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Gold Coast, Chicago Travel Guide

Gold Coast Summary


  • Beautiful architecture
  • Vibrant nightlife
  • Great upscale shopping
  • Light traffic
  • Close to the Magnificent Mile
  • Dozens of fabulous restaurants
  • The beach is within walking distance
  • Home to Chicago's rich and famous


  • Only the Red subway line runs in the neighborhood
  • Few inexpensive dining or shopping options
  • Somewhat far from downtown Chicago
  • Few accommodation options

What It's Like

The posh Gold Coast is a popular tourist destination, especially during the warmer months. Well-preserved Victorian townhouses and 19th-century buildings line the tree-shaded sidewalks of this affluent neighborhood, north of the Magnificent Mile. During the day, its beautiful buildings, including the former Playboy Mansion, attract tourists -- but not crowds -- and light traffic makes it a perfect place to take a relaxing walk far from busy downtown Chicago. Groups of young Chicagoans and tourists fill the neighborhood's trendy bars and popular clubs at night.

It might not be the first destination on your to-do list, especially for first-time travelers, but its upscale boutiques, fancy restaurants and historical landmarks, as well as its popular beach and vibrant nightlife, are worth checking out.

Where to Stay

There are very few hotels in this neighborhood, and all are pretty pricey. The largest concentration of hotel options is in the southern part of the neighborhood, closest to the Magnificent Mile.

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