America's Most Beautiful Neighborhoods
Oak Park, Western Chicago
It’s not just about the modest elegance of Frank Lloyd Wright, although he designed or built 23 structures in Oak Park, including his own studio. The Americana runs deeper here. Fully 90 percent of this 97-block village—conveniently tethered to downtown Chicago by a 15-minute ride on the El—is classified as a historic district that ranges from Prairie School (80 examples) to the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway. Walking past the lawns and low-pitched homes is pleasure enough, but the local government also sweetens the suburban paradise with a cycle system that puts no resident more than two blocks from a bikeway.