Perhaps the biggest and best surprise of our recent Chicago visit was discovering the Gold Coast neighbourhood just north of the "Magnificient Mile" and not far from our Hotel Lincoln suite. It is predominately a residential community with wonderful tree-lined streets and stately apartment blocks that date back to the late 19th century.
The front gardens are meticulously manicured and the boulevards are like little gardens with their little wrought iron fences protecting the flowers and shrubs. But what really caught our eye were the many elegant staircases that create inviting and grand entrances.
When visiting a city we encourage you to wander some of the residential communities to see how the locals live, both the rich and famous and the young and restless.
The Gold Coast should be on everyone's list of places to visit when in Chicago. It should also be an inspiration and lesson for developers and planners on the importance of ornamentation and decoration for creating inviting pedestrian streetscapes.