Chicago, IL Neighborhood guides

Live in Luxury On Chicago’s Gold Coast

The Gold Coast neighborhood has long been considered one of Chicago’s most luxurious and desirable neighborhoods. Located directly on the shores of Lake Michigan, the neighborhood offers a mix of sleek, modern high-rises and beautiful preserved homes. It’s widely considered to be one of the wealthiest urban neighborhoods in the country and attracts some of Chicago’s most successful professionals.

Although it’s very close to the downtown Loop and the bustling River North neighborhood, the Gold Coast feels very tranquil and quiet. If you’re looking for cosmopolitan elegance, you can’t go wrong with the Gold Coast neighborhood.

Where is Gold Coast?

Gold Coast is bordered by Lake Michigan to the east, North Avenue to the north, Clark Street to the west and Oak Street to the south. The Gold Coast neighborhood is directly bordered by Streeterville to the south, River North to the southwest and Old Town to the northwest. It is highly sought after because of its proximity to downtown and to the lake. The neighborhood is also directly south of Lincoln Park.

History

The neighborhood has a long history as one of the most affluent in the city. The area was initially swampland, but after the Great Chicago Fire in the late 19th century, many Chicago residents had to find new places to settle. Potter Palmer, a local millionaire, decided to move to the area and build the Palmer Mansion in 1882, which stood until the 1950s. This influenced some of the city’s other wealthy residents to move there and build their own mansions. In the 20th century, some of these mansions gave way to high-rise apartments, although many historic buildings have been preserved.

Lifestyle

What To Do

Although the Gold Coast has a reputation for being a quiet and tranquil neighborhood, there’s still plenty to do nearby. One of the best things to do in the area is take a stroll and check out all of the incredible architecture it has to offer. Astor Street is home to some of Chicago’s most elegant mansions. Bibliophiles will enjoy browsing the Newberry Library, which has a huge collection of rare books and manuscripts and is open to the public.

 

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For those that love to shop, there are plenty of upscale boutiques to enjoy on Michigan Avenue. The 900 North Michigan mall, which is just south of Oak Street, has seven stories of shops to explore. Another huge benefit to living in this area is its proximity to the lake. Oak Street Beach is located in the Gold Coast and is a great place to enjoy the warm weather in the summer. On the north end of the neighborhood is Lincoln Park, which is home to a zoo, gardens, sports fields and much more.

Where to Eat and Drink

One of the most popular places to eat and drink in the Gold Coast is the 3 Arts Club Café. The building was established in the early 19th century as a women’s club that focused on painting, music and drama. It was eventually converted into a Restoration Hardware with this restaurant inside. The restaurant is known for its stunning fountain and chandeliers inside, and is a hotspot for both weekend brunch and upscale dinner.

Gold Coast also offers an excellent selection of upscale steakhouses on Rush Street, such as Gibson’s and Maple and Ash. If you’re craving a different kind of cuisine, other popular options include Nico Osteria for Italian and Le Colonial for Vietnamese.

 

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For elegant Cuban-inspired cocktails, head to Sparrow on Elm Street. Virtually every restaurant in the Gold Coast is a place to see and be seen – expect an upscale dress code and a price tag to match.

 

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Moving to Gold Coast

Real Estate Snapshot

As you might expect, the Gold Coast has a much higher cost of living than most other neighborhoods in Chicago. Right now, the average rent for apartments in Gold Coast is $2,491 per month, which is significantly higher than the citywide average. As previously mentioned, it can also be very expensive to go out to eat and drink in this neighborhood. However, residents do have easy access to multiple grocery stores and pharmacies for essentials.

Transportation

The Gold Coast is a very walkable neighborhood, and it also has plenty of access to public transportation. The CTA Red Line runs the Clark/Division stop in the neighborhood, which connects to downtown as well as a number of other neighborhoods on the north and south sides. From this station, it takes less than 10 minutes to get into downtown. For those who do have cars, there is easy access to Lake Shore Drive.

Schools & Employment

Because the Gold Coast is mainly residential, there aren’t many employers in the area. However, there are both elementary and high school options nearby. Gold Coast is also within walking distance of Northwestern University’s Chicago campus.

If you’re looking to move to the Gold Coast, be sure to check out RENTCafé for all the latest apartment listings in the area!

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About the author

Florentina Sarac

Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email.

Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and Realtor.com. She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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