Gold Coast

The Gold Coast Neighborhood in Chicago lives up to its name in every way. Not only does it abut the sparkling coast of Lake Michigan, but it is well known as a haven for luxury shopping, dining, and living. 


But that’s not all that Gold Coast has to offer.


When you visit it for a vacation or a business trip, you’ll find this district is rich (no pun intended) with historical charm and unique entertainment, such as the International Museum of Surgical Science – the only museum of surgical science in the United States – and the world-famous Immersive Van Gogh exhibit.


Here are the top 8 things to do in Gold Coast, Chicago. 



1. Admire 19th Century Architecture In The Historic District


The Gold Coast neighborhood got its glorious start when millionaire Potter Palmer moved into the area in 1882 after the Great Chicago Fire. He turned the swampland into a habitable land of manicured lawns and well-kept streets and built a sprawling mansion. 


Soon, other wealthy Chicagoans followed Palmer’s lead and built their mansions in what would come to be known as the Gold Coast, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country by the 1980s. 


Today, you will find those same, now historic mansions (including the Former Playboy Mansion). In the Astor Street District, you can walk along the sidewalk and admire the 19th-century houses that still bear their original architecture.


Just exploring the streets of Gold Coast is a fascinating, time-traveling experience that you won’t want to skip over.



2. Drink In Views Of Lake Michigan


You can’t visit Gold Coast without paying a visit to the coast!


The sandy beaches of the Lake Michigan shoreline extend 300 miles through multiple states. Near Gold Coast, you’ll find plenty of lovely beach areas where you can stretch your legs, wade in the refreshing lake water, and drink in stunning views of the water, horizon, and, behind you, the city of Chicago. 



3. Shop At High-End Boutiques


Are designer boutiques and luxury shopping your kryptonite? If so, then Gold Coast will tempt you beyond your ability to resist. We’re talking top-tier designer names, including Giorgio Armani, Prada, Chanel, and Hermes.


Not to mention local high-end boutiques you won’t find anywhere else, like Morgenthal Frederics, St. John Boutique, Loro Piana, and Vince.


By the end of your shopping trip, you’ll be decked out from head to toe in the finest clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories – all from the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago.



4. Experience Unique Dining


With an affluent neighborhood comes premium, unique, and sometimes quirky dining experiences. 


For example, you could stop by Maple & Ash and order a steak, which will be cooked for you over an open fire. You could also eat breakfast at the 3rd Coast Café, located inside one of the neighborhood’s famous historic buildings.


Or if you want to feel really fancy, dine at the Ambassador Room, a supper club where many famous celebrities have been sighted since the restaurant’s opening in the 1930s.



5. Immerse Yourself In the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit At Lighthouse Artspace


The Immersive Van Gogh exhibit is now showing at the Lighthouse Artspace in Gold Coast. Believe us when we say, you don’t want to miss it!


This exhibit takes you inside the mind of Van Gogh himself and brings his paintings to larger than life with animations and flashing lights. It’s a mind-blowing experience that matches the artistic flair and grandeur of Gold Coast.



6. Tour The International Museum Of Surgical Science


Did you know that there is only one International Museum of Surgical Science in the United States, and it’s located in Gold Coast, Chicago? This lakefront edifice features a permanent collection of “arts and artifacts” tracking the history of Medicine.


This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t find anywhere else in North America. See vintage surgical equipment and pharmacy bottles and learn about the long and storied history of the science that we take for granted today. 



7. Peruse The Newberry Research Library


If you are a true bibliophile and/or history buff, perusing the Newberry Research Library during your visit to Gold Coast is an absolute must. 


The Newberry was founded in 1887. Since then, its collection has grown to contain 1.6 million books, 600,000 maps, and 5 million manuscript pages.


In addition to these printed works, you will find reading rooms where you can take a quiet breather from your tour of the Gold Coast, and exhibition galleries where you can learn more about local art or history. 



8. Move In!


When you visit Gold Coast, we challenge you to not be so blown away by its historicity and luxury charm that you want to move there. 


But after all, why not move to Gold Coast? There is no shortage of lovely apartments and houses for you to live in. It’s the perfect place to retire or to get away from the rat race of Chicago proper. 


And now is a great time to buy apartments or houses in the Gold Coast.


As of the writing of this article, the Gold Coast real estate market is considered a buyer’s market by Realtor, which means that there are more homes than there are buyers. Furthermore, the median buying price of houses is trending downward.


Imagine waking up every day and getting to walk down streets lined with gorgeous houses and mansions from the 19th century, as if history itself is gazing benevolently down on you.


You go into a café, order a cup of coffee, and then either walk or drive down to the beach to watch the sunlight sparkle over Lake Michigan.


Everything you could need to live the high life – clothes, jewelry, food, entertainment – is here in this neighborhood. 


Come visit Gold Coast, Chicago!


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