Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Highland Park

Highland Park Jena Radnay May 31, 2023

If you were to close your eyes and picture the perfect community, what would that look like? If you live in the Chicago area, perhaps you imagine waking up to Lake Michigan views and walking along the beach in the early morning. Your dream may also include stopping in a chic coffee shop for breakfast and being just steps to nearly any type of restaurant imaginable. If that's how you envision your life in Chicago, then chances are, you're thinking of Highland Park, one of Chicago's most affluent suburbs.

For many, living in Highland Park is a dream come true. From its upscale boutiques to its fabulous music festival, Highland Park is the pinnacle of luxury living in the heart of Chicago, just 23 miles north of downtown. Set along the gorgeous lakeside, Highland Park has often been dubbed the heart of the North Shore. It has some of the most awe-inspiring vistas of
Lake Michigan and some of the best beaches in the city.

If you were to set foot in Highland Park, you would never know this picture-perfect suburb was just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. Highland Park is so far removed from the hustle and bustle of city living that you would swear you were in a completely different world. Take a stroll down the tree-lined streets, where you can see some of the community’s most exquisite lakeside estates and multi-million-dollar mansions.

If you have spent enough time in this affluent community, you might fall in love with it, and soon enough, you'll want to move here yourself. So, what is it like living in Highland Park? Is Highland Park as friendly and welcoming as it seems? If you are considering calling this charming city home, here's everything you need to know about moving to Highland Park.

It’s a small town within the city

With over 77 distinct neighborhoods to its name, Chicago is replete with unique communities. Of course, that's not even including the numerous suburbs surrounding the city. Considered a hidden gem of Chicago, Highland Park is known for its exceptionally beautiful lakeshores and for boasting one of the most charming downtown squares anywhere in the Chicago Metro.

Highland Park is an independent suburban city established in 1869. Today, Highland Park is home to around 30,000 residents and 900 locally-owned businesses. If you love walkable downtowns, Highland Park is the perfect fit. It has one of the state's best-preserved historic squares. From its charming boutiques to its fabulous restaurants, there's always something new to discover in Highland Park. Find fashion-forward clothing at Eileen Fisher, Central Boutique, and Sunflower, or seek out a unique gift for a loved one at Floral Gardens.

Highland Park is the perfect place to be outdoors

While Highland Park is best known for its vibrant downtown square, it's also arguably one of Chicago's best suburbs for enjoying the great outdoors. Whether it's the beach or the park, there's always somewhere you can find serenity or adventure!

Sitting right on the southern border of Highland Park is the incredible Chicago Botanic Garden, one of the city's most beloved public gardens. This spectacular garden, set on nearly 400 acres and nine interconnected islands, features an array of over 2.5 million plants in 27 impressive display gardens. If you're visiting on a beautiful day, pack a picnic lunch and relax under one of the park's willow trees to find your inner zen. And, if you’re looking for a fun time, head to one of the garden’s popular events! From cooking demonstrations and bird-watching groups to colored pencil workshops and walking workout tours, there is so much to do and see.

If you are a water enthusiast, look no further than the sands of stunning Rosewood Beach. Centrally located in Highland Park, Rosewood Beach is an award-winning beach just minutes from downtown Chicago. The beach also has a boardwalk, where you can explore the surrounding wooded area. It’s the perfect spot to take a dip in the water or enjoy a picnic under the sun.

Water adventurers unite at the North Shore Yacht Club, which hosts tons of fun social events, beach clean-ups, kayaking lessons, sailing races, and more. The Heller Nature Center is another popular spot to spend some time in the fantastic weather, with 97 acres of forested land, wetlands, and hiking trails. The nature center also hosts educational groups, nature trips, canoe expeditions, white-water rafting, and honey harvesting classes.

Don’t miss the world-famous music festival

If you have spent any amount of time in Highland Park, chances are you have heard the term "Ravinia." Of course, it’s one of Highland Park's most prominent neighborhoods, but the area's true claim to fame is its iconic music festival — you don’t want to miss the fun and entertainment! While many cities have their own summer concert series, very few can compare to the spectacle of Ravinia.

Historically, the Ravinia Festival was a popular concert venue for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Today, over 100 astounding performances take the stage from June through September, with standout concerts for kids like a live orchestra rendition of Disney’s Encanto and a Jurassic Park performance by the Chicago Philharmonic. For six weeks, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra graces the stage with enchanting music from award-winning pianists, guest conductors, and orchestrators. Many star-studded performers have taken the mic through the years, including Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, and Aretha Franklin. There’s even a carousel stage, a holographic theater, and tons of great food.

Highland Park features some of Chicago’s most beautiful homes

While there are so many reasons to love Highland Park, one of its most prominent features is its luxury real estate landscape. In a city like Chicago, there is no shortage of architectural masterpieces, especially if you explore some of the city's most iconic neighborhoods, including Lincoln Park and the South Loop. Yet, even by Chicago standards, Highland Park boasts some of the most spectacular properties you will find anywhere. If you are an architecture enthusiast, Highland Park is the place to be. This idyllic city boasts many architectural styles, including Georgian Revival, Colonial Revival, and Queen Anne.

Beyond the traditional styles, Highland Park is also home to uniquely charming properties designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: the Mary M.W. Adams House, the Sylvester Millard House, and the Ward W. Willits House. If you're searching for something extraordinary and a sense of luxury, check out some of Highland Park's astounding lakefront estates and upscale condos. With over five miles of beaches, Highland Park has many multi-million dollar homes overlooking the shimmering Lake Michigan landscape.

Find your dream home in Highland Park

Are you ready to make your move to Highland Park? Whether it's your first or forever home, you deserve a top-tier Highland Park real estate agent who will help you secure the home of your dreams. If you want to get results, you need Jena Radnay on your side. Named the #1 Individual Broker in Illinois, Jena goes above and beyond to ensure her clients achieve all their goals. When you need an expert in Highland Park luxury homes, you can count on Jena for expert guidance. Get started today!

*Header photo courtesy of Jena Radnay

Work With Jena

Jena Radnay, and the focus of her real estate business, is all about people. Radnay’s love for real estate, houses, marketing, and people have allowed her business to grow organically, albeit explosively, in large part from referrals from her extensive network of contacts and connections.