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South Shore

Set on Chicago's picturesque lakefront, South Shore is southeast of the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. The South Shore Cultural Center, a wonderful neighborhood resource, began as The South Shore Country Club, a lakefront retreat restricted to Chicago's wealthiest residents. Now open to the public, it includes a nature center, a golf course, and a theater. On a sunny summer day, when culture and parties are not the most attractive lure, residents of South Shore have easy access to Rainbow Beach, one of Chicago's largest, most popular beaches.

The former home of First Lady Michelle Obama, this solidly middle class area quietly holds many hidden gems, both architectural and gastronomic. Helen's Restaurant is a modest diner serving down-home southern cooking and Italian Fiesta has been a South Side staple since 1951.

Although in the past neglected, the neighborhood is finally being given the recognition it deserves. Due to expansion between the first and second World Wars, the area is filled with luxury apartments and elegant houses, many of which have been updated. Rapidly gentrifying, South Shore is profiting from new development including high-rise condominiums with dazzling lake views. Also available are comfortable single-family homes, both modern and classic, as well as beautifully appointed condominium conversions.