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Best Toy Stores on the North Shore

toystore3

As the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, do you find yourself in state of panic about what to buy for the kids in your life? Don’t fret! The North Shore has many unique, independent toy stores that can help you find the perfect gift for children of all ages. If you’d rather skip the big box store madness, then this list is for you!

 

Beanstalk
654 Central Ave, Highland Park, 847-432-8300

Beanstalk has all the toys, games, crafts, and books loved by newborns through 8 years. The also carry a great selection of baby essentials including strollers, bassinets, car seats and bath care. Known for the customer service and free gift wrap, customers delight in the store’s unique offerings and magical ambiance.

Village Toy Shop
807 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-446-7990

Owned by a mother/daughter duo, the Village Toy Shop is a beloved treasure in Winnetka. They provide exceptional customer service, awesome gift wrapping that includes fun little treats and are always loaded with great suggestions. Choose from a wide variety of board games, science kits, crafts, magic kits, books and more.

Hip Hip Hooray
840 Willow Road, Northbrook, 847-272-7459

With an emphasis on the creative and innovative, Hip Hip Hooray is a children’s toy store that also sells gift items, costumes, dress up, personalized items, party favors, a diverse selection of children’s clothing for newborns to tweens and more! From the same owners that brought you Hooray Array in Northfield; this new reincarnation continues to delight children of all ages. Free gift wrap.

Children’s Gift Shop
310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-5975

From classic to trendy, to infants to teens, the Children’s Gift Shop is your one stop shop for indoor and outdoor toys, books, games, crafts, construction, brain puzzles and more. Their toy experts have real hands-on experience that will help you find the perfect gift. Free gift wrap.

Snickelfritz Toys
208 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills, 847-918-8160

A family owned and operated toy store offering thousands of products that engage, educate and promote creativity. Having trouble finding an item, chances are you will find it. Plus tons of other unique items that will not find anywhere else, and free gift wrap to boot!

Becky & Me Toys
620 Grove St., Evanston, 847-492-1030

Becky & Me Toys is committed to encouraging play that is real (not virtual), that is active and creative, and that is focused on the concerns, ideas and interest of children. All of the merchandise is hand-picked by the owners, a mother and daughter duo who both have backgrounds in education. They carry a wide selection of toys, books, games and more for babies through teens and happy to assist their customers in selecting developmentally appropriate toys.

Just Kids Store
798 S. Buffalo Grove Rd., Buffalo Grove, 224-676-1250

Geared more for babies and toddlers, this store has got it all. A huge selection of infant gear and essentials as well as educational toys, puzzles, crafts and did we mention shoes?

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Best Pie on the North Shore

0912-holiday-pie-slices

When it comes to pies, we strongly believe you really can’t go wrong! But since it ‘tis pie season, we wanted to recognize some local favorites that truly stand above the rest. And if you are thinking about picking one up for Thanksgiving, place your order ASAP, as some places are already booked up! Now who’s ready for a slice?

Hoosier Mama Pie Company
749 N. Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-868-8863

This Evanston outpost is a joint endeavor of the Hoosier Mama Pie Co. in Chicago & The Dollop Coffee and Tea Co. The storefront boasts a large sunny rom to enjoy a slice and some coffee while watching the bakers and baristas ply their trade. Everything is made in house. There is always a tempting and varied selection of sweet pies to choose from and they also offer pie flights – 3 half slices of pie from their daily flight menu for under $8! Breakfast pastries, savory pie plates, sandwiches, and salads available too.

Sweety Pies
8042 Lincoln Avenue, Skokie, 847-213-0900

Sweety Pies is a family run business whose founders gave up their day jobs to follow their passion. Since opening in 2007, this bakery, cakery and café has become a Skokie landmark. When it comes to their pies, most of the recipes have been handed down from family and are baked by mama, Arden Kruger. The pie menu always features three staples: Apple Pie Crisp, Chocolate Cashmere and Crocodile Pie (their version of pecan pie with semi-sweet chocolate and a touch of rum in a buttery pastry crust). However, they are happy to accommodate special requests so just give them a call and enjoy!

