Looking for a life of luxury? Consider Chicago’s Gold Coast the “gold standard” when it comes to REAL ESTATE.

Back in the 1800’s, Chicago’s famed Gold Coast housed the city’s elite, including the famous architects and Real Estate moguls who built the Columbian Exposition, aka Chicago’s World’s Fair. Millionaire and famed Chicago businessman, Potter Palmer, started the trend with the construction of his castle on Lake Shore Drive. Over the next several decades, the city’s aristocrats followed him, and homes in the Gold Coast became some of the most sought after REAL ESTATE in Chicago.

Today, not much has changed, as this elegant neighborhood continues to be called home by the city’s upper class. While some single-family homes still exist, the most coveted Real Estate consists of beautiful vintage buildings that overlook the lake. Further inland, you’ll also find a number of high-rise apartment buildings along Lake Shore Drive, facing Lake Michigan, and low-rise residential blocks. It’s easy to see why buyers, sellers, and realtors alike are completely smitten with the neighborhood.

In my time with @ Properties, I’ve had the good fortune to sell a number of apartments at 1550 N. State Parkway, designed by the famed architect, Benjamin Marshall, and one of my favorite buildings in the city. Another favorite is the newly restored Ambassador West Hotel and now converted to elegant and spacious condominium homes. Click here to see more Gold Coast Real Estate.

Properties in this neighborhood are considered to be among the most prime Real Estate in the city, with condo and home values in the Gold Coast ranging from $135,000 for a studio condominium to $18 million for an estate on Dearborn Parkway. There’s certainly no shortage of local gems in this neighborhood, either. My five favorites below will give you a little taste of what you’ll find in the Gold Coast:

North Avenue lakefront
There’s no better pick-me-up than a walk along the lakefront at North Avenue. Stop to watch the fierce chess matches between locals, dip your toes in the sand, or simply park yourself on a bench to people watch with the breathtaking Chicago skyline as your backdrop.

Stop by this European-style bakery to have your own, Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment, and savor what is arguably the best croissant you will ever taste. Be sure to bring your oversized sunglasses!

RL Restaurant
When you tire of window-shopping at the area’s most upscale designer stores (think Chanel, Prada, and Hermes, just to name a few) head to Ralph Lauren’s namesake restaurant–the high-end designer’s first venture into the culinary world. Sitting next to the largest Polo store in the world, it’s exactly the right amount of British posh you’ve come to expect from Ralph Lauren, and will leave you wanting for, well… absolutely nothing.

Le Colonial
This french-asian bistro on Rush Street transports guests to another bygone era — the enchanting tropical 1920s Southeast Asia. Voted one of Chicago’s most romantic restaurants, it’s also one of the city’s most unique.

The Drake Hotel
You haven’t fully experienced Chicago without a trip to The Drake. First opening on New Years Eve in the 1920’s, this historic hotel still hasn’t lost that old-time charm. Cocktails at the Coq D’Or — one of the first bars to serve alcohol after the end of prohibition — are a non-negotiable. As is high tea in the Palm Court, which was once graced by Queen Elizabeth herself.

What do you look for in the Top Gold Coast Realtors & Real Estate Agents? Someone with a vast understanding of Chicago neighborhoods? How about an invaluable partner and fierce advocate? You should never settle for anyone who isn’t always striving to exceed your expectations!

1st time home buyer? Before shopping for a home, get great tips and to find out Debra’s answers to the top four most common questions that she receives! Click here.

If you’re looking for more information on the Gold Coast neighborhood, or a realtor to guide you through the various real estate options the area provides, I’d love to talk with you!

The Neighborhood at a glance

Boundaries: The Gold Coast is defined by it’s borders on North Avenue and Division Street to the north, Lake Michigan on the East, Chicago Avenue on the south and Clark and Franklin on the west. Nearby neighborhoods include Streeterville, River North, and Old Town.

  • Walk score: 96

    • The third most walkable neighborhood in Chicago!

  • Bike Score: 74

    • The Gold Coast is quite biker friendly, and also includes several Divvy stations.

  • Public Transit: 91

  • All areas are very accessible with the El’s Brown, Purple, and Red lines.


Aside from the notable Real Estate, The Gold Coast is quite close in proximity to some of the best schools in the city, including:

  • Walter Payton College Prep

  • Ogden International School

  • The Latin School

Hooked on the Gold Coast? Check out our @properties Gold Coast listings here!

What makes Debra your top Chicago realtor and the best of the best?

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I’m dedicated to finding you that perfect place that you can call your dream home.

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