12 Reasons to Buy a Home on Chicago's North Shore

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate







The Chicago North Shore has been described as a string of pearls lying along the shore of Lake Michigan just north of Chicago.  The villages included in this "necklace" are Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park and Lake Forest.  Some people also include Glenview, Northbrook, and Deerfield.

If you are considering a move to this area, let me help you decide with these 12 reasons to live in our beautiful North Shore.  


10 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore 1.  Lake Michigan 

Stretching from Wilmette to Lake Bluff, North Shore communities revel in their national status as the "Third Coast."   Every village has at least one public beach and many offer sailing clubs.  Living alongside the lake offers another advantage - the weather is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  And Winnetka, Wilmette, and Evanston have dedicated dog beaches.

See Photos of Lakeside Living Here

Photo is Gillson Beach in Wilmette




10 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore 2.   Nationally Recognized Schools

The abundance of top-rated public and private schools makes the North Shore a magnet for parents.  With small class sizes and a solid tax base, the North Shore sets an example for the rest of the country.

 Photo shows New Trier High School in Winnetka







10 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore

 3.  Lots of Cool Shopping Choices

Sprinkled throughout the North Shore are many fine shopping areas offering stores that sell wickedly unique goods not found in malls. From downtown Winnetka to Plaza del Lago in Wilmette to Market Square in Lake Forest, one doesn't ever need to leave the area.  Whether you are searching for gifts, linens, books, antiques, home decor, or what not, it's here.


 Photo is of the Plaza del Lago shopping area in Wilmette




 4.  Generous Dining Options

 Foodies flock to the North Shore for our abundance and variety of restaurants.  The international spectrum is represented here from local hot spots to haute cuisine.  Choose from swanky bars, casual Mexican, delicious Italian, a myriad of sushi options, and much more.  Click here for a Winnetka and North Shore Restaurant Guide.

Photo is of  Nuevo Depot Mexican Restaurant in Wilmette






10 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore5.  Biking and Walking Trails

The beautiful North Branch Trail System is a Class 1 bike trail that winds through the North Shore.   The trail offers beautiful views and passes through golf courses, picnic areas, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.  There are alternate dirt paths for horseback riding and wildlife is plentiful.  The trail is used for biking, running, walking, and rollerblading.  

The Green Bay Trail runs alongside the railroad tracks from Wilmette to Highland Park.

Photo is the Green Bay Trail in Highland Park




10 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore6.  Plentiful Public Parks

Winnetka has 27 parks, Wilmette lists 15, and Glencoe has 19. Plus golf courses, ice skating rinks, swimming pools, tot lots, baseball fields, and picnic areas. Local park districts also offer summer camps, tennis and golf lessons, and so much more.  

Photo shows the playground at Gillson Park in Wilmette.








7.  Golf Courses

There are both private and public courses along the North Shore.  In addition, several world class courses are just an hour or so away.

Public Golf Courses









10 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore

 8.  Transportation

Commuting is a breeze with the Metra North Line.  Stops are conveniently located in Evanston (3 stops), Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka (3 stops), Glencoe and farther north.  On Metra, you will arrive at downtown Chicago within 25-40 minutes.  

Commuter lots are convenient and plentiful.  In the summer, some Metra patrons ride their bikes to the station.  See the North Line train schedule.

Photo is of the Glencoe train station





10 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore

 9.  Forest Preserves

There are 68,000 acres of forest preserve in Cook County making up 11% of the land area.  The first forest preserve district was formed in 1913 and since then counties within the state have adopted the model.  

Activities in the forest preserve include birding, walking and biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, fishing and picnicking.  

Photo shows the forest preserve at Winnetka Avenue in Northfield.




12 Reaons to Live on Chicago's North Shore

10.  Ravinia Festival

North America's oldest musical festival, Ravinia's 36 wooded acres offers an enchanting place to listen to your favorite music.  Bring your own picnic or dine at one of the many restaurants at the park.  

Musical offerings range from pop rock, blues, jazz, classical, and folk. Steely Dan is a regular as is the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. Lady Gaga and Tony Bennet have also made appearances here.

Photo of Ravinia Festival, Highland Park




12 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore11. Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden has been called a living plant museum.  It encompasses 385 acres, 9 islands, 6 miles of shoreline, and 25 specialty gardens including Sensory, Waterfall, Rose, and English Walled gardens. The Garden has over 50,000 members and offers a wide variety of classes.  

The Green Bay Trail goes right through the gardens and many visitors easily bike there in the summers.  Take a stroll, a class, and have lunch.

Photo of Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe




12 Reasons to Live on Chicago's North Shore12.  Park Districts with Unbelievable Offerings

Each village of Winnetka, Wilmette, Glencoe, Glenview, Kenilworth, and Northfield have their own park districts. Beyond the usual summer camps and basketball or baseball clinics, our local park districts offer a stunning array of creative and fun activities.  From a haunted house on the beach to a messy paint morning, you will never run out of fun things to do with your kids.


 Photo is of  Centennial Pool in Wilmette


There's also sidewalk sales, community theater, children's fairs, cultural events, art fairs, outdoor concerts, exercise and yoga studios, and pumpkin fests.  Charity walks and runs,  house walks, parades, polar plunges, sailing, boating, swimming, and weekly farmer's markets.


While you're here, see ALL NORTH SHORE HOMES FOR SALE



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Margaret Goss is a full-time real estate broker since 1998 working in the North Shore communities of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Northfield, Glenview, and Evanston.

She can be reached at:

Phone:  847-977-6024

Email:  margaret.goss@bairdwarner.com

See her full BIOGRAPHY



Posted by

Margaret Goss - Winnetka and North Shore Real Estate Broker
Specializing in homes for sale in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, and Evanston.

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Comments (7)

Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Margaret, these are some fine reasons to make your home on Chicago's North Shore.  I love your illustrations along with the descriptions, it's not what I would have associated with "Chicago". Thanks!

Mar 09, 2015 11:16 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR - it's true!  We are very suburban here on the North Shore yet very close to Chicago.


Mar 10, 2015 12:34 AM
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Beautiful photos Margaret.  You provide many good reasons that the North Shore would be a great place to call home.

Mar 11, 2015 03:29 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I can see whey the Chicago North Shore has been described as a string of pearls lying along the shore of Lake Michigan.  Nice post and great photos.

Mar 13, 2015 01:11 PM
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

Thanks Margaret I bookmarked this.  It is a fantastic area.  I occasionally have gone out to tour some of the homes in your area.  How cool to have Lake Michigan in your backyard.   Ravinia and the Chicago Botanic Gardens are not to be missed for anyone thinking of moving to your area.

Mar 13, 2015 07:51 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Margaret, I had not been thinking of a move to the North Shore, but your 12 reasons are pretty impelling.  Looks and sounds like a beautiful area to live.

Mar 25, 2015 01:50 PM
Ella Reape, Realtor 603-821-1140 ~ Selling Homes Throughout Southern New Hampshire
Keller Williams Realty Nashua NH - Nashua, NH
Luxury Homes Division, Keller Williams


I absolutely love the North Shore area & you've highlighted all the reasons why!

Sep 05, 2019 05:24 PM

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