Bent Fork Bakery
333 Waukegan Avenue, Highwood, 847-926-4438

This adorable, family-run bakery tucked away in Highwood is one of the North Shore’s best kept secrets; although word is spreading and there is a reason why. You really can’t go wrong in this small batch, all butter, everything made from scratch bakery. There is always a fresh selection of fruit and cream pies to choose from. Current holiday offerings include: Perfect Pumpkin Pie, Caramel Apple Crostata, Cranberry Apple Crostata, Southern Pecan Pie and a variety of Fruit Pies (Door County Cherry, Granny Smith Apple, Peach or Mixed Berry). Holiday orders must be placed by Saturday, Nov. 22 at 2 pm.

Foodstuffs
2106 Central Street, Evanston, 847-328-7704
338 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-835-5101
1456 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-832-9999
225 E. Westminster Avenue, Lake Forest, 847-234-6600

With four locations throughout the North Shore, Foodstuffs has been providing quality gourmet food to Chicagoland shoppers for more than 30 years. Modeled after the European Market concept , they offer a full menu of items including homemade appetizers, soups, entrees, salads, sauces, breads and pastries as well as pates and cheeses, fresh seafood, quality meats, build your own salads and sandwiches and unique shelf products. There is always a rotating selection of fresh baked goods on site, but if you have a particular pie in mind, you will have to place an order. Their current holiday offering includes: Pumpkin Pie, Harvest Lattice Pie, Laura’s Pecan Pie, Mom’s Apple Pie, and Triple Berry Pie. Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Sunday, Nov. 23 at 5 pm.

Deerfields Bakery
201 N. Buffalo Grove Road, Buffalo Grove, 847-520-0068 (café too)
813 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield, 847-520-0068

Deefields Bakery has been serving the North Shore for more than 40 years and it has truly become an institution. It is owned by the Schmitt family whose tradition of baking actually goes back more than 5 generations. They are known for their wide assortment of cookies and custom cakes but you certainly can’t go wrong with one of their baked or whipped cream pies. With 20+ varieties to choose from, the only problem is choosing which one to order!

Long Grove Confectionary
220 Robert Parker Coffin Road, Long Grove, 847-634-0080

The closing of the Long Grove Apple Haus a few years back left many North Shore residents in a state of dismay. By thankfully, those who still yearn for those famous Uncle Johnny’s Brown Bag Apple pies, can get their fix at the Long Grove Confectionery where the pies are now sold fully baked, but frozen. Just let one of these beauties defrost for 8 hours and then bake for approximately 1.5 hours and you’ll be instantly transformed back to your childhood.

*Brown Bag Apple Pies from Elegant Farmer in Mukwango, WI can also be found at area Sunset locations. Please check with your local store for details.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Lake Forest Book Store – A True Gem on the North Shore

lake forest book store

Since 1949, this quaint, independent book store has been a town favorite. Despite its small size, it boasts a large selection of books that serves the needs of the town and surrounding communities. Known for its knowledgeable staff and exceptional customer service, the store has perfected the art of recommending books based on customers’ interests. And, should there be a book you’d like that they don’t carry, they are happy to track it down and place a special order for you.

The staff’s passion for books extends beyond the storefront as they are often hosting author and book events at the store and throughout the community. There is also a monthly book club that meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the store. All are welcome to join.

Lake Forest residents have grown up coming to the Lake Forest Book Store. If you haven’t discovered it for yourself, we strongly suggest you do!

Upcoming Events:

Author Luncheon with Renee Rosen at The Grille on Laurel (181 E Laurel Ave., Lake Forest)
Luncheon with Renee Rosen, author of What the Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age
Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 11:30 am; Tickets $35
Click here, for more information.

“Opening Yoga to Everyone” with Matthew Sanford, author of Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence
Hosted by Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) and Forever Om Yoga
Nov. 21-23
Three day workshop taking place at Forever OM Yoga and Lake Forest Country Day School both in Lake Forest, includes special keynote speech and reception and book signing.
For more information, visit: http://www.glasa.org/yoga/

Indies first: Small Business Saturday
Local authors will join the book store throughout the day recommending books.
Saturday, Nov. 29; 9:30 am – 5 pm
Register at Lake Forest Book Store at 847-234-4420

Allison Pataki, author of the Traitor’s Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America
11 am

Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and her new book Lizzie & Jane
2pm

Upcoming Book Club Selections
Nov. 18: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Katherine Abbott
Dec. 16: The All of It by Jeanette Haien

North Shore Views is the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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Best Tailors on the North Shore

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Have you ever purchased a fabulous new item then never get to wear it because the alterations went astray? Or have you spent hundreds on altering a bridesmaid’s dress that still does not fit you right? When it comes to picking a tailor, it’s all about trust and craftsmanship. Luckily, we found several tailors throughout the North Shore that you can rely on to deliver the goods.

