Is North Shore Real Estate Right for You?

July 27, 2022


Chicago residents love their unique, bustling city. However, Chicago’s pace, density, and housing opportunities may not be for everyone. Many people with children eventually opt for a quieter life in the suburbs.

Fortunately, you can find the peace and quiet you seek just outside the city. There are plenty of North Shore or Highland Park homes for sale that may be precisely what you’re looking for. These areas have large homes spanning tree-lined streets that are perfect for families and individuals alike.

So let’s see why these Chicago suburbs are so popular and if North Shore or Highland Park real estate is right for you.

Highland Park real estate


Highland Park is a suburban town north of Chicago. The area lines Lake Michigan and sports its own downtown shopping district. Residents choose Highland Park for its broad, leafy streets, established neighborhoods, and easy commute to downtown Chicago. While many residents work nearby, Highland Park’s access to the beaches of Lake Michigan makes the town feel like a vacation destination come summertime.

If you’ve graduated from commuting and working, you’re in luck too, as Niche has rated Highland Park one of the top ten places to retire in Illinois. The area receives top ratings across the board in categories such as public schools, housing, family-friendliness, jobs, outdoor activities, and more.

There are a variety of reasons why residents of all ages generally enjoy living in Highland Park or the surrounding North Shore. Let’s discuss a few of the region's specific features.

Accessibility to nearby cities


Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Public Market

Highland Park is approximately 25 miles north of Chicago. When looking at homes for sale in Highland Park, keep in mind that commutes to downtown Chicago are made easier by both the 94 freeway and the Union Pacific North (Up-N) Metra train, which takes you directly to Chicago Union Station in under an hour. If you own a vehicle, the commute can be anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. You can also rely on bus lines to navigate to and from the city if needed.

The North Shore area is also a great starting point for various day trips. Milwaukee, WI is just over an hour's drive north of Highland Park. Milwaukee offers a trendy downtown with its Historic Third Ward neighborhood, award-winning riverwalk, and nationally-recognized Milwaukee Public Market. Some Highland Park residents even choose to commute to Milwaukee for work. A train ride from the North Shore to Milwaukee is not as easy as one to Chicago but the drive features pleasant, country views.

Unique and vibrant downtown


Photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival

North Shore residents enjoy Highland Park’s vibrant and walkable downtown. The pedestrian and bicycle-friendly streets are lined with enough exciting, new restaurants and boutiques to fill a full day of shopping and exploring.

Highland Park is also home to the world-renowned Ravinia Festival. This festival is the oldest non-profit music festival in North America. Each year, the festival hosts over 100 events in a variety of genres and attracts over 600,000 attendees. You can experience the festival annually from June until September.

Moreover, Highland Park is an exceptional location for architecture enthusiasts. The area is home to various famous buildings from Frank Lloyd Wright, W.W. Boyington, Howard Van Doren Shaw, John S. Van Bergen, David Adler, and more. The most famous structure is the Willits House by Wright. The city is proud of its architectural roots and offers a variety of tours and resources for you to learn more about its history.

Year-round fun for the family



Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to move to the North Shore is its proximity to Lake Michigan and the beautiful parks and beaches surrounding its lakefront. You can enjoy swimming, boating, picnicking, fishing, exercising, and more at one of Highland Park’s four beaches. Residents particularly enjoy Rosewood beach, which is the most swimming-friendly beach in Highland Park.

You can also spend time gliding through the spectacular foliage at the Chicago Botanic Garden just south of Highland Park. The garden hosts speakers and exhibitions, and even offers botany classes to help members harness their green thumbs.

If you love winter sports, you can travel north to Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort for a day. On Wilmot’s slopes, you can enjoy over 100 skiable acres with terrain offerings for beginners and experts. If you’re looking for a more low-intensity activity, you can try snow tubing. If you’re looking to push yourself to get to the mountains more frequently, you can join the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. This club is a great place for avid skiers to come together and bond over the sport they love. The club hosts a ski jumping tournament every winter and offers a junior ski jumping program for those hoping to one day enter the tournament.

Photo courtesy of Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort

Furthermore, adults can enjoy bar hopping on the Lake County Libation Trail. The trail includes over 20 stops, highlighting many of Lake County’s locally sourced, grown, and crafted adult beverages. You can find beer, wine, spirits, and food from a curated collection of local craftspeople and vendors.

Top-rated schools



Highland Park is a great place for families raising young children. A search on GreatSchools finds that there are six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school in Highland Park with ratings of seven or above on a one to ten scale. So you can rest assured that your children will attend highly-rated schools from the time they are toddlers to outbound high school seniors. If schools are an important aspect of your home search, Highland Park should be at the top of your list.

Real estate in Highland Park is perfect for you if you’re looking for a suburban feel but you still want easy access to the city. Highland Park’s leisure activities are versatile too, with beach and watersport offerings for the summer and quick rides to the slopes for skiing, snowboarding, or tubing in the winter.

Do you need help finding a Highland Park, IL home for sale? Contact The Jane Lee Team to speak with a knowledgeable real estate agent today!




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