5 Must-See Chicago Suburbs a BIT Further Out

Apr 28, 2022

No longer commuting every day? Add these towns to your list.

With so many people continuing to work from home, these towns are getting lots of love. While you’ll have a longer commute when you do travel to the city, the trade-off is more space, a lower cost of living, and tons of other community perks.

St. Charles

40 miles to downtown Chicago

St. Charles is an ideal spot for active residents. The schools are top-notch and there’s always something to do. Fox River runs through town and locals can take advantage of sunny days by picnicking riverside in Pottawatomie Park or even getting out on the water in a canoe. And a bike ride along the Fox River Trail makes for a great break in between Zoom calls.

Downtown St. Charles is one of our favorite spots in the Chicago suburbs. There’s the historic Arcada Theater for shows plus tons of waterfront bars and restaurants including Alter Brewing + Kitchen and Salerno’s On the Fox. With events throughout the year, like outdoor concerts and the beloved Scarecrow Festival, downtown always gives off a lively, community-focused vibe.

Arlington Heights

30 miles to downtown Chicago

If you’re not quite ready to give up city life, Arlington Heights might be a great fit. With 75,000 residents this town offers an urban-meets-suburban feel. There’s a bustling downtown with more than 30 restaurants, live music venues, boutiques, fitness studios, and more. And if you do need to get into the city, Metra’s Union Pacific-Northwest line travels right through downtown.

Arlington Heights puts on a bunch of events, like the Arlington on Tap Craft Beer Fest, Taste of Arlington Heights, 4th of July Parade, and Santa Run. In addition to having all of the city-style perks you need, there’s Lake Arlington when you want some time to relax and just enjoy the great outdoors.

Lake Forest

35 miles to downtown Chicago

Lake Forest is ideal for city dwellers ready for a small-town feel. Even though it’s a bit further from Chicago than many go-to suburbs, the highly-rated schools and welcoming community make the commute worth it. The town is also right on Lake Michigan and locals often spend summer days out on the water. But the lake is just the beginning. With tons of parks, golf courses, and trails, there are endless options for outdoor fun.

For more entertainment, there’s the charming Market Square. This historic downtown district features local boutiques, big-name retailers like Lululemon and Starbucks, and a community center that puts on film festivals, concerts, and workshops.


45 miles to downtown Chicago

While we love Gevea, we used to be hesitant to recommend it to commuters. But with remote work options, this town is more accessible for young professionals. And this town really offers something for everyone. There are acres and acres of green space plus easy access to the Fox River. If you’ve got young kids, the ​​space-themed Wheeler Park playground is going to be the place to start connecting with other local parents. (And keep an eye out for the next city-sponsored Parents Night Out event.)

During the summer, you can pick up fresh produce and baked goods at the Geneva French Market. The town also hosts an outdoor concert series, wine festivals, and holiday celebrations. And foodies — you’re in for a treat. Craft Urban, The Patten House Restaurant & Bar, and Fiora’s are just a taste of the excellent local food scene.

New Lenox

40 miles to downtown Chicago

City dwellers are drawn to New Lenox for so many reasons. The schools are excellent, there are community sports leagues for kids and adults plus there are local concerts and festivals throughout the year. It’s bigger than some other towns, but at 26,000 residents it’s still nowhere near the size of Arlington Heights. So if you want a mid-sized suburb feel, this is a great option.

Remote workers can switch up their routine by bringing their laptops to Gost Coffee Roasters. The outdoor patio is especially nice for a sunny work session. When you need a break between calls, Hickory Creek Preserve is a great spot to clear your head. And for a post-work happy hour, grab a craft beer at one of the multiple breweries in town (Arrowhead Ales is a local favorite).

Ready to expand your suburbs search? No matter how far outside of the city you’re willing to go, we can help you find the perfect town. Reach out today to get started.

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