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Aside from great outdoor recreation that include expansive beaches, bike trails, jogging paths and green plots for picnics, Gold Coast offers hands-down, the best shopping in the city. The world-famous Magnificent Mile begins in the Gold Coast and runs south down Michigan Avenue. There are popular stores such as Diesel, Urban Outfitters, Adidas, Puma and Anthropologie, along with one-of-a-kind boutiques, and more elite shops such as Barney's New York, Prada and Kate Spade. Dining options are also endless in the Gold Coast, ranging from upscale steakhouses to understated Italian burger joints. While on a leisurely stroll in the Gold Coast, you can walk to numerous attractions such as the Water Tower, Rush Street, Signature Room, 360 Chicago, Newberry Library, Oak Street Beach, American Girl Place, and many, many others. Its boundaries are defined as North Avenue and Division Street on the north, Lake Michigan on the east, Chicago Avenue on the south and Clark and Franklin Streets on the west.
Lakeview is home to the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field, and a part of the neighborhood is named for it. The many bars and restaurants are always full, especially during baseball season when they feed and entertain thousands of fans. The Wrigleyville section of Lakeview is bounded by Halsted, Ashland, Roscoe and Byron. There are more than 600 retail stores on the east side alone and Diversey, Clark, Halsted and Broadway boast strong commercial development. The pleasant surprise of Lakeview & Wrigleyville is that once you venture 20 steps from the main shopping, restaurant and bar/club areas, you'll find yourself in beautifully maintained tree-lined streets, with rows of lovely houses in all manner of architectural styles, ranging in age from near-century-old to 3 days ago. This is likely another primary reason for this area's popularity; one can buy or rent a gorgeous house on a gorgeous street, then walk for 5 minutes and be in one of the city's mecca shopping/nightlife districts.
The Lincoln Park neighborhood has a sprawling lakefront park with bike and jogging paths along the lake, gardens, public art, some of Chicago’s best beaches, and the Lincoln Park Zoo. The neighborhood is also a live music hub, with numerous blues clubs and leading rock venues like Lincoln Hall. If it is shopping you are looking for, there are a plethora of options throughout the neighborhood, and the Clybourn Corridor at North Ave provides a wide selection of stores like Apple, Mariano’s Grocery, Arclight Movie Theaters, Nordstrom Rack, Off 5th, Gap, and many, many more. Getting to this strip of Lincoln Park is also a breeze with the Red Line train just a couple minute walk away. For great views of the park though, and proximity to the beaches and bike paths, the east side of Lincoln Park would be the ideal place to call home.
On Wells Street, from Division Street to just north of North Avenue, you'll find restaurants, shops, bars, the famed Second City, the Red Orchid Theatre and Zanie's comedy club. Dining options in Old Town are awesome and include established staples like Twin Anchors, The Gluntz Tavern, Topo Gigio, Salpicon, and Kamehachi, along with many, many others. But if its shopping that you are looking for, shopping in Old Town is a unique experience on its own and the majority of shops in this neighborhood are boutiques rather than well-known chain stores. The Old Town Art Fair is also held here annually in June, and is arguably one of Chicago’s best art fairs, along with one of America’s oldest, and began its start in 1950. Whether it’s great shopping, fabulous restaurants, entertainment, salons or special services for pets, it’s all here! This is a great area to live, day or night. The Old Town area can be reached by taking the CTA Red Line north from the downtown Loop area, getting off at the Clark/Division stop and then walking west 2 blocks.
Anchoring the area is the massive Merchandise Mart, with its endless trade showrooms for furniture and design wholesalers. What distinguishes River North however from the rest of the Windy City is its Gallery District. Once an old manufacturing and warehouse area, the River North Gallery District has the greatest concentration of art galleries in the United States, outside of Manhattan. It is also home to the world headquarters of ConAgra, Groupon, Motorola Mobility, and the regional offices of Google, and Yelp. It is bounded by Michigan Avenue to the east, Chicago Avenue to the north, and the Chicago River to the south and west. Its famous structures include the Wrigley Building, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Holy Name Cathedral, the Marina City towers, and the House of Blues. River North simply evades labeling and serves up something for everyone!
In the style of transforming an old warehouse district into a viable residential neighborhood, River West is full of converted loft spaces and apartments. Trendy designs and upgraded amenities have become the norm for this hip, new community, and fashionable restaurants and nightspots have also materialized. Not to mention the shiny new el station that just opened up just south of the neighborhood. River West is bordered by Chicago Avenue to the North, the 90/94 to the west, the Chicago River to the east, and the new Grand Blue Line CTA at its furthest south. With its central location to both the I-90 and I-94, along with ample public transportation, the River West neighborhood is ideal for commuting into the city or out to the suburbs.
It may not contain the iconic skyscrapers that loom over the northern half of downtown Chicago, but the area is something of an entertainment mecca and boasts some of the best Chicago museums, top jazz clubs, Grant Park and McCormick Place. One of the best things about the South Loop for both residents and visitors though is how easy it is to get in, get out, and get around. The area is extremely walkable and increasingly easy to navigate via bike. There are lots of public transportation options, by both bus and train (Roosevelt CTA train station), and there is direct access to several Chicago expressways like the Eisenhower and Lake Shore Drive. And if you want to leave Chicago, well that’s easy to do from here too.
The neighborhood's main attraction however, Navy Pier, is a play land filled with amusement rides, gift shops and eateries, and its docks are lined with sightseeing boats and bicycles. In addition to sweeping lakefront views, Navy Pier is also home to year-round favorites such as the Chicago Children's Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Offering a premier selection of professional office centers, residential high rises, and glamorous cultural destinations, Streeterville is an excellent place to live, work and play.
As a business center, some of the corporations the Loop is home to include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the headquarters of United Airlines, AON, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hyatt Hotels , BorgWarner, and dozens upon dozens of other major corporations. The Loop is also home to Grant Park and Millenium Park, and State Street, which hosts a major shopping district. The Art Institute of Chicago, several theaters, and numerous subway and elevated rapid transit stations can also be found. Other major institutions in the Loop include the Willis Tower, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Goodman Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, the central public Harold Washington Library, and the Chicago Cultural Center. The Loop's boundaries are the Chicago River on the west, Michigan Avenue on the east, Wacker Drive on the north and Congress Parkway on the south.
Known for its award-winning restaurants, boutiques, burgeoning art gallery district and unique residential loft-style living, the West Loop is one of the City of Chicago's most attractive neighborhoods. Randolph and Fulton Market streets have become an epicenter for internationally acclaimed restaurants led by some of the world’s most talented and innovative chefs. The aptly named "Restaurant Row" doesn't discriminate against nightlife either so the selection on these few blocks alone is staggering. You can go from sushi bar to sports bar, bakery to brewery, wine tasting to taquería, butcher shop to champagne salon, late-night diner to futuristic cocktail lounge — all within this stretch.
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