This tiny, sylvan village, set on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, carefully husbands a colorful history that traces back nearly 200 years and has counted many of Chicago's most famous families among its residents.
Lake Bluff commuters can step off the train, sip a drink on the steps of the Village Market, which began its life as a general store in the 1880s, then stroll past the village green through a downtown and adjacent streets reminiscent of a quaint New England town on their way home.
Lake Bluff's charm, natural beauty, outstanding schools and neighborliness contributed to Chicago Magazine's selecting it as one of Chicagoland's best places to live.
City services, park district
Sunrise Park, on a leafy bluff overlooking a beautiful beach, is one of the treasures of the Lake Bluff Park District. In the summer months the district operates a sailing camp at Sunrise Beach and picnickers enjoy shelters with fireplaces and grills.
Lake Bluff parks include an 18-hole golf course, a fitness center, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a variety of playing fields, a nature center, wetlands and prairie.
The Village of Lake Bluff provides a full range of municipal services, including a professional, fully-accredited police department and a volunteer fire department.
Lake Bluff offers a wide selection of housing in varying styles and prices in a verdant, tree-canopied setting.
Along the lake you'll find trophy estates with a storied background on private lanes, at "upper-bracket" prices.
Single-family and townhome subdivisions, with names such as Tangley Oaks and Armour Woods that conjure images of the village's natural beauty and English architecture, provide maintenance-free living in a wide price range, starting under $300,000 and peaking in the millions.
You'll want to pay particular attention to whether a home with a Lake Bluff postal address is within the Village boundaries: several unincorporated areas that have a Lake Bluff address don't enjoy Village services.
Metra's Union Pacific North Line makes the 30-mile trip to downtown Chicago in about an hour and 10 minutes. Trains run seven days a week from the 1904-vintage Lake Bluff station.
Lake Bluff is the only North Shore suburb not served by the Pace bus system. Taxi and limo services are easily available.
Skokie Highway (Route 41) runs through the village and connects to the Edens Expressway. The Tri-State Tollway (I-94/294) is two miles west of Lake Bluff.
No point in Lake Bluff is more than a few minutes drive from the Metra train station.
Shopping, dining, nightlife
Lake Bluff has a small, pedestrian-scale, historic downtown that has been undergoing a recent revitalization and expansion. The downtown hosts a small number of restaurants, boutiques and services. Major shopping venues are located in nearby Vernon Hills and Libertyville.
The Gurnee Mills mega-mall complex is a 10-minute drive north.
From June through mid-October residents enjoy fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, baked goods and flowers at a Farmers Market featuring dozens of local and regional vendors.
Lake Bluff Elementary School (K-5) dedicated an entirely new, environmentally-conscious facility in 2009.
Students from 31 countries and 17 states join local day students and boarders at tradition-laden Lake Forest Academy on 160 acres of the former J. Ogden Armour estate in Lake Forest.