Gold Coast, Chicago
Until 1885, the Gold Coast existed as a relatively unimpressive plot of land east of Michigan Avenue sitting between Oak Street and Chicago Avenue. This all changed when Potter Palmer, one of the wealthiest merchants and hotel owners in Chicago, built his castle-like mansion along Lake Shore Drive. Many of the city's elite followed his lead, and today, the neighborhood is one of the oldest and richest, exuding unparalleled urban living.
Residents, a majority of them single, are drawn to the neighborhood's rich history, reflected in its landmark mansions and historic Washington Square Park. They often choose to settle in the vintage high-rises along Lake Shore Drive or in newer high-rises being constructed in the center of the neighborhood. Scattered low-rises can be found as well, but because of the density of the area, most developers are expanding upward. Here, cost of living is high, but so are the benefits.
First-class restaurants, high-end boutiques, and pulsing nightlife all await within walking distance. In fact, some of the best restaurants and bars in the city call the Gold Coast home, including Gibson's Steakhouse, Carmine's, Zebra Lounge, and Tavern on Rush. While there are plenty of upscale spots in the neighborhood, it's easy to find a local bar where you can sit back and relax with friends.
Along the charming streets branching off Rush and State streets, designer boutiques and chic shops abound from Prada and Barney's to American Apparel and Urban Outfitters. For a complete shopping experience, the storesalong the Magnificent Mile are just a few blocks away.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, the beaches at Oak Street and North Avenue beckon in the warm summer months. You'll find sand volleyball tournaments any night of the week, and rollerbladers, bikers, and runners taking advantage of the lake-front biking path. And, just a short bus ride away, Millennium Park and the Loop sit to the south and Lincoln Park just to the north.