public parks and homes located within one mile of the beach, picturesque Kenilworth is ideal for those seeking a quiet hidden gem. Lake Forest also has exceptional schools and beaches, along with grand homes located along charming tree-lined streets. Lake Bluff is another historic neighborhood with convenient transportation links into Chicago along with great schools and outdoor recreation opportunities. Glencoe is a master-planned community designed to be the perfect suburb. It is surrounded by forests and has several attractions, such as the famed Chicago Botanical Gardens and numerous boutique shops and cafes.
Perhaps you’re a foodie who’s craving a side of live entertainment. Highland Park has some of the North Shore’s most beautiful and varied architecture and is host to musical events, such as the Ravinia Festival and summertime Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances. (Plus, its gorgeous homes come with equally stunning ravine backdrops along Lake Michigan.) Highwood is a lively community with a pedestrian-friendly downtown that includes a wide selection of bars, restaurants, and festivals.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Beach bums—don’t feel like you have to go south to experience sand and sun; there are plenty of options in your own backyard. The communities of the North Shore enjoy having some of Lake Michigan’s best beaches.
Maybe green space is more your speed. If so, the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe features 27 gorgeously landscaped gardens across its 385 acres. The park is open year-round and puts on special light displays during the holiday season. Another outdoor recreation space on the North Shore is Green Bay Trail. This mixed-use trail follows the former Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad for nine miles between Wilmette and Highland Park. Wilmette is also home to a lovely Bahá'í House of Worship, which is one of just 10 such temples in the world.
North Shore is also a great destination for golf fanatics, whether you just want to watch or practice your putt. The PGA Tour’s BMW Championship takes place at Olympia Fields Country Club in the North Shore area. Olympia Fields is among several outstanding country clubs in the North Shore area that provide their members access to superbly designed golf courses and other high-end amenities.
Dog lovers, rejoice! Prairie Wolf Dog Park in Lake Forest is the perfect place to bring your four-legged friends. There are five off-leash dog areas across the park’s 44 acres.
Ravinia Park in Highland Park is a 36-acre public green space best known for the Ravinia Festival. The Ravinia Festival began in 1905 and is the oldest outdoor music festival in North America. The New York Philharmonic performed at the first Ravinia festival. Since the 1930s, Ravinia has been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and its lineup has expanded to include an extensive range of music styles.
Finally, the North Shore communities also offer their own downtown areas with plenty of terrific shopping and dining right at your doorstep. Whether you’re craving classic Italian cuisine in an upscale environment or an Instagrammable burger in a quirky, casual setting, your taste buds are sure to be satisfied in North Shore.
Things to Do
Ravinia Festival, the North Shore’s most famous annual event, hosts a plethora of concerts at Ravinia Park between July and September. Another well-attended event is the Port Clinton Art Festival, a top juried art show. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors gather to see artwork produced by over 300 of the world’s top artists. October’s Highwood Pumpkin Fest is the ideal way to get your spooky on with three nights of pumpkin carving, carnival rides, and live music.
The Chicago Bears’ practice facility and headquarters at Halas Hall recently underwent a major renovation project that added an event center, broadcast studio, and dining area. The 894-acre Skokie Lagoons nature preserve in Glencoe is the destination for those seeking water-based recreation in a serene setting, and Glencoe’s Writers Theatre stages inventive productions in an intimate space.
School districts serving North Shore communities include New Trier Township High School District 203.
● New Trier Township High School, Public, 10-12
● Northwestern University, Private, Higher Education (top private research and teaching university)
● Lake Forest College, Private, Higher Education (liberal arts college)
● Piven Theatre Workshop, Higher Education (top actors’ training center)
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