Hotel History

Since it first opened in 1929, the Deer Path Inn has offered its legendary service and exemplary accommodations on Chicago’s North Shore.

The historic inn itself was designed by architect William C. Jones of the legendary firm of Holabird & Root. It was styled after a 15th century half-timbered and stucco manor house in Chiddingstone, Kent – one of the oldest and loveliest villages in England.

The original Deer Path Inn was built on the site of an old hunter’s log cabin at the southeast corner of McKinley and Deerpath Road, a former Indian trail that lead to Lake Michigan. Built in the 1860’s, the original inn was initially the stately residences of a wealthy Chicago family. It later became a popular weekend retreat for the Chicago’s elite. In 1929, the current inn was completed on Illinois Road and the original inn building was razed.

From its inception, the Deer Path Inn was a popular weekend haven for affluent Chicagoans and out-of-towners visiting their relatives and friends on the North Shore. A 1929 newspaper article described the inn’s grand opening in glowing terms that could still be used to portray the Deer Path Inn today.

“All evening, attendance was large and all who inspected the new hotel were impressed with its beauty, and the many facilities provided for the comfort and convenience of its guests.”

From the day the doors first opened, the Deer Path Inn became a much beloved landmark in the Lake Forest community. A place where generations of local residents have come to celebrate their weddings, anniversaries and all the most important milestones in the lives of their families.