With more and more people going remote, these farther-out suburbs have never been more popular…
When we dig into our suburban strategies, we almost always hear that a quick, comfortable, convenient commute is essential. But with more and more people going remote and staying that way, an increasing number of city families are expanding their searches, exploring farther-out towns that, otherwise, may not have made the cut. Some towns that are topping our clients’ must-see lists more than ever?
#1. Lake Forest
About 33 miles outside of the city, Lake Forest is a family-friendly suburb with a small-town vibe and lively downtown. For those looking to get out, you’ll find plenty of parks, playgrounds, running and biking trails. Plus, with its prime location on Lake Michigan, there’s no shortage of beach access or on-the-water activities when the temperature rises.
Another perk to living in Lake Forest? Throughout the year the community plays host to a number of popular events including its annual Arts Stroll and the Lake Forest Day Parade. And don’t forget the schools—Lake Forest High School consistently ranks as a top school in the state and the country, with high marks for its STEAM program.
Another hotspot for beach-seeking families, Libertyville sits on the Des Plaines River, 40 miles north of Chicago. About 21,000 people call this larger suburb “home.”
Libertyville is known for its highly-ranked schools, welcoming vibe and larger-than-average homes and yards. For families used to being cooped up in city apartments, that extra space is a huge win.
And, again, this suburb is just minutes from the beach—specifically Lake Minear and Independence Grove. The latter has a walk-up cafe, boat and bike rentals and a dog park.
Consistently ranked among the best places to live and raise kids, Geneva has more park acreage per person than just about anywhere—so if you’re in search of green space, start here.
That, though, is just the beginning. Given its distance from the city—about 45 miles—expect lower housing prices than in neighboring communities, plus highly rated schools, an active downtown and year-round events including the French Market, local wine dinners, Christmas Walk and Arts Fair.
#4. New Lenox
Forty miles from Chicago, New Lenox is another larger suburb—about 26,000 residents live in town, with more and more young professionals and families moving in month after month. Many are drawn to the A+ schools, while others come for the outdoorsy vibe—New Lenox is home to Old Plank Road Trail, great for runners and bikers, as well as Forest Preserve, a large nature preserve ideal for all ages.
#5. Glen Ellyn
Dubbed one of USA Today’s “Picturesque Small Towns,” Glen Ellyn—about 23 miles west of Chicago—is a bustling ‘burb with plenty of restaurants, theaters, exhibits, events and outdoor activities to keep even the most active city families satisfied. Downtown Glen Ellyn is dotted with amazing places to eat and shop, while the Park District spans 300-plus acres and includes rock climbing, mini-golf, tennis, a splash pad, ice skating and playgrounds.
And when you do need to head into the city? Glen Ellyn has a Metra station in town, ensuring it’s a quick ride in. Glen Ellyn is also home to top-ranked schools marked by a strong emphasis on college prep and proficiency.
Looking in the Chicago suburbs—or ANY suburbs? We can help. Get in touch to schedule your free Suburbs Strategy session.