Gold Coast, Chicago.
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A draw for Chicago’s wealthier citizens since the turn of the twentieth century, the Gold Coast is full of traditional mansions and deluxe modern day high-rises – but the glitz and glam doesn’t preclude vibrant scenes both day and night, with wining and dining options for practically any budget.

Most notable is the wild Rush & Division bar scene that explodes nightly along Division when budget-conscious college kids crash the raucous dives and gritty pubs that have been churning out hangovers since the 50s.

World-class eateries on Rush Street bring in powerful politicians looking to destroy massive steaks or intricate Italian cuisine, while restaurants on the surrounding blocks offer more affordable fare.

Daytime brings residents, zealous dog-toting fashionistas, and wide-eyed tourists to nearby Oak Street – frequently called Chicago’s Rodeo Drive – for some swanky shopping at the dozens of high-end boutiques, spas, custom clothiers, and the 900 North Michigan Shops Mall with its six levels of designer paradise, not to mention a stop at Fred’s for brunch and a view of Lake Michigan.

Architecture buffs will like the two residential blocks along the Gold Coast’s Astor Street, whose buildings are all part of the National Register of Historic Landmarks, while nearby Oak Street Beach – often considered the classiest beach in town – welcomes anyone looking to get their Vitamin D alongside Chicago’s elite.

Although living on the Gold Coast may require a hefty bank account, visiting is as affordable as a comfortable pair of shoes.

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Where to Go in the Gold Coast

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