Haute Couture
1920 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-724-0262

Yes, it is a bridal shop, and Joanna is fantastic with bride and bridesmaid alterations (whether your purchased the dress from her or not). However, she also offers alteration services for any type of clothing, including men’s, and designs custom pieces, all at reasonable prices. By appointment only.

Anthony’s Tailoring
2226 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, 847-926-9440

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It’s Pedal Power Time Again! Donate Your Old Bikes To A Good Cause

Pedal Power 2010 logo

For the seventh year in a row Pedal Power will be collecting gently used bikes to donate to kids in in the Chicago Public Schools as a reward for good grades.

Nicole Basil

Nicole Basil

Pedal Power was founded by Nicole Basil of Wilmette who, at the age of eight, tried to find a charity to donate the bikes that she and her brother had outgrown. Not finding one, she decided to start her own, and with the help of her Dad, Mike Basil, she contacted the Jane Adams Hull House, who connected her with the Chicago Public Schools. She started asking friends and neighbors in Wilmette for their old bikes and Pedal Power was born.

Every year the bike drive has grown and each year Nicole and her supporters collect over a hundred bikes.  After seven years Nicole continues to be a passionate cheerleader for her charity, which has expanded beyond Wilmette to surrounding North Shore communities.

If you have bikes your kids have outgrown please bring them to one of the seven drop-off locations next Saturday, November 1 from 9:00-12:00. Just think, by doing this you can reap three benefits: 1) make room in your garage for your car this winter (which is supposed to be very cold!) , 2) get a tax deduction and 3) motivate and reward a deserving child. What’s not to like about that?

Bring your bike(s) to one of these donation spots:

WINNETKA – Green Bay Cycles, 999 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, IL 60093

NORTHBROOK – George Garner Cyclery, 1111 Waukegan Road, Northbrook, IL 60062

HIGHLAND PARK – Alberto’s Cycles, 661 Central Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035

WILMETTE – McKenzie Elementary School, 649 Prairie Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091

PALATINE – Mike’s Bike Shop, 155 N Northwest Hwy, Palatine, IL 60067


GLENVIEW – Glenview Cycle, 1011 Harlem Avenue, Glenview, IL 60025


EVANSTON – Home Depot, 2201 Oakton, Evanston, IL 60202

For more information about Pedal Power, please visit www.gopedalpower.com.

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Best Burgers on the North Shore

burger

With so many options to choose from (gourmet, classic, chain etc.), it was quite hard to narrow down the list to just a few. We are sure that this list will spark some debate. However, the good news is that wherever you are on the North Shore, there’s probably a pretty good burger place nearby. And yes, we’ll take fries with that!

Prairie Grass Café’s Top Sirloin Burger
601 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-205-4433

An award- winning gourmet burger that is served with mild Amish blue cheese topping, grilled beefsteak tomatoes and grilled onions sans bun! The burger is that good that you do not need one!

Charlie Beinlich’s
290 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-291-0420

Two words sum up the Charlie Beinlich’s experience, old school! Known for their simple hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Charlie Beinlich’s is a no frills dive with a limited menu, and limited toppings for your burger (we’re talking cheese, onions and bacon). They keep it simple but fresh and people continue to come back for more. A Chicago classic. Closed Sunday and Monday. Cash only, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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Best Yoga & Pilates Studios on the North Shore

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The relationship with a yoga or Pilates instructor is very personal and can make all of the difference in how effective your results will be. We hope this list simplifies the task of finding a great studio that fits your own needs so you can focus more time on your health and well-being. Namaste.

Dharma Yoga
1321 Emerson Street, Evanston, 847-418-6464

Truly a yogi lover’s dream. The studio’s devotion to the practice is apparent as soon as you walk in the door. They are committed to creating a welcoming, intimate and spiritual environment while promoting a strong sense of community. The staff, led by owner Luna, is extremely knowledgeable and nurturing and offers clear and informative guidance. All classes are drop-ins. The studio also offers workshops, retreats, birthing classes and wellness services.

Yogaview
1231 Green Bay Road, Wilmette, 847-919-0533

Yogaview is a physically pleasing and spiritually safe environment where people can explore this ancient practice under the guidance of the very best yoga instructors within a supportive and knowledgeable community. Over 50 classes offered weekly; students can learn a wide variety of breathing, relaxation and body techniques. The studio also hosts a plethora of workshops. Acupuncture and childcare services available on-site as well.

