7 Reasons To Love Chicago’s South Loop Neighborhood
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If you’ve spent any time in Chicago recently, chances are you know just how much the South Loop neighborhood is heating up these days. Home to “Chicago’s front yard”, the area is ripe with green space, waterfront fun, great dining and shopping, and some really spectacular new apartment communities. Read on for our top 7 reasons to love Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood (and why it should be on your apartment hunting radar).
Situated along Lake Michigan, not only does South Loop living provide gorgeous water views, you can also take advantage of the Chicago Lakefront Trail that spans the length of the South Shore, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park and Lake View neighborhoods. The trail is 18.5 miles long and is comprised of beaches, vollyball courts, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, playgrounds and soccer fields. Walking along the trail also grants you access to popular attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium, the South Shore Cultural Center, Lincoln Park Zoo, Soldier Field, several parks and harbors and multiple notable museums (more on that later).
Wide Open Spaces
One green space of note is “Chicago’s front yard”, the sizeable Grant Park (319 acres, to be exact), home to Millenium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Insitute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. Millenium Park features several notable pieces of public art including Cloud Gate (perhaps better known by it’s nickname “The Bean”), which has easily become one of the most photographed attractions in Chicago. It is also the site of Chicago’s annual Christmas tree lighting as well as the Jay Pritzker Pavillion, a 4,000 seat outdoor performing arts venue. Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest in the world, operates from April to October, providing water shows throughout the day and colored water shows in the evening.
Along the shore of Lake Michigan, you’ll also find the Museum Campus, created in the 1990s to transform the area surrounding notable museums such as the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History. The Field Museum is noted for being both one of the largest and most well-respected museums of its kind throughout the world. Another notable museum in the South Loop area is the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the oldest and largest in the country. Founded in 1879, the museum has undergone multiple expansions in order to accomodate the growing collection of historic art work.
Being home to many popular tourist destinations has a number of perks, including an abundance of transportation options. The South Loop essentially serves as a convergence point with nearly all of the Chicago Metra‘s train lines landing in or just outside of the areas boundaries. Chicago Union Station sits just north of the South Loop and is the third busiest rail terminal in the country, serving both Metra Rail and Amtrak riders. The South Loop is also home to 30 bus lines and has a Walk Score of 92, Transit Score of 93 and a Bike Score of 89, making it Chicago’s 11th most walkable neighborhood.
Part of what makes this neighborhood so walkable is all of the great shopping within a concentrated area. The Shops at Roosevelt Collection is home to some of our favorites, including H&M, Banana Republic and The Container Store and is walkable from most South Loop locations. Southgate Market is another great shopping center, home to PetSmart, Marshalls, Michaels and Whole Foods. Other great options for grocery shopping include Trader Joe’s and Jewel-Osco. Check out a few more local favorites for shopping in the South Loop.
One thing the South Loop is certainly not short on in dining options. According to Walk Score, the area is home to more than 569 restaurants and people living in the area can get to an average of 16 restaurants, bars and coffee shops within 5 minutes! A couple favorites include The Scout, a playful neighborhood spot where “the menu was inspired by a classic American road trip”. Some notable menu items include the entire section of footlong grilled cheese sandwiches served with house-made tomato basil dip and the raved-about pulled chicken nachos. Another great casual option is Flo and Santos, a thin crust pizza and perogi joint on the super hot South Wabash Ave. If you’re looking for a special night out, check out Mercat a la Planxa for high-end tapas style dining (try the sangria and bacon wrapped dates) or The Gage for a Gastro-Pub inspired meal and excellent customer service.
If you’ve fallen as much in love with the South Loop in reading this as we have in writing it, you might just be thinking about making a move. If you’re looking to make this neighborhood home, you have to put 1333 South Wabash on your apartment hunting list. This gorgeous brand new apartment community is eco-friendly, pet-friendly, amenity packed and features gorgeous views of the city and waterfront from most apartments. On nights where you decide to stay in, you’ll love whipping up a meal in the European-style chef’s kitchens. Schedule your tour now, thank us later. LEARN MORE.
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