"Impressive and Exclusive North Shore Community" Lake Forest by deecat

Lake Forest Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 38 photos

Picturesque and Historic Lake Forest

When Allan and I lived in Lake Bluff, we spent a great deal of time and money in the neighboring town of Lake Forest. The two towns almost run together, and the students at Lake Bluff end up going to the Lake Forest High School.

Lake Forest is 31 miles north of Chicago and is located on the west shore of LAKE MICHIGAN. This remarkable town is noted for natural beauty, preservation of historic structures, beautiful mansions, and a vibrant business district.

It is a wealthy community and one only need to note that in "1999, the average sale price of a single-family home was $821,316.00"!

Historically, the town was founded in 1852, and The Lake Forest Plan used a general concept of the "city in a park, with its streets laid out in an organic manner that takes into account....the ravines, lake bluffs, etc. instead of forcing the street plan into a formal gridiron plan".

When it was first developed, the original planners made roads that provided limited access to the city to keep it tranquil and isolated. The area called East Lake Forest near Lake Michigan remains rather secluded still today. This is the area that includes many of the distinguished mansions and estates.

Abundant Educational Opportunities

In this affluent enclave, education is of utmost importance.
Some say that the town of Lake Forest was built around Lake Forest College which is a beautiful Private four-year college that exemplifies the understated wealth of this historic city.

In addition, Lake Forest is also noted for Lake Forest Academy which is a private Prep School within the city limits.

Also, Lake Forest Country Day School [1-12]is a private school where many local students attend and go on to prestigious eastern prep schools. I can attest to Lake Forest Country Day School because my daughter Jill attended this school for two years.

And, finally, Lake Forest Public Schools are noted for their fine educational opportunities. In all these educational institutions, it is obvious from the buildings alone [wonderful architecture] that the people of Lake Forest value and place a high priority on their children's education.

Famous for its History of Polo

Lake Forest was once the farthest-west establishment of Polo in the nation. Today, Lake Forest continues its love of Polo, which is played yearly throughout August.

I remember when I read F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, that Lake Forest was where the lead character, Tom Buchanan's polo ponies were bred. Some people go as far as to say that The Great Gatsby was a mirror of Lake Forest at that time.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Picturesque, scenic, architectually historic
  • Cons:Somewhat Exclusive
  • In a nutshell:A naturally beautiful and architectually historic Town
  • Last visit to Lake Forest: Sep 2007
  • Intro Updated Oct 10, 2007
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Reviews (17)

Comments (31)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    The Historic Market Square Center looks marvelous Dee! Ofcourse the Steeds of Apollo would catach my eye for sure. Its places like these that makes traveling enjoyable. Another excellent page!

  • jillzi's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Super restuarant tips with accurate descriptions. What wonderful shopping tips. Market Square is lovely. Quite a beautiful town.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Hi, Dee! >< Thanx for your splendid restaurant tips! ~ Great example for me how to write....

  • Nov 27, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    I've heard about the wealth on the North Shore, and I say, "What an exclusive place, but quite beautiful." The food does sound fantastic.

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2009 at 4:38 PM

    i came to this page as i was nostalgic about illinois and to show off. yes, my nephew in chicago asked me where to go and i will now be able to advise Lake Forest of course -D. very informative, your pages and pictures are always educating to read.

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2009 at 1:58 AM

    Reading your tips does make it sound like Gatsby! Very interesting place. Hope your birthday is a blast. Enjoy.

  • rozehill's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2008 at 3:02 PM

    Lake Forest looks absolutely enchanting and you do it proud with your fabulous tips and photos. So interesting and I can't wait to see it and relive your past with you!

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Goodness, shopping and eating out seem to have absorbed you so much there that you forgot to show us Lake Michigan and the mansions you mention in the intro. :) Can't blame you though, the temptations were great, I admit.

  • MJB123's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Hello Dee. Thanks for posting these VT Pages on Lake Forest. I may not ever be rich enough to live in there so they are the next best thing to driving the Bentley back to my mansion after a power lunch at the Bank Lane Bistro.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Speaking of Restaurant tips, you have a very impressive collection yourself on this page! The range of food selections is amazing - but I'd have to go slowly for my wallet's sake! Nice that the locals rallied to save the beautiful old train station.


“Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow, a promissory note; today is the only cash you have; spend it wisely. Kay Lyons”

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