Nestled in between the Loop to the North, the Prairie District to the South, the Museum Campus and Lake Michigan to the East, and the Medical District and Chinatown to the West, you’d think the Near South Side would be absolutely bumping with energy. But, that’s not quite right—the area is a surprisingly serene and laidback neighborhood right in the middle of all of that hustle and bustle.
Initially settled by canal workers and lumber companies, the Near South Side has been inhabited primarily by industrial and commercial interests even prior to belonging to the city proper. Until, that is, the 1990s saw a demand for housing explode and affordable land and loft space started getting snatched up quickly. Now, high-rise apartment and condominium buildings dominate the area along with renovated lofts and converted warehouse space occupied primarily by professionals who work downtown or in the Medical District, and artists who appreciate the studio and gallery space.
Now, don’t mistake a tranquil spot in an otherwise busy city as being boring; quite the opposite. Frankly, it’s in the middle of everything! Easy access to the lake, world-class museums, the Lakefront Trail, concerts on Northerly Island, art galleries, food and drink and on and on. Anything you could possibly want is all close by.
Living on the edge of Downtown means that the Near South Side is also very accessible. The CTA has you covered with every transportation option they have on offer, and the whole area is easily navigated on bike or foot. Or roller skate. If you need to go a little farther, Lake Shore Drive and all the major highways are right there, as well.