Chicago's West Side is a collection of neighborhoods that is equal parts residential, historic, and greenspace--in fact, the area is home to some of the city's largest parks: Garfield Park and Douglas Park. The area also boasts some of the city's most important (if not as recognized) cultural institutions, including the Garfield Park Conservatory, The University of Illinois at Chicago, and the United Center. The West Side has been the epicenter of some of the city's most dramatic and historic moments, yet has shown a resiliency over the last couple decades, reinventing itself as a more affordable and community-focused alternative to the North Side and Downtown area.
The West Side begins--appropriately enough--with the West Town neighborhood, a sprawling area that borders the city's famous "Restaurant Row" to the east and the more humble, but no less impressive, Humboldt Park to the west. The area's northern boundary is made up of three smaller, heavily residential neighborhoods: Ukrainian Village, East Village, and Noble Square. The Near West Side, although somewhat lacking in residential options, is nevertheless home to some of the city's most famous tenants: the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks. Those wanting to be near nature, even in the middle of a bone- chilling winter, can choose to live around the conservatory in neighborhoods like Austin, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, or Lawndale.