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Edgewater

First developed in the 1890s as a summer getaway spot for Chicago's elite, Edgewater's population declined in the 1950s when residents flocked to the suburbs. In the 1980s, however, the neighborhood was resuscitated; old buildings were renovated and fresh businesses joined the community. Now thriving once again, Edgewater, located just seven miles north of downtown, is a diverse neighborhood, enjoyed by families and singles, both wealthy and middle-class.
      
Bordered by Bryn Mawr Avenue on the south, Devon Avenue on the north, Ravenswood Avenue on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east, the area offers easy access to the Lakefront and all its concomitant joys. In the summer, athletic residents bike and run along the fantastic lake shore path, while families gather to barbeque and play Frisbee on the grassy expanses along the water. Even dogs have their own stretch of beach.

A surprisingly hopping area, Edgewater offers easy access to the CTA as well as a number of flourishing businesses and restaurants. National and local chains such as Starbucks and Mia Francesca mingle with neighborhood favorites like environmentally friendly Salon Echo. The section also boasts Redtwist, a tiny storefront theater. 
      
Although Edgewater has had many incarnations over the years, the numerous vintage homes and classic apartment buildings are reminders of the neighborhood's heyday. Housing options include high-rises, grey stone three- and six-flats, courtyard buildings and a variety of reasonably priced condominiums.  There are good deals to be had for rehabbers and investors.