Your Future Favorite Neighborhoods in Chicago (Outside of Downtown, That Is)

Chicago Subway SignChicagoans know that there’s much more to the Windy City than just Millennium Park and Navy Pier. Chicago reaches miles and miles beyond the historic downtown – there are an estimated 200 neighborhoods in the area, with 77 “community areas” defined by the University of Chicago Social Science Research Committee, all with a distinctive culture and essence. Here are a few that you shouldn’t let slip under your radar if you’re hunting for Chicago apartments and trying to find that perfect neighborhood.

Old Town

The Old Town neighborhood lies in the Near North Side community area, on Lake Michigan and just north of the business district and downtown. Because of its ideal location and popular shopping and dining destinations, the area is known for its extreme affluence. Huge, historical houses are sometimes turned into a cooperative-style living situation, however, if you’re looking for a unique style of living. Otherwise, the area makes a great visiting destination for a day to shop, eat and see the beautiful historical buildings and modern masterpieces alike.

Belmont Heights

Located on the Northwest Side of Chicago in the community area called Dunning, Belmont Heights captures a quiet community feel unique to most of the bustling areas of Chicago. Belmont Heights first began to show value in the mid-19th century for its sparse population and rolling prairie land, and manufacturing businesses quickly made Dunning their home. A recent revival of commercial and residential growth has made Belmont Heights more desirable and is home to many city workers, plus the famous Eli’s Cheesecake Factory.

Ukrainian Village

A pocket of unique and beautiful history, the Ukrainian Village on Chicago’s West Side is a charming community of boutiques, excellent food, friendly residents, and old-style homes. Recent renovations of old restaurants and businesses are making this quaint neighborhood a growing hotbed of real estate for young renters or buyers, and the eclectic population makes it a desirable spot for just about anyone to visit or move.

Don’t let the sprawling nature of Chicago’s communities scare you from exploring. Chicago has one of the most sophisticated rail transportation systems in the country, easily taking you from one end of the city to the other for a day trip. After you’ve seen the main attractions, venture out there and see what community is calling you.

Want to know about moving to Chicago? Check out the Chicago Moving Guide!