Chicago is home to several world-class universities, but the appeal of college life in the Windy City extends far beyond the classroom. It’s about the diversity, the culture, the tradition, the energy, and, of course, the food. Today we focus on the best neighborhoods surrounding three of Chicago’s most renowned centers of higher education: Northwestern University, Loyola University, and the University of Chicago.
Northwestern University-Chicago Campus
As the story goes, Streeterville got its name when George Wellington Streeter ran aground on a sandbar on Lake Michigan in 1886 and subsequently ended up living on his boat, happily marooned with his wife. A bit of research proves the story to be apocryphal, but the neighborhood still bears his name. Over a century later, Streeterville is a thriving region known for its diverse culinary offerings and vibrant art scene. The area is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, an assortment of waterfront parks, Navy Pier, and the stunning City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower. It’s a safe and lively area ideal for college students looking to experience Chicago while staying right next to campus.
Loyola University Chicago
Situated 20 minutes south of Loyola, Lincoln Park is one of the most desirable and chic neighborhoods in Chicago. The shopping is wonderful, there are great restaurants in all price-ranges, the bar scene is lively, and the outdoor spaces are second to none. There’s the Lincoln Park Zoo, North Avenue Beach, and Lincoln Park itself, which wows residents with its 1,200 acres of lakefront bliss. Famed improv theater and Saturday Night Live training ground Second City is nearby too, along with the DePaul Art Museum, the Art Institute Museum, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. It’s a short commute to Loyola, but worth it to live in a neighborhood where so much is going on, day and night.
Another option, if you prefer to be closer to the Loyola campus, is Edgewater. The region shares its northern border with Loyola, making the commute very easy. Edgewater is a melting pot of cultures—a refined mix of the new and the traditional—and the balance really works. There are great restaurants, delicatessens, and coffee shops, as well as numerous vintage shops selling one-of-a-kind antiques in the Bryn Mawr Historic District. Lane Beach Park and Foster Beach, two of the city’s best beaches, can also be found in this dynamic neighborhood right by the campus—just don’t forget to go to class.
University of Chicago
Hyde Park, the home of the university itself, is obviously a prime location for students, but it also has plenty to offer culturally. There’s the world-renowned Museum of Science and Industry, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Court Theatre for plays, and the Harper for movies, as well as a growing cadre of other cultural institutions. Moreover, there are plenty of great restaurants and coffee shops, many of which are flanked by stunning architecture from the Victorian age, creating an ideal atmosphere for both studying and relaxing.
If a commute down the lake doesn’t bother you, South Loop is another great option for University of Chicago students. The nightlife, culinary, and retail options are some of the best in the city, and the museums and beaches take “extracurricular” to another level entirely. The area is bordered by the famous Grant Park, home to the Museum Campus, which includes the Field Museum of Natural History and other attractions. South Loop has grown into one of Chicago’s most desirable neighborhoods, and for good reason—it delivers on all fronts.
If you’re in the market for something special in one of these neighborhoods—or anywhere else in Chicago for that matter—don’t go it alone. The professionals at Related Realty Brokerage Firm are Windy City experts. Visit RelatedRealtyChicago.com and use their highly intuitive search function to find out which area suits you best.