One of Chicago’s most affluent neighborhoods, the Gold Coast is a residential haven among the downtown neighborhoods. Vintage brownstones nestle among high-rises and glass towers in tree-lined peaceful streets and bustling boulevards. High-end restaurants and cocktail meccas attract the overwhelmingly single population (72% of all Gold Coast households), which is about 10 years older than the Lincoln Park crowd. Some are wary of the Division Street bar scene and the “Viagra Triangle” along Rush Street, but turn the corner and peace resumes.
66,000 affluent, well-educated people live here. 35% have a graduate degree and 75% have their Bachelor’s. Average household income is $138,000, with $75,000 as the median. Half the population has never married and only 6% of households are families with children.
Like a European neighborhood, it has an aura of permanence—hardly anything new has been built here in decades. Many of Chicago’s most prestigious residences mingle with the mid-rise and high-rise condos and co-ops, in a wide variety of vintage and contemporary styles. However, building amenities common in newer buildings are scarce (such as pools, elaborate fitness facilities, business centers, and indoor parking), and many high-rises in Streeterville and the Loop offer lower assessments and superior unit quality: washer-dryers, outdoor space, better views. Anyway, it’s a great investment: household income has increased 25% since 2000.
The Chicago Public School locator lists two public schools for the Gold Coast neighborhood. See map: Ogden International School of Chicago. This school offers Preschool-12th grade public education. It is the first school in Illinois to receive the recognition of being a Full Continuum IB World School.
Also, Lincoln Park High School serves this neighborhood. The Gold Coast also has one of Chicago’s most renowned private schools: The Latin School.
Walkscore.com gives Gold Coast 90/100 for “world class public transportation”: 28 bus and 3 subway lines—Red, Brown and Purple Lines. (Note: this score also includes nearby neighborhoods: Near North, Gold Coast, Old Town and South Lincoln Park.) But the preferred option for many are the ubiquitous taxis, summoned within seconds by a doorman or a building’s cab light.
It’s famous: The "Gold Coast Historic District" was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Along almost every boulevard of the Gold Coast, upscale boutiques and shops have opened up. Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Hermès, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Cartier SA, Van Cleef & Arpels, Yves Saint Laurent, Harry Winston, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, DKNY, Ralph Lauren,Marc Jacobs, Stuart Weitzman, Rolex, Max Mara, Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Paul Stuart, Betsey Johnson, and Lilly Pulitzer are just a few of the dozens of designers that have locations in the exclusive neighborhood. Also, Lamborghini, Maserati, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Bugatti all have dealership here.
Beyond tanning, swimming and hacky sack, this is one of Chicago’s most popular spots for beach volleyball, cycling and skating. For a quieter experience, try Ohio Street beach next to the tranquility of Milton Olive Park.
Many of Chicago's best known restaurants are located here. Gibson's, Spiaggia, the Pump Room, Nico Osteria, Carmine's, Table Fifty-Two, and the original Morton's. Celebrity sightings are common.
Walkscore.com gives the Gold Coast 96/100. Note: this score also includes the nearby neighborhoods of Near North, Streeterville, Old Town and South Lincoln Park.