South Shore
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South Shore

Enjoy natural landscapes and numerous cultural and recreational opportunities.

On the south side of Woodlawn, South Shore is a neighborhood famous for its namesake “South Shore” and its activeness. The South Shore Natural Area on S. South Shore Dr. features various natural landscapes including dune, wetland, woodland, prairie, savanna, and shrub land habitats. South Shore residents can find multipurpose courts, baseball diamonds, playgrounds, and fitness centers surrounded by nature in the Rainbow Beach and Park. Activities here include the Park Kids after-school program, seasonal sports, arts and crafts, youth and adult fitness classes, Senior Club, Teen Club, cheerleading, and basketball leagues.

South Shore is also rich in cultural life. The South Shore Cultural Center has kept its country-club interior and changed into a “crown jewel” of the neighborhood. It offers all-age cultural programs and after-school programs. Holiday-specific events are also held throughout the year. What used to be a community bank until the 1980s, the Stony Island Arts Bank is now a hub of South Side history. The building serves as a gallery, media archive, library, and community.

Photo Gallery

Neighborhood photos: Marc Monaghan

Erin Adams, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
“My son and I love living in South Shore. We live in the Jackson Park Highlands, a historical district within the South Shore neighborhood. Neighbors know each other, plan events for the neighborhood, and look out for each other. We feel a deep sense of community and celebrate the diversity that surrounds us. Our house is walking distance to the lake and we enjoy visiting Jackson Park where there is vast space for nature, play, and sports. We and our neighbors also very much look forward to the future Obama Presidential Center that will be located in Jackson Park. We feel very lucky to live where we do.”
—Erin Adams, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Jay Ellison, Dean of Students in the College
“After living in Boston for 25 years, my family moved to Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood in 2014. We only had four days to find a house and spent an afternoon walking around South Shore. Neighbors came out to introduce themselves and it immediately felt like home. It’s a diverse, friendly neighborhood with an active social life. I bike to campus in 17 minutes year-round as long as I can see the ground, and it’s a short drive to downtown restaurants and museums.”
—Jay Ellison, Dean of Students in the College
Ralph Austen, Professor Emeritus of African History and African Studies
“We live in South Shore and really love our community in the Jackson Park Highlands. Especially in the last few years, the social interactions among neighbors have stepped up and it has really been fun as well as comfortable. The 2.5 mile bike commute to campus is, for me, a plus.”
—Ralph Austen, Professor Emeritus of African History and African Studies
  • Stop along walking tour

    Walking Tour

    Explore Chicago’s South Side through a self-guided bicycle tour led by Dean John Boyer and Professor John Mark Hansen, hosted by Chicago Studies at the University of Chicago.

    Take the tour »