Encompassing the north end of the Magnificent Mile, and nestled against the Lake Michigan shoreline, is the Gold Coast. With tree-lined streets filled with historical mansions / cultural institutions, unparalleled architecture, world-class hotels, specialty boutiques, and delicious food, Gold Coast is a popular destination for residents and visitors alike.
From its earliest days, the Gold Coast has been home to many prominent Chicago families; people who have contributed substantially to the economic, social and cultural history of our city. Today’s owners and residents strive to preserve this legacy while seamlessly merging tradition, grandeur and modernity to enhance the quality of life in the area.
My Top 5 Reasons
1. Fine Wine, Dining & Hotels – Original steakhouses to haunts featured in songs: Maple & Ash, Bistrot Zinc, Gibsons, Morton’s, RL Restaurant, Bistronomic, Nico Osteria, Bar Toma, Spiaggia, Blue Door Kitchen...just to name a few. Also nearby in River North, London House with an amazing roof top. Hotels in the area include: Waldorf Astoria, Thompson, Sofitel, Peninsula, Park Hyatt, Trump, Drake, Four Seasons, Langham, Virgin, and Intercontinental.
2. History & Culture – Victorian architecture (Astor Street), Old Fashioned cocktails, Cigar Emporium, and strolls through history: Pump Room (where celebrity patrons like Elizabeth Taylor, Ronald Reagan, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Audrey Hepburn frequented the coveted Booth One), Biggs Mansion (Dearborn Street), Playboy Mansion (State Parkway), Newberry Library (Walton Street), Ermest Hemingway's old apartment (Dearborn Street), Historic Firehouse (Chicago Avenue). For those looking for a more contemporary flair, I satisfy my craving with art: MCA Chicago.
3. Fashion & Shopping – Fashion, art and architecture go hand in hand. Home of the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street, the retail revelry includes a blend of internationally recognized stores as well as swanky boutiques: Barney's, Chanel, David Yurman, Escada, Hermes, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Restoration Hardware, Rolex, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany, Tom Ford, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Versace.
And just for men, high end clothing so chic, they're in a gallery: Gallery Aesthete
"Fashion is architecture: It is a matter of proportions." Coco Chanel
4. Coffee & Tea – Whether chai latte (imagine the scent of house made ginger) with coconut milk, black coffee, Jade Green or Oolong is your cup of tea, there are plenty of options in the neighborhood for a pick me up. My favorites: Argo Tea in Connor's Park (there's a piano that people play in the summer) and Three Arts Cafe at Restoration Hardware (for a casual yet luxurious feel similar to one at Hotel Costes in Paris, near the Jardin des Tuileries).
5. Sunshine & Skyline – Sunbathing while admiring the Chicago skyline at Oak Street Beach or head out on a boat on Lake Michigan.