Winnetka is often cited as one of the best places to live in Illinois and there are so many reasons why.

Image of a brick driveway leading to a large house with two statues of dogs in front of it

Welcome to Winnetka

Premier vibrant lakeside living on the North Shore
Winnetka is a picturesque village just a short drive north of Chicago. The name comes from a Native American word meaning “beautiful land.” One look at the tree-lined streets and the pristine waterfront, and you realize the name fits perfectly. 

Winnetka is part of the famous North Shore area. In 2020, it was cited as one of the best places to live by 24/7 Wall Street. Several architectural styles are prevalent throughout town; the main one is English Tudor. Dutch Colonial, Georgian, Art Deco, and Contemporary are the other styles you will find here. 

Winnetka’s beauty has caught the eye of filmmakers, and it has been the backdrop for various movies. Cult classic movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Home Alone, and others were filmed here. In the end, though, people come to Winnetka more because there is a good sense of community here. Winnetka has an excellent school system; it is accessible to downtown Chicago, and many houses here have larger lot sizes and outdoor spaces than in the city. 

What to Love

  • Accessible to downtown Chicago
  • Growing community
  • Fantastic food and shopping

Local Lifestyle

Winnetka is a close, family-friendly community. It has several parks and beaches, and the town hosts fun activities throughout the year. There are gorgeous lakefront homes; others are just a quick car or bike ride away from the shore. Although Winnetka is a suburb, it has kept its elegance and charm (partly because it has rejected the look of strip malls in favor of attractive, upscale boutiques and restaurants). 

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Whether you want a quick breakfast on the way to work or you are meeting friends for lunch, Hometown Coffee & Juice has you covered. They serve coffee, sandwiches, and soups. This family-owned cafe has a sleek, modern decor, and they have seating out front too. When you are in the mood for something different, look no further than Kyoto Sushi. They have been a staple in Winnetka for years — cozy with limited seating, plus carryout. Locals frequent the bistro Pomeroy in downtown Winnetka for its delicious French cuisine. The Tomato Tarte appetizer with its warm buttery crust is a favorite. Pomeroy has ample room inside; however, on warmer days, some dine in front to people-watch. In addition, they have an intimate courtyard complete with a fireplace and heaters for those chilly evenings.
Winnetka has many unique stores and boutiques to satisfy that shopping urge; Ellen’s on Elm is one such place. At Ellen’s, you can get an engraved or monogrammed gift for someone special and receive complimentary gift wrapping while you wait. The robin’s egg blue accents at the entrance of Bunny and Babe give the shop a light and airy feel. Named after style icons Bunny Mellon and Babe Paley, Bunny and Babe is an exclusive Winnetka boutique carrying designer women’s fashion and accessories. The Neapolitan Collection has been featured in publications such as Town and Country and Harper’s Bazaar. This high-end boutique offers clothing and accessories from renowned designers like Gucci and Christian Dior.

Things to Do

The Winnetka Children’s Fair is a two-day event celebrating the end of the school year and fundraising for the Winnetka Community Nursery School. They have food, drinks, music, rides, and games. Every June, there is a two-day concert, the Winnetka Music Festival, that everyone enjoys. Winnetka starts Independence Day celebrations with a parade at Duke Childs Field and then a fireworks show at the Winnetka Park District. At Christmas time, Winnetka host the annual tree lighting followed by caroling and hot cocoa. 

If the beach is what you seek, Winnetka won’t disappoint. You can walk and play in the water with your furry friend at Centennial Beach. If you want to swim, Maple Street or Tower Road Beach is for you. You can swim and use non-motorized boats at Elder Lane Beach, or you can visit Lloyd Beach for motorized boating.  


There are a handful of public grade schools, allowing for smaller class sizes, and one public high school. Parents take an active role in their children’s education, and the school system is highly rated. Students may attend:

Overview for Winnetka, IL

12,658 people live in Winnetka, where the median age is 42.6 and the average individual income is $143,109. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

42.6 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Demographics and Employment Data for Winnetka, IL

Winnetka has 4,353 households, with an average household size of 2.91. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Winnetka do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 12,658 people call Winnetka home. The population density is 3,321.01 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

50.15 / 49.85%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Schools in Winnetka, IL

All ()
Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby Winnetka. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
School rating
PreK - K
No rating available
5th - 6th
No rating available
North Shore Country Day School
PreK - 12th
No rating available
New Trier Township H S Winnetka
10th - 12th
Crow Island Elementary School
PreK - 4th
Greeley Elementary School
PreK - 4th
Hubbard Woods Elementary School
PreK - 4th
The School Of Saints Faith Hope & Charity
PreK - 8th
No rating available
Sacred Heart School
PreK - 8th
No rating available
Carleton W Washburne School
7th - 8th
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