An Insider’s Tour of Lincoln Park, Chicago (with Little Known Secrets)

Today, I’m going to guide you through the awesome neighborhood of Lincoln Park, in Chicago.

Lincoln Park Location

Lincoln Park, named after Abraham Lincoln, is one of 77 neighborhoods in Chicago, and located on the north side, just two miles from the magnificent mile, and all the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. Bordering Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Chicago, and has around 68,000 residents.

Lincoln Park Housing

This fantastic neighborhood boasts a variety of residential architectures including loft condos converted from old factories and warehouses, amazing high rises along the lake, vintage walk-up townhouses, brownstones, modern condos, and unique revitalized single-family homes.

I love the vintage homes, and the beautiful old bungalows that have been given a makeover but still reflect their original features. These historic homes are a huge piece of Chicago history, have so much character, and their stories really speak to me. 

Lincoln Park Restaurants, Bars & Entertainment

Lincoln Park features a wide variety of restaurants and fun bars that have patios where you can hang out with friends, have dinner, dance or drink all night.

One of the most popular bars is called Replay. It’s actually referred to as a “barcade”, because they have arcade games like Pac-Man, Pinball machines, basketball games and Skee-Ball. And there’s no cover which is amazing. My husband wants to kill me every time we go because I’m super competitive and always kick his butt in Skee-Ball.

The best part of Replay is the pop-ups, where they have a theme and completely change the bar decor to reflect that theme. They’ve done a Friends pop-up which was so popular people came from out of State. The Harry Potter night, with butter beer and Harry Potter themed foods, was life-changing (I’m a huge fan!).

There are a diverse range of nightlife spaces in this neighborhood, made up of a mix of low-key dives, hotel roof bars, and blues clubs, which cater to a variety of demographics, from college students, to young professionals, to families.

There are also plenty of live music venues and performing arts spaces in the area, such as Steppenwolf Theater, Greenhouse Theater Center and the Apollo Theater. There is really something for everyone here.

Lincoln Park Shopping

The Armitage and Halsted area of Lincoln Park is where shoppers can find a variety of small boutiques and high-end retailers including the Apple store or Foxtrot Market.

Foxtrot is awesome — the vibe is like a chic and laid-back grocery store. Along with gourmet coffee they sell a huge variety of craft beers from local vendors, fine wines and really yummy food. With outdoor seating in the back, patio in the front, and wheelchair accessibility, Foxtrot Market is the perfect place to shop every single day.

Lincoln Park Attractions

Lincoln Park is known as one of the top tourist destinations in all of Chicago due to its rich art and culture scene, beautiful beaches, the city’s biggest park and the popular Lincoln Park Zoo.

Lincoln Park Zoo is free, and it’s the oldest zoo in all of North America. It stretches 35 acres right into the heart of Lincoln Park. This is one of our favorite places to go as a family all year round. There are so many fantastic areas to explore and it’s fun and exciting for both kids and adults.  The rotating exhibits keep everything fresh, so every time you visit you discover something new.

The Zoo also features an aquarium, rainforest, penguins, planetarium, and an amazing living roof. During the winter months they host an awesome light display with Christmas carollers, where you can buy hot chocolate and libations. Keep in mind this is a lakefront zoo so always make sure you bundle up. 

All these attractions have a great deal of impact on the local economy so you can easily find jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors of Lincoln Park if that’s something you’re interested in.  

Lincoln Park Access

Lincoln Park is in a very easily accessible location. Few Chicago neighborhoods can match the advantages that Lincoln Park offers. Barely a mile from downtown, there’s a wide range of public transport options that make this neighborhood so easy to access from almost every area in Chicago. Lincoln Park is served by three bus lines — the brown, the red, and the purple lines — and it’s super walkable.  

Lincoln Park Green Space

One of the biggest things that sets Lincoln Park apart from other community areas in Chicago is its abundance of green space, specifically Lincoln Park, which is Chicago’s largest park. The park spans over 1200 acres and it has a lot of things to keep you busy especially during the warmer months.  

You can enjoy beaches, lake front trails, gardens, the Lincoln Park conservatory, nature museums and the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool on the lake.  There are also places to play basketball, baseball, and volleyball, archery fields, a state park and a golf course. As parents, my husband and I love Lincoln Park because it’s so important for us to have a lot of outdoor activities that are easily accessible for our family to enjoy.

Lincoln Park Schools & Universities

There are more than 20 outstanding elementary, middle and high schools in Lincoln Park, many of which have a great school rating of nine or above. The highly rated schools are another part of what makes Lincoln Park a very family-friendly neighborhood. 

Lincoln Park is home to DePaul University which is one of the largest private Catholic universities in the country. High-rated elementary schools in the area include Lincoln Elementary School, Meyer Elementary School and Prescott Elementary School. This last school won the national blue ribbon school award from the US Department of Education in 2019, and Chicago Magazine named Prescott number 13 out of 400 elementary schools in Chicago.

Lincoln Park Safety

The Lincoln Park community area is patrolled by the 18th and 19th Police Districts of Chicago who do a fantastic job keeping the neighborhood and its residents safe. I’ve never felt as though I was in danger any time I’ve been in Lincoln Park. Its total crime index in both 2019 and 2020, was less than half other communities close by.

Lincoln Park Real Estate Price Guide

The average rental cost in Lincoln Park is around $1,846 per month and the average home sale price in Lincoln Park is around $560,000. This is more expensive than the overall Chicago average sale price of $324,000, but you are paying for all the benefits that come with this location.

Lincoln Park is the perfect neighborhood for those looking for all the perks of urban living along with plenty of open green space and outdoor activities. Most people associate Lincoln Park with an upscale housing market, but homebuyers can find options on the market that fall below those higher price points. Oftentimes we see glamorous Lincoln Park mansions that are sold for millions making the headlines, but Lincoln Park is home to some more reasonable price options as well. I’ve seen recent listings that are priced below $200,000, so you just have to be working with someone who knows the neighborhood and the market.  

Much of what we’ve discussed in this article is what helps make Lincoln Park one of the most desirable community areas in all of Chicago. When you consider the tourism buzz, tree-lined streets, easy accessibility, low crime rate, well-developed neighborhoods, and close proximity to Lake Michigan, you understand why this is a sought after housing and rental market. It’s truly a wonderful place to live or visit.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to learn more about the exciting neighborhood of Lincoln Park, you’re going to have to give us a call, shoot us a text or email us. Days, nights, weekends, we’re your go to when it comes to anything Chicago.

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