Take a tour of Chicago’s own Beverly Hills

The neighborly sign on 95th Street reads “Welcome to Beverly Hills.” What it doesn’t say is that this particular neighborhood-commonly referred to simply as Beverly-is home to Chicago’s only hills, an Irish castle, legendary burgers and one-of-a-kind ice cream cones.

Originally built by English engineers as an exclusive streetcar suburb, the landscape is dotted with a variety of older housing, from ridge-top mansions to bungalows. It has become one of the most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city and considered one of the best.

Here are some not-to-be-missed Beverly neighborhood pleasures.

Home to Chicago’s only hills, an Irish castle, legendary burgers and one-of-a-kind ice cream cones, the Beverly Neighborhood is definitely worth a visit.

Top Notch Beefburgers, 2116 W. 95th St., has been cooking reallygood burgers since 1942 using fresh beef ground in-house daily.This is a friendly, no-frills neighborhood burger joint with lotsof seating. The service is fast and friendly. We suggest the ¼pounder with fries or onion rings.

Top Notch Beefburgers

Original rainbow cone, 9233 S. Western Ave., has been aroundsince the 1920s and is still owned and operated by the same family.Try the signature Rainbow Cone, a combination of chocolate,strawberry, Palmer House (New York vanilla with cherries andwalnuts), pistachio and orange sherbet. The combination may notsound appealing, but the taste is surprisingly delightful. You canorder a $1.99 baby cone that comes with a scoop of all fiveflavors, but you’ll probably just end up wanting more.

Original Rainbow Cone

Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., is a multi-discipline,multi-cultural fine arts center offering classes for all ages witha 400-seat theater for live performances, children’s plays,rotating art exhibits and an annual summer outdoor music festival.On Wednesday nights it shows first-run foreign and independentfilms. Visit beverlyartscenter.org for more information.

Beverly Arts Center

Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley Ave., is the keeper ofthe history of the Beverly neighborhood. It currently has anexhibit of period costumes, photos and memorabilia from the earlydays of Sutherland Elementary School. The exhibits generally arebest suited for older children or teens. Visitridgehistoricalsociety.org for more information or call (773)881-1675.

Ridge Historical Society

Vanderpoel Art Association Gallery is a museum-quality galleryin the Ridge Park field house, 9625 S. Longwood Drive. It offers anoutstanding collection of American Impressionist art, includingworks by Vanderpoel, Mary Cassatt, Maxfield Parrish and manyothers. The gallery will sponsor art classes this fall. Visitvanderpoelartmuseum.org for hours and information or call (773)779-0007.

Vanderpoel Art Association Gallery

Givins’ Irish Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Drive, was built in1886-1887 by Robert C. Givins, a real estate developer, for hiswife. Located on “the ridge,” the castle has taken turns as aresidence, a school and (currently) a Unitarian Church. Thethree-story structure is built of stone, replete with battlementsand towers. There are no public tours, although people are welcometo attend services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. Historical information isavailable at chicagosonlycastle.org.

Givins’ Irish Castle

The Beverly Area Planning Association is active within thecommunity and sponsors lots of family-friendly events. One of itsannual fall activities is the History Mystery Bike Tour.Participants bike to a variety of locations to track down clues tohistoric and architectural locations. This year the event will beheld Oct. 13. BAPA also hosts several races each year for all ages,including a Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving weekend. Visit bapa.orgfor details.

The Beverly Area Planning Association

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