Northshore Yoga
2523 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn, 847-607-8581
310 Happ Rd, Ste 216, Northfield, 847-784-8844
1407 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, 847-784-8844

Northshore Yoga is dedicated to helping each individual reach their fullest potential both physically and mentally. With three locations on the Shore, students can choose from a wide variety of classes, including Ashtanga and pre-natal, and class times. The Northfield location has the largest class offering. The studios also offer meditation and integrated healing services and a growing number of classes and workshops for kids and teenagers.

Bikram Yoga Northshore
1926 Waukegan Rd., Ste 1, Glenview, 847-998-6030

If Bikram yoga is your thing (and we know it’s not for everyone), than this is your studio. Beyond, the clean, spacious and modern facilities, this studio gets rave reviews for its instructors’ attention to detail and accuracy. For those not familiar, Bikram yoga is a very disciplined and structured form of yoga performed in a room set to 105 degrees. It is specifically designed as a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, which, completed in sequence, works every muscle, joint, ligament and tendon of the body.

Body Evolve Pilates & Physical Therapy
1770 1st St, Suite #205, Highland Park, 847-926-8490
2101 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn, 847-926-8490

One of the first Pilates studios in the Chicagoland area, the studio offers private and pairs sessions along with evening group reformer classes at its Highland Park location. Combined with their licensed physical therapy services, the studio has helped a vast array of clients optimize athletic performance, rehabilitate from injury and achieve more balanced and conditioned bodies. The owners, Arlene Bass and Sharon Gawin, hold their instructors to high standards as they are at the forefront of continuing education and are sought after speakers at national industry events. The studio also serves as the Illinois Host Site for Balanced Body education and training.

Body Fusion Pilates
2847 Dundee Road, Northbrook, 847-858-2722

Although the studio itself is brand new, owner Lauren Fonseca has been training clients for more than 12 years. A former dancer at The Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, Lauren truly understands the benefits of Pilates training and has studied under the best in the business. Lauren is also certified in The Gyrotonic Method. The studio offers private, semi-private and 3 on 1 sessions.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Best Dog Groomers on the North Shore

We’re pleased to introduce a new feature to North Shore Views. Each week or so, we will provide a round up of the area’s “Bests”.  If there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment. Enjoy!

Best Dog Groomers on the North Shore

Finding a groomer for a beloved pet, can be just as tricky, if not more so than finding your own hair stylist. Luckily, there are some great options throughout the North Shore.

dog grooming illustration

 

Wags on Willow
840 Willow Rd, Northfield/Glenview, 847-272-2918
Although highly recommended for their grooming skills, Wags on Willow is also an upscale pet boutique that offers the very best in food, fashion, and fun toys for your furry friends. The perfect place to spoil your fur baby rotten! Groomer Myong Lee has 14 years of experience with all breeds.

Love Fur Dogs
69 Greenbay Road, Glencoe, 847-LUV-DOGS
A new comer to the North Shore but already a local favorite. Love Fur Dogs is run by an award winning groomer and the area’s only Certified Master Groomer. Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins and her staff offer complete grooming services as well as day care, pet taxi services (for you appointments as well as other destinations), high quality pet supplies and their very own grooming training academy on-site.

Spa for Dogs
819 Waukegan Road, Northbrook, 847-272-8901 or 847-334-6024
Offers the best in organic, all-natural and cageless spa treatments for your pup. Choose from a selection of pre-determined spa packages or a la carte services. Pick up and drop off as well as additional services for senior and special needs dogs available too. Features an on-site boutique as well as dog training, dog walking and pet sitting services too.

Paw Xperts
3232 Skokie Valley Rd., Highland Park, 847-433-6770
Comprised of a team of caring and experienced groomers. Lee, Sally and Angie have all received rave reviews. Nice, large facility so not too noisy and not too cramped.

Krisers
1640 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills, 224-206-7073
Apparently not all Krisers are created the same. Many from the city are loyal to the brand, so if you’d like to stick with them, a drive out to their Vernon Hills location to see Danielle may be worth the extra time and miles. The location is stocked with high quality pet products that along, will their grooming services, are priced reasonably well.

