In one of Chicago’s closest suburbs, the luxe life calls. Entrepreneur Marshall Field put Lake Forest on the map as a shopping destination, and visitors today find Field-Era charm and modern sophistication in stores and stops across the city.
Shop this way
Market Square, in the heart of Lake Forest’s downtown, holds two significant titles: Built in the early 1900s, it was the first planned shopping center in America and home to the first true Marshall Field department store.
While the shopping plaza no longer has an anchor department store, the original water fountain and Tudor-style exterior remain, and more than two dozen upscale boutiques fill the space. The Perfect Setting stocks elegant china and crystal tableware (perfectsettingonline.com), and Mustard Seed offers artisanal jewelry and fair-trade clothing (mustardseedfairtrade.com).
Sate a sweet tooth with dark chocolate mousse cake at Gerhard’s Elegant European Desserts (gerhardsdesserts.com).
In a bright alley behind Market Square, open-air Amidei Mercatino proffers tomatoes in wooden boxes, nectarines in woven baskets and bouquets of bright flowers in pails by the register. Shelves of imported mozzarella and olive oil hint at the owner’s Italian roots. (847) 295-5890
An elegant evening
The sophisticated 1929 Deer Path Inn (dpihotel.com) resides a walkable three blocks from Market Square.
The hotel’s English Room restaurant seats guests on a courtyard patio strung with twinkling white lights. Juicy roast chicken with root vegetables, housemade pasta and steaks are a few of the choices on the menu of American classics.
Retire to guest rooms with giant closets (originally designed to accommodate the trunks of well-heeled travelers), a four-poster and free Wi-Fi. Room rates (from $170) include Continental breakfast, overnight guest parking and, for those who wish to linger the next day, passes to private Lake Forest Beach (cityoflakeforest.com).