Chicago is divided into numerous neighborhoods, each with its own personality and experience. DePaul University is located in Lincoln Park (LP), which is one of Chicago’s best neighborhoods, in my opinion. One of the reasons I have loved my experience at DePaul so far is because the school is located in LP. It is far enough away from downtown that life is a little more relaxing, but close enough that it only takes ten minutes on the red line to get into the heart of Chicago. LP is full of restaurants, beautiful homes, numerous parks, a zoo, and is less than a mile away from Lake Michigan. Here are some of the best assets and excursions that Lincoln Park has to offer:
• The Zoo: The Lincoln Park Zoo is awesome. It is open year-round and has free admission. It is not huge, but every time I have been there I have had a great time. The monkey, lions, and giraffes are my favorite exhibits to see. The coolest part of LP Zoo is the events it holds. In the summer, it has movie nights on the main lawn. Last summer, my friends and I went and saw Harry Potter. During the winter, it is decorated beautifully with a light show and there also is an ice skating rink. The LP Zoo is definitely a place to check out.
• Oz Park: Right in the heart of LP is Oz Park, named so because of the statues of Wizard of Oz characters spread throughout the park. The park has baseball diamonds, basketball and tennis courts, a playground, and lots of paths to explore. It is the perfect place to read a book on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
• Homeslice: Homeslice is a pizza place a block away from DePaul’s campus. The pizza is delicious, with lots of options to choose from. The best thing about Homeslice is its patio out back. It has heated lamps, cushions, couches, and Christmas lights [Editor’s note: A really cute French bulldog named Gary also lives there!] It is a really cool environment to enjoy some really good food.
• The houses: LP is full of amazing architecture. Some of the houses and apartments in LP are insanely beautiful (and expensive). I once walked past a house that was built on six lots, was fully gated, and had actual gargoyles built into the house. It is worth it to take a walk around LP and see some of these incredible places.
• Annette’s: Hands down, the best ice cream ever. Annette’s is a tiny ice cream shop in LP that never disappoints. Owned by Annette, who is almost always working every time I have been there, the shop not only sells ice cream in almost every flavor imaginable, but also homemade Italian Ice. I am more of an ice cream girl myself, but I have heard the Italian Ice is really good. I tell myself that I go to Annette’s so often in order to support a local business, but truthfully, it is just to eat a scoop of peanut butter cookie dough.
There is so much more to do and see in LP than what I have listed. Come check out Lincoln Park and see what is has to offer.