It’s Always a Wave & a Smile in These Family-Friendly Towns.
BY DANIELLE BRAFF
Want to live in a Chicago suburb where everyone knows your name? These towns have gained a reputation for being the friendliest in Illinois.
Leave the doors unlocked, let the kids walk to school alone and gather with friends at the Farmer’s Market. This is the epitome of a quaint, adorable ‘burb. Buffalo Grove hosts festivals all.the.time where neighbors meet and mingle, and they even have a cafe—Limelight Cafe—where teens safely perform their talents. The homes are adorbs, the streets have trees and the stoplights are few.
If you know Illinois, then you won’t be shocked to find Downers Grove on this list. It makes every “friendly” list. It was named one of “America’s Friendliest Towns” in Forbes; it was one of the “Top 10 Livable Cities for Kids” in Livability, and it appears in just about every list we do because Downers Grove is da bomb.
The people who live here go out of their way to become friends with the newcomers (unlike other suburbs that we won’t mention, where it’s hard to break in as a newbie). The kids learn about bullying at an early age and they don’t do it. There are plenty of playgrounds, green space and restaurants to keep everyone happy. And they are.
Wheaton is a fantastic suburb with a pervasive sense of community. There are restaurants, shops, activities and a very supportive neighborhood that prizes getting to know each other via community and school events. The crime rate here is ridiculously low, and the schools and libraries are some of the best in the state.
This is true small-town living. Walk through the downtown, and you’ll feel like you’re in the 1950s, with independent shops and restaurants, families dining at old-fashioned diners and sipping on malted milkshakes. The old-town feel extends to the way everyone treats each other: they really want to get to know their neighbors.
Looking for a tiny suburb that’s very safe and old-fashioned? This is the second safest spot in the burbs, and many of the residents here are in no rush to pop up new homes. Most of the houses here are hundreds of years old, dating to the 1800s, and Winfield has one of the oldest taverns in Illinois: John’s Restaurant. The people here are looking for peace and quiet, and want a real sense of community living.
A large city (there are a whopping three zip codes within Arlington Heights) that doesn’t have that big city feel. Yes, it has tons of restaurants, shops and entertainment options. But the schools are welcoming, the families are here to make friends and everyone truly cares for each other. Once you move here, you’re one of them.
It’s a relatively inexpensive suburb where the neighbors all gather whenever there’s a big storm so they can sandbag the river. This is a closeness born of necessity yet a closeness nonetheless. The village tries to make everyone feel like family as soon as they arrive, and there are tons of activities you can join.
Choosing the right town to call “home” is the most important decision you’ll ever make—why go it alone? Get in touch and our expert Suburbs Strategists will help you navigate the ‘burbs and find the right town to call “home.”