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Lake Bluff

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Lake Bluff is the furthermost community in the cluster of prestigious northern Chicago suburbs known as the North Shore. Located along Lake Michigan, Lake Bluff is bounded to the north by Naval Station Great Lakes, the United States Navy’s only boot camp, and to the west by the neighborhood of Knollwood and the Knollwood Golf Club.

To the south, the village shares a border with the city of Lake Forest. The two communities are linked not only by geography, but also by history, economy, and social life. But while Lake Forest is famous for its historic estates and gracious luxury lifestyle, Lake Bluff is known for its small town Americana charm, down to earth sensibilities, and strong sense of community.

Stepping into downtown Lake Bluff is like going back in time. Excellently preserved turn-of-the-20th-century buildings, homes, and structures line widely paved, tranquil streets. The redbrick train station that first served the community in 1904 remains standing to this day as a Metra Rail Station. Instead of large estates, the majority of homes in the village are more regular, family-size properties that allow residents to develop close ties with their neighbors. And every year, the community gets together in various events and festivities, many of which are held at the historic village green where a charming white gazebo takes centerstage.

The outdoors also plays an important role in the Lake Bluff way of life. The village covers an area of 4.08 square miles, and around 26% of this is dedicated to open space, parks, and recreation centers. And, of course, there’s the gorgeous Lake Michigan beach, where residents spend long hours doing water sports and other activities with friends and family.

The village is a close-knit community of around 5,569. The adult population is highly educated, with nearly 80% having at least a bachelor’s degree, and about 40% of this group hold a master’s degree.

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A Brief HistoryOf Lake Bluff IL

The Potawatami people were among the earliest inhabitants of Lake Bluff. Two years after they ceded the land to the government in the 1833 Treaty of Chicago, European settlers came to establish homesteads in the area. When the first railroad through Lake County was completed in 1855, a depot was established here, and a town named Rockland grew around it.

In 1875, a group of Methodist ministers purchased 100 acres of land from the homesteaders and created the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association. Inspired by the Chautauqua and Martha’s Vineyard resorts in New York, the association aimed to establish a resort in the area for religious, recreational, educational, and cultural activities. They renamed Rockland to Lake Bluff, after the town’s location on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

The Village of Lake Bluff was incorporated in 1895. In 1898, two years after a fire destroyed Hotel Irving, a hotel built to accommodate camp participants, the Camp Meeting Association was dissolved and their property was donated to the town residents.

The subdivisions and other developments

In the 1870s, the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association’s events were widely popular and brought in many summer visitors to the area. Most of the eastern part of the town was subdivided into smaller lots where summer cottages were built. Hotels and other lodging facilities were established. In 1883, a 2,000-seat tabernacle was erected and an artesian well was drilled in the center of the town, creating the 10-acre Artesian Lake.

In the 1890s, some of Chicago’s most prominent families, including the Armour, McCormick, Field, and Durand families, built country estates in the village. The decade also saw the development of the exclusive Shoreacres Country Club.

After 1945, Lake Bluff’s population grew significantly as more and more Chicago residents moved to the suburbs. The opening of Terrace, a large subdivision constructed to the east and west of Green Bay Road, brought in a large number of new residents in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, the former estate of Philip D. Armour III was developed into upscale subdivisions, including Armour Woods and Tangley Oaks.

Cultural life

The preservation of the village’s history and small town lifestyle is very important to Lake Bluff citizens. While economic planners may lament the lack of big box retail and other urban staples, the locals wouldn’t have it any other way. After all, what sets Lake Bluff apart from its North Shore neighbors is its distinct laid back charm and community spirit, mixed in with a contemporary vibrancy, which have earned it accolades and recognition from national and regional publications.

Lake Bluff and Lake Forest share a number of art and cultural attractions and activities, including theaters, live performances, informative programs, and more. See this website for more information on Lake Bluff and Lake Forest cultural events and attractions.
The History Center of Lake Bluff-Lake Forest features exhibits, lectures, and public programs focused on Lake Bluff and Lake Forest history.

Lake Bluff is known for its community events, including a festive Fourth of July celebration and Halloween activities that are just as anticipated as the traditional holiday events.

