If you get bored in Hyde Park, you have only yourself to blame. It’s home to the University of Chicago, of course, with its outstanding art museum (the Smart) and theatre (the Court), plus a wide array of other cultural gems (the Museum of Science and Industry, the Oriental Institute, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House…). Did I mention lakeside Promontory Point, which offers the city’s best skyline views, and two enormous parks (Washington and Jackson)? While dining options are far from vast, they’re improving: The team behind acclaimed Yusho opened the high-end restaurant A10 last November, for example.

No surprise, perhaps, that the median house price here soared 39 percent from 2012 to 2013, rebounding almost completely from the real-estate crash. No other South Side neighborhood comes close. And if an appealing lake-view condo or an old Victorian on Harper Avenue doesn’t do it for you, just wait: The starchitect Jeanne Gang—who designed the new luxury rentals in the former Shoreland Hotel—has been given the green light on two more residential projects in the nabe.