Lake Forest

Lake Forest

The true essence of rural beauty and down-to-earth sophistication, Lake Forest truly is where the lake meets the forest.

Welcome to Lake Forest

Charming, historic community curled up along the beautiful and lush shores of Lake Michigan.
The true essence of rural beauty and down-to-earth sophistication, Lake Forest truly is where the lake meets the forest. The small, community-oriented city is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and is hugged by 800 acres of all types of gorgeous natural landscapes, from prairies and savannas to woodland. Warm and welcoming, the community embraces a relaxed, slow pace of life and enjoys plush surroundings and outdoors. There’s plenty to enjoy, including 12 miles of walking trails, art, entertainment, local restaurants, cafes, and shops. Stunning during every season, Lake Forest is loved by all who live there.

What to Love

  • Rich and exciting history 
  • Warm and welcoming community
  • Stunning landscapes and views
  • Proximity to Lake Michigan

People & Lifestyle

Bucolic and as peaceful as can be, Lake Forest is a wonderful place to raise a family or grow older with your loved ones. The small city has excellent educational opportunities — both public and private — and has endless outdoor spaces to appreciate the beauty of life. Those who live in this lovable community enjoy getting outside to experience the comfort of easily accessible trails or play in the open spaces of lush green parks in the fresh air. This welcoming, diverse place is a remarkable place to call home — mostly because of the gregarious people who make up the community.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Whether you’re taking a stroll through the town or looking for a refreshing beverage after an afternoon outside, there’s always something delicious to eat or beautiful to see here in Lake Forest. The Deerpath Inn — the number one hotel resort in the midwest and the number 18 hotel in the world according to Travel & Leisure — is a wonderful, historic place for a staycation or for exceptional dining on a night out. Built in 1929 with the style of a half-timbered Tudor manor house, this quaint hotel is a unique, lovely place to experience a traditional English pub meal and drink — whether you’re at the casual White Hart Pub or the upscale English Room right inside.

The English Room has swanky eats, such as beef tartare, lamb, duck, and sea bass, while The White Hart Pub serves entrees like shepherd's pie, bangers and mash, potato soup, and lamb meatball. For the most delectable, gourmet desserts, visit the European bakery Gerhard’s Elegant European Desserts, for fine, handcrafted bread, cakes, pastries, and even an energizing cup of espresso. Opened in 1949 by a group of local women right in the middle of historic Market Square, legendary Lake Forest Bookstore is a cool, eclectic place to shop for your next read. Bootery Boutique is another fun shopping spot right in town, where you can get new, excellent quality shoes, as well as clothing and accessories.

Things to Do

Lake Forest has an incredible reputation for hosting the most exciting and fun annual events for the whole family and community. With hundreds of thousands of dazzling twinkling lights, the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is the best event of the year. It’s held right in historic Market Square and has become the most traditional, exciting, and loved event by residents, with a holiday movie showing, ice sculpting performances, hot chocolate, and donut holes. There’s even a chance to make an ornament and hang it on the community tree! Also hosted in the Square is the annual Labor Day Art Fair, which typically has an exciting 20,000 attendees and celebrates nearly 400 national and international artists with works ranging from ceramics and digital art to paintings and glass.

Lake Forest Day is a huge carnival event in the summer that features rides, live music, a fun run, a parade, food, and refreshments. One of the most popular things to do year-round is to visit Lake Forest Beach, the 29-acre park where you can boat or fish along the shore, rent a pavilion for an event, play in the grass, or wade with the kids in beautiful lake waters at sunset.


Lake Forest has several highly-rated public schools and private schools, including:

  • Lake Forest College
  • Lake Forest Graduate School of Management
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