Oak Park Neighborhoods
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Around Oak Park
Oak Park is a lively community. Some people refer to it as "Chicago Lite" because it carries the feel of great culture and access to any entertainment you'd like, but it has less congestion. Oak Park is probably most notable for the homes and its history. You'll find three historic districts and the homes are a mix of great old manors and newer construction. Frank Lloyd Wright once lived here and you'll often hear that Ernest Hemingway hailed from Oak Park, though the town of Cicero disputes this. Their claim is a technicality—Cicero once encompassed all of Oak Park and most of the west side of Chicago.
Cicero and Berwyn border Oak Park on Roosevelt Road, which has seen a major boost in restaurants and live music venues in recent years. Many residents settle in Oak Park, citing the beautiful homes, walkability, wonderful culture, and excellent school districts.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Oak Park is significantly higher than the median cost of living for the state of Illinois or the country as a whole. Though the cost of living near the city of Chicago is also much higher than the rest of the state in many cases. Housing is the top reason for the heightened cost of living. Residents here also have a significantly higher median income rate, which makes the suburb more affordable for them.
There is no shortage of transportation options in Oak Park. Many residents are professionals who commute to the city for work and they have a number of options. Those who drive can easily access the Eisenhower Expressway which leads directly to the heart of the Chicago Loop. For those who don't want to deal with parking in the city, there are alternative public transportation options as well. There are Green Line and Blue Line stops for Chicago's El in Oak Park and they also have a Metra station connecting them to the city and suburbs. Oak Park is also served by both CTA and Pace bus routes.
School District 97 serves the suburb of Oak Park. It includes eight primary schools and two middle schools: Percy Julian Middle School and Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School. The public high school that serves Oak Park is Oak Park-River Forest High School, one of only a few high schools in Illinois that can induct students into the Cum Laude Society. Oak Park-River Forest is known for excellent academic and extracurricular programs, as well as an illustrious list of notable people among their former students and graduates. Fenwick High School is also located in Oak Park. Fenwick is a Catholic college prep high school that has a long history of academic excellence, well known around the state, and a very healthy alumni association.
There is no shortage of activity available in Oak Park. The suburb is home to several dance, theater, and performing arts companies. There are several yearly festivals and events, including a massive Fourth of July fireworks display at Oak Park-River Forest High School and the A Day in Our Town event in June. Oak Park's park district is exceptional. It offers an incredible array of programs for youth, adults, and seniors. Programs cover just about every sport there is as well as martial arts, fitness and wellness, crafts, and dozens of day trips for all ages.
Disclaimer: School attendance zone boundaries are supplied by Maponics and are subject to change. Check with the applicable school district prior to making a decision based on these boundaries.