Gold Coast: The epic high-rises of the Gold Coast look out upon Lake Michigan. Lake Shore Drive winds through this neighborhood and along these boulevards you'll find shops to make a fashionista's heart skip a beat. But this isn't just the site of Vera Wang and Armani boutiques. Some of Chicago's best restaurants are located in the Gold Coast. The Pump Room, Table Fifty-Two and the original Morton's all call the Gold Coast neighborhood home. With this blend of fashion, food and high-end property rentals, you just might want to call it home, too.
Old Town: True to its name, this Near North Side neighborhood blends the old Chicago with the new. While the Great Chicago Fire destroyed much of the city's original grid pattern and many historic buildings, you can still find streets and alleys that predate this tragedy in Old Town. Home to rambling Victorian homes, the neighborhood has gentrified in recent decades. Home to The Second City comedy troupe, you can still find great entertainment in Old Town, but expect the scene to move a bit slower here. If you're looking for a respite from booming Chicago city life, you may want to explore the apartments for rent in Old Town.
Goose Island: Named after an Irish immigrant community that supposedly raised geese in Chicago, Goose Island has a complicated history. Formed by the building of a canal along its east side, Goose Island became an industrial center. Recently, there was talk of converting the industrial island into condominiums, making use of the ideal riverfront location and breathtaking views of downtown. But in 1990, this change was halted when Mayor Richard Daley moved to declare the site a "Protected Manufacturing District." You won't find condos for rent here.
River North: Home to posh art galleries, clubs and tourist bars, River North is a great place to look for loft space. With 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for rent, expect breathtaking views and a glittering art house night scene. You may want to inquire about all bills paid apartments.
Streeterville: One of the poshest addresses on the Near North Side, this neighborhood is also home to some of Chicago's most luxurious hotels. For a spa day or a ritzier home-away-from-home experience, this just might be the place. If you're in Chicago checking out rental apartments, consider booking a few nights at one of the impressive hotels of Streeterville.
Magnificent Mile: Located on Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile neighborhood is one of the most famous shopping districts in North America. Home to both low- and high-end shops like H&M and couture shops like Chanel, expect to be tempted to buy when perusing these streets. Just don't leave home without your wallet.
SoNo: As the name implies, SoNo is south of North Avenue. An up-and-coming neighborhood with a growing residential district, this is where you can find less trendy, but more regular stores. But even the "regular stores" have to stand out. Case in point: SoNo's Whole Foods is the third-largest in the world.
Don't move in the winter. While Chicago doesn't always see as much snow as its more northern neighbors, mother nature is still fiercer than the fashion on Michigan Avenue come December. Fall or spring make for much easier moves.
This is a competitive area. So while you won't have the kind of trouble finding a 1-bedroom apartment that you'd have in other metropolitan locations, you may struggle to claim it quick enough -- act fast. Be prepared to make an offer the same day as your on-site apartment tour.
Now might be the time to downsize. Navigating the busy city streets of Near North Side with a sofa in tow certainly isn't impossible, but it will be challenging. Besides, you're moving to one of the shopping meccas of the North American continent. Now might be the time to move only your cherished items and then restock after you move.
Transit: In the Near North Side, a car just isn't worth the hassle. Chicago's famous L-train runs three lines in and out of the Near North Side. You'll also have easy access to numerous bus lines and taxis. Should you find yourself on Navy Pier, make use of the free trolleys running seven days a week during the pier's open hours.
Shopping: Rivaling Paris and NYC for fashion shops and boutiques, we dare you not to find what you're looking for on Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue.
Clubbin' it: This is the home of Rush Street. Need we say more?
Bottom Line: If glitz, glamour and Midwestern values are your scene, look no further than Chicago's Near North Side.