Historic preservation

Lake Bluff’s Historic Preservation Commission oversees the protection, enhancement, and rehabilitation of historic structures and landscapes in the village. The Lake Bluff History Museum, housed in the historic East School, is a showpiece of the village’s rich past. Learn more about it at this website.

The village has eight listings in the National Register of Historic Places, including Lake Bluff Uptown Commercial Historic District. To this day, many of the sites, buildings, and structures in the district continue to serve their original purpose.

  • The Village Green, the community’s gathering place since 1913, is now the main venue for community events and celebrations.
  • The Lake Bluff Train Station, built in 1904 in the Medieval Gothic Revival and Arts and Crafts styles, is now a picturesque Metra station
  • The John Griffith Store Building, built in 1925 to 1926 in the Colonial Revival style, was one of the first brick commercial buildings in the village and continues to house shops, cafes, and restaurants to this day.
  • The iconic Village Hall, constructed in 1905 and designed by famed architect Webster Tomlinson, still houses offices of the local government

Other significant historic places in the village include the Lester Armour House, the Philip D. Armour III house, and the William McCormick Blair Estate.

Homes for SaleLake Bluff, IL

The Lake Bluff real estate market is more diverse than most of its North Shore neighbors. There are around 21 neighborhoods in the village, with varying price points and distinct individual character.

While Lake Bluff has its share of magnificent estates, the majority of available homes are spacious and landscaped single-family properties, coming in a wide range of sizes and prices. There’s also a fine collection of condos and townhomes providing great value.

The average size of homes in the village is around 2,500 square feet, and lot sizes range from around 5,200 square feet to over an acre. Estate sizes range from around four acres to more than 25 acres.

A significant number of homes are over 20 years old, excellently preserved and updated over the years. The village is highly protective of their heritage, and this includes preserving the original character and architecture of its early homes.

Living In Lake Bluff, IL

The weather

Lake Bluff has an average of 190 sunny days a year, and an average snowfall of 38 inches. In the summer, you can enjoy mild temperature highs of 81 degrees, while in the winter, the temperature can dip to as low as 16 degrees. The fall in Lake Bluff brings a spectacular nature show with a gorgeous burst of colors. Whatever the season, you can enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities in the village’s parks and nature preserves.

Economy & Employment

Lake Bluff is home to several large corporations, as well as small businesses that thrive in the charming downtown area. In 2007 to 2008, Lake Bluff’s central business district was revitalized with the development of Village Commons, a 32,400 square foot, three story brick building housing retail spaces and offices. The development was designed to complement and preserve the area’s historic character.

The village has two large business parks, found at the intersection of Rockland Road (State Routes 176) and Waukegan Road (Route 43). With neighboring Lake Forest’s five business districts, and downtown Chicago located just 35 miles away, Lake Bluff residents also get excellent access to available job and business opportunities outside the village.

The median household income in Lake Bluff is around $160,000, which is around three times more than the national average.


With easy access to State Routes 176 and Waukegan Road, Lake Bluff residents have no difficulty driving to major destinations in the area, including O’Hare International Airport and Waukegan International Airport. The village has a Metra Rail Station, located at 600 N. Sheridan Road. Special transport services are available to seniors, including cars for hire, bus services, and taxi vouchers. For more information on transportation options, see this website.


Lake Bluff students can go to Lake Bluff Schools District 65, which includes the highly rated Lake Bluff Elementary School and Lake Bluff Middle School. High school students can attend nearby Lake Forest High School, acknowledged as one of the top high schools in Illinois. Private schools in the village include Forest Bluff School and Safe Haven School, a special education school.


There are three golf courses in Lake Bluff, including the historic Shoreacres Golf Club, which first opened in the 1890s and is now considered one of the best golf clubs in the country. Other golf courses are the municipal Lake Bluff Golf Club and the public Veterans Memorial Golf Course. Knollwood Golf Club borders the village to the west.

Lakefront and beaches

Sunrise Park and Beach is open to Lake Bluff residents for free and to visitors for a fee. It includes two guarded swimming beaches and a dog beach toward the north end.

The park also has a boating beach with kayak and paddle board rentals. The beach is the home of the Lake Bluff Yacht Club, where members may store their sailboats, kayaks, and other watercraft. The club stages various events throughout the year, including racing series, regattas, beach clean-ups, and more.

Other marinas are also found in the area, such as Waukagen Harbor and Marina, North Point Marina, and The Boat House of Chicago.