Spotless Dog Wash
1121 Emerson St, Evanston, 847-563-8061
At about $20 a pop, this do-it-yourself option offers all of the convenience and affordability without the mess! The facility is immaculate and features well stocked pet-friendly tubs and drying stations so you have everything you could possibly need to have your fur baby looking in tip-top shape. And don’t worry, you’re never truly alone, their resourceful staff is on-hand to guide you and offer suggestions.

Honorable Mention – The Laundry Mutt, Wilmette. Unfortunately, they are not taking new clients at this time. Check in with them from time to time or consider one of the other fine options!

We’d be happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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David Adler-Designed Lake Forest Mansion For Sale

275 Sussex Lane, Lake Forest, IL Fleur de Lys Mansion – 275 Sussex Lane, Lake Forest, IL 60045

One of the side benefits of being a Realtor that I never get tired of is the opportunity to tour historically significant homes designed by some of the world’s finest architects. Today Coldwell Banker’s Previews Group hosted a party at the fabulous Fleur de Lys mansion at 275 Sussex Lane in Lake Forest and we got to see every square inch of it.

The 11,000 square foot house is situated on over 2 acres that include a pool, tennis courts, gardens and large terrace. It has 17 formal rooms, 8 bedrooms and 10 baths. The house is not the typical mega-mansion one would build today; it’s way too formal and grand, like something out of The Great Gatsby. It’s the perfect venue for weddings, charity balls and large parties.

The estate is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. It was designed by David Adler in 1914 for meat-packing baron Joseph Cudahy and his wife, Jean Morton Cudahy, daughter of the founder of Morton Salt. Apparently Adler’s inspiration for the house was Petit Trianon, a small chateau on the grounds of Versailles Palace in France. You’d think at this price the home would be perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, but it’s not. In fact, it sits in the middle of a quiet neighborhood that was once part of the estate until it was sold off and subdivided.

You can watch a video about this fabulous estate here:

The home is listed by Coldwell Banker’s Straub Milito Group and is being offered at $8,900,000. If you would like to arrange a private showing, call us at 847-881-6657.

You can search all North Shore luxury homes here.

We are North Shore real estate specialists and one of the top teams in the area. If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore team, please call 847-881-6657 or send us a note here.

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Six Best North Shore Delis

 North Shore Chicago Delis

This year Hanukkah comes early, beginning on the day before Thanksgiving…which means you’re not going to want to be making latkes when you’re trying to fix Thanksgiving dinner. Skip the mess and the fuss and get your latkes, kugels, brisket and other necessities at one of these great North Shore delis.

Bat 17
1709 Benson Ave., Evanston
847-733-7117
bat17evanston.com

The huge sandwiches (on bread baked fresh daily from Bennison’s) are reminiscent of Manhattan’s Carnegie Deli.

Kaufman’s
4905 W. Dempster St., Skokie
847-677-6190
kaufmansdeli.com

Kaufman’s had a fire last year but they’ve re-opened and are ready to fill your orders for Hanukkah platters. It’s known for its bagels and all the breads and baked goods are made from scratch on site.

Max and Benny’s
461 Waukegan Rd., Northbrook
847-272-9490
maxandbennys.com

The ambiance is not exactly intimate (the place holds 300 people) but it’s got awesome soups, especially the chicken matzo ball soup, beet borscht and sweet and sour soup.

Max’s Deli
191 Skokie Valley Rd., Highland Park
847-831-0600
maxs-deli.com

A popular spot for Sunday brunch, Max’s is an old-fashioned New York style deli.

Once Upon a Bagel
1888 1st St., Highland Park
1050 Gage St., Winnetka
847-784-1411
onceuponabagel.com

We were so excited when Once Upon a Bagel came to Winnetka last year! Now we don’t have to travel sp far afield to get our deli fix. Once Upon has most of the standard deli fare, as well as some Mexican dishes, just to keep things interesting.

The Bagel Restaurant
50 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie
847-677-0100
bagelrestaurant.com

The Bagel provides instant gratification to hungry mall shoppers. As soon as you sit down they bring you fresh pickles and a basket of bialys & bagels. The menu is extensive, with pretty much anything you could possibly want.

North Shore Views is the official website of the Come Home North Shore team and the most comprehensive online source for North Shore Chicago real estate and community information. Whether you are looking for market statistics, homes for sale or local events, North Shore Views has it all at your fingertips. Browse information regarding our communities, market data, luxury homes, lakefront property, schools and what you should know about making the move to the North Shore.

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