Avalon Park is perhaps a lesser known neighborhood of Chicago, located on the far Southeast Side of the city. It is just off the Chicago Skyway—bordered to the north by 79th Street, the south by 83rd Street, the east by Stony Island Avenue and the west by Cottage Grove Avenue. The community is largely residential and has its own library branch, situated on the eastern edge of the neighborhood at the corner of Stony Island and 82nd Street.
The majority of Avalon Park’s dining options are clustered around the outer limits of the neighborhood along its busier streets. There are several sandwich joints and fast food restaurants on 83rd and Stony Island, as well as some cafés and other eateries on 79th and Cottage Grove. The community has one public park, called De Bow Playlot. It is a little plot of green at 80th Street and University Avenue with playground equipment and plenty of shady trees.
The real estate in Avalon Park consists mainly of single-family homes, set on standard city lots with small backyards and detached garages. The architecture is a mix of older homes and some newer construction residences. There is also a showing of multi-unit apartment and condo buildings. In addition to sidewalks, the blocks are lined with mature trees and ample vegetation—a nice perk of Chicago’s established neighborhood communities.
The Metra rail tracks run diagonally north-south through the neighborhood, bisecting Avalon Park with one underpass at 82nd Street that connects the two sides. Two Metra stops service residents of Avalon Park—one at the northern limits (79th Street) and one on the southern boundary (83rd Street). The CTA does not operate any “L” trains in this area however there are bus routes on the major thoroughfares.
People with cars will find Avalon Park conveniently located to a major expressway. As mentioned before, the Skyway is right here, passing through the community’s northeast corner. The Skyway is a tollroad, though, and can only be accessed at special checkpoints. Instead of paying to take the highway up into the city center, motorists may choose to head east and pick up Lake Shore Drive along the shoreline. It’s a bit of a hike to get over to the lakefront, but once you’re there it’s a very scenic drive to downtown and beyond.