Lake Forest (View Listings)

Lake Forest, IL

Lake Forest, an upscale, pristine suburb on Lake Michigan, is located 31 miles North of the Loop. Known for its winding, tree-lined streets and distinctive and stately homes, it has some of the best schools in Illinois.

The lake, bordering the entire eastern side of Lake Forest is, of course, the treasure of the community. Thousands of beach-goers, swimmers, and boaters enjoy the restored beachfront. The Lake Forest Open Lands Association manages more than 200 acres of open space and the community has been recognized with several Tree City U.S.A. awards. Retail shopping includes a mix of small shops, family-owned businesses and larger stores. The famed Market Square, built in 1916 by Howard Van Doren Shaw, was the first planned shopping mall in the country. The Square, which still retains a nostalgic turn-of-the-century ambiance, serves as the site for events such as the Deer Path Art League's annual Fall Festival of Art, Lake Forest Day Parade, and the annual holiday tree-lighting ceremony. Additional shopping is available at Founders' Square, which serves as the site for "Harvest Days" Celebration. In a recent community survey (2000), residents stated that "beauty and appearance" were the aspects they liked best about living in Lake Forest.


Homes in Lake Forest are generally custom built and feature large lot sizes. Traditional styles include Colonials, Tudors, Victorians and ranches.

Parks and Recreation

With seven community parks, a beach and boat launch area, and an 18-hole golf course, there is plenty to do in Lake Forest. Plus, a year-round Recreation Department and the Lake Forest Hospital Health Club are available for residents.


Lake Forest's public elementary students attend District 67,which has three kindergarten-through-4th grade schools, a middle school and one junior high. Lake Forest High School, District 115, has undergone substantial improvements, including a new academic wing with 21 teaching classrooms, six science laboratory classrooms and four science prep rooms, choral and band rooms and a 140-seat multi-purpose studio theater. Additional private schools, including Lake Forest College, are available.


The Tri-State Tollway (I-94)borders Lake Forest on the west; Skokie Highway (U.S.41) and Waukegan Road (I-43) both run within city limits. Drive time to the Loop is an hour. O'Hare Airport is 30-45 minutes away, while Midway Airport is an hour drive. There are two commuter train lines into Chicago that service the community. Milwaukee Road rail commuters can reach the Loop in 44 minutes by express train, and 63 minutes on the local. The Metra reaches the Loop in 50 minutes by express, and one hour on the local.

Population (2010 census): 19,375
Square Mileage: 16.9
Lake Forest Market Report