Lake Bluff

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, known for its small-town charm and a casual, comfortable lifestyle.

Welcome to Lake Bluff

Rich local history, community pride and fun

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Bluff is known for its small-town charm and a casual, comfortable lifestyle. The town was first settled in 1836 and eventually incorporated in 1895. The arrival of the railroad in 1855 brought more residents to the area. Throughout history, Lake Bluff has been transformed from its log cabin days to a summer resort to the suburban oasis that it is today. Lake Bluff boasts family-friendly community events, exemplary schools, and an overarching sense of community that is hard to find elsewhere. 
A wide array of architectural styles are represented here, enabling homebuyers to find a style that matches their preferences. Some of the most popular styles include Cottage, Queen Anne, Victorian, Craftsman, and Four Square. If you’re wanting to learn more about the fascinating history of the region, consider spending an afternoon at the Lake Bluff History Museum. The museum features historic information, photographs, and artifacts that span from the 1800s to the present, enlightening visitors on the town’s historic roots. For a more immersive experience, sign up to participate in a walking tour.

What to Love

  • Walkable, pedestrian-friendly layout
  • Close access to nature and a myriad of recreational opportunities
  • Family-friendly community events throughout the year
  • Lake Bluff Farmers Market
  • Concerts on the Green (Bluffinia)
  • Our nationally recognized 4th of July Parade and Celebration

Local Lifestyle

Whether you’re new in town or simply passing through, you’ll be met with neighborliness and community pride. The town, which has a population of nearly 5,800 residents, is situated only 35 miles north of downtown Chicago. Despite being located relatively close to Illinois' largest city, Lake Bluff provides residents with a charming and quaint atmosphere.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Lake Bluff is packed with a variety of amazing options for dining and shopping. Head over to Scranton Alley, a hidden courtyard in downtown Lake Bluff that is lined with local shops, restaurants, and retailers. Whether you’re on the search for your next favorite restaurant or ready to shop until you drop, you can do that — and more — here. Prairie Espresso + Wine Bar is a go-to place for caffeine in the morning and wine in the evening. Grab a bite to eat at Inovasi, a local restaurant that is locked by both locals and visitors alike. This inventive, chic bistro specializes in American cuisine with a full bar. If the weather permits, consider enjoying your meal in the seasonal rooftop garden. For a casual dining experience, head over to Bluffington’s Cafe. A neighborhood staple, this cafe is famous for its salads and sandwiches. 
Enjoy an adults evening out at Lake Bluff Brewing Company. A community beer hall, this brewery is known for their award-winning beer and live music for all to enjoy. The walls of the taproom host the work of local artists, providing a glimpse into the town’s vibrant arts culture.

Things to Do

You’ll have no trouble finding great things to do in Lake Bluff. Kick-off your morning with a trip to the Lake Bluff Farmers Market, which takes place from June through early October. Located in downtown Lake Bluff, browse the booths of vendors offering fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, cheese, and more. 
Lake Bluff is well known for its community events, including the famous Fourth of July Parade, art festivals, concerts, and community barbecues. If you’re new to town, be sure to check out Rib Fest, a community-organized rib cooking competition. Make plans to attend Bluffinia Summer Concert Series, which is held every Sunday and features local and regional talent. Taking place on the Village Green, this Sunday evening concert series brings the whole town together for a memorable evening.


Lake Bluff is proud to offer students a number of highly regarded educational institutions, including:


  • Lake Bluff Elementary School, K-5
Middle School

  • Lake Bluff Middle School, 6-8
High School

  • Lake Forest High School, 9-12
There are also an abundance of private and parochial schools in close proximity for both elementary and college preparatory education.

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