Whether you’re just married, just starting a family or somewhere in between, these suburbs are ideal for the under-40 set.
Chicago is an amazing place to call “home,” especially when you’re just starting out. But when it’s time to hit the ‘burbs, many families—especially millennial families—don’t want to ditch the “best ofs” that come with city living.
From quick commutes to amazing eats to arts, culture and nightlife, these suburbs have it all, with a decidedly young, on-trend vibe that’s drawing countless 20- and 30-somethings to their borders.
No millennial list would be complete without Evanston. Home to Northwestern University, Evanston is an exciting, innovative college town at its core—it also offers super-fast access to downtown Chicago via the Purple Line, A+ schools and a cool downtown with endless shopping, dining and entertainment.
While exploring, be sure to check out “Central Street” for a run of great places to dine, hang and shop, all with a dose of small-town charm. And when it comes to finding The House, Evanston has millennials covered, with loads of diverse homes—think everything from open floor plans and clean lines to history-packed Victorians.
Young families are heading to Aurora in droves—and with good cause. The “City of Lights” offers small class sizes with a heavy STEM focus. Want even more science and tech? Check out Aurora’s Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a three-year high school that consistently ranks among the top 10 in the U.S.
Here, you’ll find amazing architecture—buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, George Grant Elmslie and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, among others—plus great parks, playgrounds and community activities. Another perk? Many people live and work in Aurora—companies including Lyon Workspace Products, Barber-Green and Caterpillar are anchored here.
Another corporate and tech hotspot, Naperville was recently ranked the #1 in Niche’s “Best Cities to Raise a Family in America.” This bustling ‘burb also topped the charts as safest and best public schools—really, what more could you ask for in a commutable, family-friendly suburb?
Beyond the amazing schools and active, engaged and friendly community, gear up for yearly events—Naperville residents never miss Ribfest and the Chocolate Walk, and neither do countless people from neighboring towns. Naperville also has an incredible craft beer scene with loads of places to grab a pint, especially on the outskirts of town.
With spots like Rock House for live music and Cafe El Tapatio or Ten Ninety Brewing Company for dinner out, Glenview is a great place to get out—literally. Nightlife is always rock solid here, with options for families, date night and anything in between. Better still, Glenview is very diverse and has very good public schools, all in a 40,000-person suburb just three miles outside of Chicago.
If you grew up on John Hughes movies, you already know Northbrook—you just don’t know it yet. Many of these iconic 80s flicks took place in fictional “Shermer, Illinois,” a nod to Northbrook’s nickname “Shermerville.”
Besides the pop culture references, Northbrook is an amazing place to call “home,” situated on the north side of Cook County and just minutes from Chicago. The schools are great—Niche ranks them #7 in the state—and the town is super green, with more than 500 acres dedicated to parks and open spaces. So whether you’re looking for a playground, a hiking trail, a picnic spot or, even, a golf course, you’ll find it here.
There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.
Featured Image: Downtown Evanston/Found Kitchen