Parks and recreation

The Lake Bluff Park District maintains ten parks and facilities, including Lake Bluff Golf Club, Sunrise Park and Beach, and the Blair Park Campus, which includes the Lake Bluff District Recreation Center, a paddle tennis facility, and outdoor facilities, including soccer fields, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and more. The park district also operates a community Fitness Center, which provides health and fitness programs, and fitness equipment available to residents.

The park district develops more than 400 season-based programs each year for residents of all ages, including seasonal events like summer camps, Breakfast with Santa, Egg Hunts, and the annual Bluffinia summer concert series.

Surrounded by nature, Lake Bluff provides great access to miles of hiking, running, and biking trails, including those in Lake Forest and other neighboring communities. Check out this site to learn more.

Shopping & dining

Lake Bluff’s historic downtown features cozy shops where you can find a treasure trove of gifts, books, and arts and crafts. There’s also an array of restaurants and coffee shops where you can enjoy fresh brews, grills, and American comfort food. Some of the restaurants to try include:

Special events

Lake Bluff is known for its festive events that not only bring the locals together but also draw visitors from all over the North Shore and the rest of Illinois. The most anticipated celebrations include the Fourth of July Parade, the Bluffina summer concert series, and the holiday events around the village.

Special mention should be given to the community’s Halloween celebrations, featuring hours of trick-or-treating, haunted hay rides, puppet shows, and more. A highlight of the occasion is Pumpkin Chase, a one mile and 5k fun run event open to the entire family.

Lake Bluff’s Farmers Market is also one of the community’s top draws. Held every Friday in the summer on the Village Green, the Farmers Market gives locals access to farm fresh produce, flowers, freshly made cheese, homemade goodies, and more. Live performances, cooking demonstrations, and other activities are also featured in the event.

Explore Lake Bluff Real Estatewith Cory Green

A gem among North Shore communities, Lake Bluff combines the best that this Chicago region has to offer. If you’re looking for an authentic small town lifestyle amid some of the most luxurious communities in the US, this is the place for you.

It will be my pleasure to guide you through your real estate options, sort through listings, and lead you to the perfect home in this perfect village. And if you’re selling a home in Lake Bluff, I will see to it that you close the best possible deal with the highest possible sale price, and be by your side through every step of the process, from preparing your home for sale to taking listing photos to moving to your new home.

More than just a real estate agent, I’m a full service white glove real estate broker and North Shore local resident and expert who’s willing to go the extra mile to ensure my client’s satisfaction. With dedication and hard work, I have achieved over $4 billion in real estate transactions throughout my 18 year career.

Contact me at 312.485.0897 or send me an email at [email protected].

The Best Highlights of the Lake Bluff

Contact Cory Green

When it comes to discovering the finest properties and enjoying the best lifestyle that Chicago’s North Shore has to offer, there is no better person to have by your side than trusted real estate expert Cory Green. You are sure to be in excellent hands when you work with someone who has personally been responsible for over $4 billion worth of real estate transactions, ranging from high rise development and construction projects to single family homes sales; including notable landmark projects in his local community.

Banking on two decades of experience in the Chicagoland real estate market, I confidently provide all of my clients with dedicated, personalized, and comprehensive white-glove service. Whatever you need to achieve in your real estate goals, you can count on me to deliver it.

Are you excited to begin your home search across these outstanding North Shore suburbs? Contact me to discuss your needs and preferences in an ideal house. I will provide you with the latest and most comprehensive information you need to start your search, and we can schedule a virtual home tour at your earliest convenience.

Listing your North Shore home? Allow me to lend my expertise, as well. From the essential steps in preparing your home to sell, to setting an attractive market-based asking price, to negotiating toward the best top dollar deal available for your beloved property, I will work relentlessly to make sure that you get only the most satisfying results.

If you are all set to begin your real estate journey in Chicago’s North Shore, all you need to do is let me know. Feel free to call me at 312.485.0897 or ask for more information via email at Cory(dotted)Green(at)compass(dotted)com.

With Cory

Cory offers an unparalleled level of service to his clients, and he would love to be a resource for you. Whether you are buying, selling, renting or investing; his level of professionalism and expertise will exceed your expectations and he will always help you achieve your goals.


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