|Per capita income:||$34,756|
|Population density:||5,851 per square mile|
|Median household income:||$51,706|
|Total population:||14,167 people|
|Median age:||39 years old|
|Square miles:||2.42 square miles|
If you’re looking for a neighborhood with a small-town vibe and easy access to the big city, just 10 miles west of downtown Chicago you’ll find the charming village of Forest Park. The community has a reputation for civic pride and a variety of housing options. Complete with an award-winning dining scene, independent shops, cobblestone streets and historic cemeteries, Forest Park is home to roughly 14,000 residents.
The citizens of this small, mostly white-collar neighborhood tend to be highly educated and racially and ethnically diverse. The majority work in professional, sales and managerial roles, but administrative assistants and teachers also stake a claim in the area’s economy. The short distance to downtown Chicago draws young professionals, many of whom commute to the Windy City.
One of Forest Park’s biggest draws is Madison Street, which is dotted with locally owned restaurants, beer gardens and businesses offering artisan jewelry, antiques, cooking classes and more. Nearby North Riverside Park Mall satisfies most big-box shopping needs, and, of course, one of the country’s most beloved major cities is just 20 minutes away. Forest Park is convenient for walking and biking, and due to its proximity to downtown Chicago, it offers a wealth of public transportation options. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) conveniently connects the area via train and bus. For those with their own wheels, the Eisenhower Expressway goes right into the heart of the city.
You can’t go wrong with Forest Park’s local shops and restaurants, from coffee houses and steakhouses to taverns and craft breweries. The Park District offers 15 acres of grounds, an aquatic center, outdoor movies and special events. The Ferrara Pan Candy Company has been a Forest Park institution since 1908, and the Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor is a popular stop any time of year. Annual events include the three-day Forest Park Music Fest in July and the frightfully fun Casket Race in October