13 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Chicago North Shore

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate



12 Reasons to Buy a Home in the North Shore


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, Wimette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, and Lake Forest. Some people also include Glenview, Northbrook, and Deerfield which are slightly more west.


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


1. Lake Michigan


The North Shore revels in its 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. Shown below is Gillson Lake in Wilmette.


Gillson Beach, Wilmette IL


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. New Trier High School in Winnetka is shown in this photo.


New Trier High School, Winnetka IL


3. Lots of Cool Shopping Choices


Sprinkled throughout the North Shore are many fine shopping areas offering stores that sell unique goods not found at the 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, or home decor, it’s here. Plaza del Lago in Wilmette is shown here.


Plaza del Lago Shopping, Wilmette IL


4. Plentiful 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, traditional Italian, a myriad of sushi options, and much more. Click here for a Winnetka and North Shore Restaurant Guide. Guildhall Restaurant, below, is located in Glencoe.

Guildhall Restaurant, Glencoe, IL


5. Biking and Walking Trails

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

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

Forest Preserve Trail, Winnetka




6. The Skokie Lagoons


The 7 interconnected lagoons are part of the Cook County Forest Preserves. They are located at the very western end of Winnetka and Glencoe. There is boat access and recreational activities include canoe and kayak rentals, fishing, biking, hiking, and picnic areas.




7. Golf Courses

If you love golfing, you’ll love the North Shore. There are both private and public courses in the area and several world class courses are just an hour or so away. Below is a photo of the public 18-hole course in Winnetka.



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 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 Train Line Schedule. A Metra commuter train approaches the station in Kenilworth.

Kenilworth Train, Kenilworth IL


9. Forest Preserves

There are 68,000 acres of protected forest preserves in Cook County making up 11% of the land area. The first forest preserve district was formed in 1913 and many other counties in the state have adopted the model. These open areas are an integral part of the landscape and offer a respite from the cacophony of daily life. Deer, coyotes, foxes, river otters, herons, hawks, and supposedly a bald eagle have been spotted often.

Activities in the forest preserves include birding, walking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The winter view taken below is on Tower Road looking northeast.

Forest Preserve Winnetka IL



10. Ravinia Festival

North America’s oldest musical festival is located here in Highland Park. Ravinia’s 36 wooded acres offers a soothing place to either sit in the pavillion seats or have a picnic on the inviting outdoor grounds. Most people bring their own food along with tables, chairs, candles, and friends! One can also dine at one of the many restaurants at the park.

Musical offerings range from pop rock, blues, jazz, classical, country, and folk. Some notables include Steeley Dan,the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennet, the Beach Boys, Santana, Jennifer Hudson, Lionel Ritchie, Sarah McLachlan, Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, and Sting.

Ravinia Festival, Glencoe, IL


11. Chicago Botanic Garden (located in Glencoe)

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. It’s a stunning place to visit and even wintertime has its charms there. And admission is free but car parking is $25.

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL


12. Park Districts Offer Incredible Activities


Each village - Winnetka, Wilmette, Glencoe, Glenview, Kenilworth, and Northfield - have their own park districts. Beyond the summer camps and basketball and baseball clinics, our local park districts afford a stunning array of creative activities. From a haunted house on the beach to a messy paint morning, you will never run out of things to do with your children. Winnetka has 27 parks, Wilmette lists 15, tiny Kenilworth has 7,and Glencoe has 19. Plus golf courses, ice skating rinks, swimming pools, tot lots, baseball fields, and picnic areas.

Fox Meadow Park in Northfield is shown here.

Fox Meadow Park, Northfield, IL




13. The Homes!


Housing inventory on the North Shore is incredibly diverse. There are 150-year old Victorians alongside new construction. Prices range from approximately the $400,000 range upwards to $12,000,000. There are small lots and acre properties. You can find styles like Tudor, Modernist, Dutch Colonial, English Manor, French Provincial, Contemporary, Ranch, Spanish, Colonial, and Split Level. Many older homes are routinely gutted and updated inside while maintaining their beautiful original exterior.


North Shore Houses





Beyond everything I’ve said above, we have sidewalk sales, community theater, children’s fairs, cultural events, art fairs, outdoor concerts, exercise and yoga studios, and pumpkin fests. There are charity walks and runs, house walks, parades, polar plunges, sailing, boating, swimming and farmer’s markets. Plus, a class for just about anything you want to learn about! And here


While you're here, check out all North Shore homes for Sale

And here for all North Shore Condos and Townhouses 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.

Looking for a knowledgeable Illinois Realtor?  Google me! 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Beth and Richard Witt 02/04/2020 07:42 AM
Real Estate General Information
Illinois Cook County Winnetka
12 reasons to live on chicago north shore

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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

The North Shore's reputation is stellar for all the many reasons you list, Margaret Goss ... but I'd add that the housing itself is also should be on your list.  The homes and their surroundings are simply beautiful.  The diversity of architecture is breathtaking ...


Feb 03, 2020 02:02 PM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Hi Margaret Goss WOW... what a beautiful location.... who wouldn't love to live there...I would!!!  and you have provided 12 good reasons to buy on the North Shore of Illinois....and THE ONLY agent to call to get that task accomplished is Margaret Goss.... she'll represent you as you should be represented.

Feb 03, 2020 02:45 PM #2
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Margaret,  Thanks for sharing this post - great information for buyers and sellers to know.  They have a great, knowledgeable resource in you.

Feb 03, 2020 06:01 PM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Margaret. A lot of reasons for giving the northshore consideration. Enjoy your day!

Feb 04, 2020 05:05 AM #4
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Center Moriches, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

This is an awesome post... very impressive and very imformative...

Feb 04, 2020 07:39 AM #5
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Margaret Goss - This is a GREAT post that highlights the main attractions of the North Shore. I don't think I fully appreciated Lake Michigan until I moved to Texas. There is no other lake that compares! Ravinia was one my favorite places for relaxation and music. The Skokie Lagoon? Everyone should visit it and the many Forest Preserves - again, compared to TX, nothing else comes close. Chicago Botanical Gardens - I have many photos and fond memories. The volunteers put their hearts and souls into keeping it beautiful. Education - I will be forever grateful for the gifts of knowledge received from National Louis University in Evanston. Why should people consider the North Shore? Because of the Arts, Culture, Lakes, etc., but most of all because of Margaret Goss and her knowledge and expertise in this area of Northern, Illinois. 

Feb 04, 2020 08:00 AM #6
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Margaret Goss

Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
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