These Chicago Suburbs Keep Getting Hotter

Aug 4, 2022

With walkable downtowns, easy commutes, and amazing restaurants, it’s no surprise these Chicago suburbs are booming. Check out these hot towns – that keep getting hotter. 

#1. Geneva

Since Geneva is 45 miles west of Chicago, it can feel a little far for daily commuters. But with a train station in town and more work-from-home options, Geneva is emerging as one of the hottest Chicagoland suburbs. 

As a community, Geneva has TONS to offer, from highly-rated schools to miles of bike trails and a bunch of seasonal festivals. Downtown is filled with quaint Victorian-style homes and local shops plus Geneva Commons features name-brand retail storefronts.

Combine your town tour with a stop in the neighboring suburb of St. Charles. Take a stroll along the Fox River and scope out the upscale eateries, bars and performance venues lining the waterfront.

#2. Downers Grove

Downers Grove is a family-friendly suburb filled with historic Sears kit homes. Stroll through downtown and check out indie and blockbuster films at the restored Tivoli Theater or meet up with friends at one of the many top-notch bars and restaurants like Cadence Kitchen and Co and Emmett’s Brewing Company. Commuters can also hop on the train and reach Chicago in less than an hour. And on certain Saturdays, a farmers market fills a parking lot near the train station. 

#3. Glen Ellyn

Glen Ellyn frequently ranks as one of the best small towns in the country. Residents enjoy access to dozens of dining options and the downtown has been revitalized into a walkable community gathering spot complete with outdoor concerts and an annual arts festival. Active residents appreciate the 300+ acre parks district which offers rock climbing, mini golf, playgrounds and more.

While you’re in the area, check out Wheaton. This town is on the same rail line as Glen Ellyn and has some great schools and all of the retail options you need (we’re talking Whole Foods, Target, Mariano’s and more).

#4. New Lenox 

New Lenox is a slightly larger suburb about 40 miles from Chicago. But being a bit further out has its perks for nature lovers. This town is close to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie where you can hike, bike and look for the bison that have been reintroduced to the area. Cyclists can also hop on the Old Plank Road Trail for 21 miles of scenic suburban riding. Concerts, movie nights and food truck festivals are regularly held throughout the summer in the New Lenox Commons.

You could easily explore Frankfort and New Lenox together. Frankfort is a fast-growing suburb with a historic downtown. If you visit on a summer Sunday, stop by the farmers market but year round you can kick back with a craft beer at Trails Edge Brewing.

#5. Libertyville

Libertyville is perfect for beach lovers. This town is home to Lake Minear and Independence Grove, where locals can go for waterfront BBQs, fishing, boating, summer concerts, outdoor beer gardens and more. Libertyville students can also attend top-rated schools and the walkable Main Street is home to performance venues and tons of pubs and eateries. The train from town takes just over an hour to reach Chicago, but when you consider how large the lots are here, it doesn’t seem like that far of a trip.

#6. Lemont

With the historic downtown being revitalized and new restaurants and shops moving to town, it’s no surprise that Lemont is starting to get more attention. The Park District does a great job of connecting the community and locals can take advantage of the 500+ rec programs offered for all ages. There are also more than 20 public greenspaces in town with tennis courts, playgrounds and a pool. When the weather is nice, residents like to relax at the canal front Pollyanna Brewing Company. Plus, the train to Chicago takes less than an hour.

#7. Downers Grove

Another emerging hotspot, Heather adds, is Downers Grove. “It’s in a great spot,” she explains, “right between two very name brand towns, Naperville and Schaumburg. So families immediately have access to those communities and their parks, amenities, restaurants, shopping and entertainment,” while getting more for their money property-wise, all in a tight-knit community with strong schools.

“It’s about 20 miles outside of Chicago,” Heather says, “and is a very easy commute.” And Heather isn’t alone in her assessment—in 2018, Sperling named Downers Grove one of the 100 best places to live, citing its award-winning public schools, scenic downtown packed with 70+ shops and restaurants, plus lots of options for nightlife and entertainment.

“They also have a Tree City USA designation,” adds Heather, “because of the village’s two forest preserves and amazing parks. It’s a great place to get out and be out, with your family.”

Want to discover the suburb that’s right for you? Let’s chat! We’ll help you navigate town tours and find the town that clicks.

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