Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, is known for its diverse landscapes and vibrant cities. While cities like Chicago draw a lot of attention, the suburbs surrounding the Windy City offer a tranquil escape from the bustling urban life. In this article, we’ll explore the six best suburbs in Illinois that cater to various preferences, from family-friendly neighborhoods to cultural hotspots. These suburbs include Naperville, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Clarendon Hills, Western Springs, and Oak Park.

If you’re interested in exploring affordable living options just a stone’s throw away, consider checking out our guide on the ‘5 Cheapest Places to Live in Missouri.

Best Suburbs Of Illinois

1. Naperville

Naperville, often hailed as one of the best places to live in the United States, is a delightful suburb located just 30 miles west of Chicago. With its picturesque downtown, excellent schools, and a strong sense of community, Naperville consistently ranks high on various livability indices.

Naperville boasts a diverse population of over 148,754 residents. The median home value here is around $530,750, making it an attractive destination for families and young professionals seeking an excellent quality of life.

Fun fact

Naperville was founded in 1831 and is the fifth-largest city in Illinois. It’s renowned for its Napper Settlement, a living history museum that takes you back in time to explore the city’s heritage.

Things to do

In Naperville, you can enjoy the Riverwalk, a charming linear park with fountains and sculptures.

Visit the DuPage Children’s Museum, have a picnic at Centennial Beach, or explore the vibrant downtown for shopping, dining, and cultural events.

You can also experience the annual Naperville Ale Fest for craft beer enthusiasts.

Why move here

Naperville, Illinois, beckons with its unique blend of modernity and small-town charm, making it an ideal place to call home. This vibrant city boasts an exceptional quality of life, blending top-notch education, a thriving economy, and a diverse cultural scene.

One of its jewels, the “Historic District,” is a time capsule of architectural beauty and historical significance, exuding an old-world charm amidst modern convenience. Additionally, the “River Walk” neighborhood offers an idyllic escape, with picturesque trails and serene waterscapes, perfect for those seeking tranquility amid the bustle of city life.

2. Buffalo Grove

Buffalo Grove, located in the northern suburbs of Chicago, is a friendly, tree-lined community known for its excellent schools and diverse population. This suburban gem has a population of around 42,144 and offers a unique blend of nature and modern amenities.

Buffalo Grove’s median home value is approximately $416,000, making it an affordable option for those who want to live in a suburban paradise.

Fun Fact

Buffalo Grove’s name was inspired by a herd of buffalo that roamed the area in the 1830s.

The village’s historic Long Grove Covered Bridge is a must-see, connecting residents to a rich past.

Things to do

Embrace the outdoors by exploring the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve, which offers hiking, fishing, and picnicking.

The village also hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, such as Buffalo Grove Days and the Buffalo Grove Art Festival. For golf enthusiasts, there’s the Buffalo Grove Golf Club, a picturesque 18-hole course.

Why move here

The allure of Buffalo Grove lies in its exceptional school districts, notably Stevenson High School, ranked among the top in the nation, ensuring an excellent education for children. Additionally, the Green Lake Park neighborhood, surrounded by lush greenery and serene lakes, provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers.

3. Evanston

Evanston, nestled along Lake Michigan, is a vibrant and culturally rich suburb situated just north of Chicago. Known for its historic architecture, excellent schools, and diverse population, Evanston offers the perfect blend of city life and suburban charm.

With a population of over 75,000, Evanston has a diverse and dynamic community. The median home value in Evanston is around $350,000, reflecting the desirability of the area.

Fun Fact

Evanston is home to Northwestern University, which has a beautiful campus and is renowned for its academic excellence. The suburb was also the birthplace of the nationally famous Tinkertoys.

Things to do

Take a leisurely stroll along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, explore the Chicago Botanic Garden, and visit the Grosse Point Lighthouse.

Evanston is also known for its dining scene, with numerous restaurants and cafes offering a variety of cuisines. Don’t forget to check out the local theaters and art galleries for a dose of culture.

Why move here

The unique charm of the city lies in its diverse neighborhoods, such as the historic district of Lakeshore and the artistic enclave of Dempster.

Lakeshore, with its tree-lined streets and historic homes, offers a picturesque setting by Lake Michigan, providing a serene and elegant living experience. On the other hand, Dempster is an eclectic neighborhood filled with art galleries, local boutiques, and a thriving creative scene, fostering a unique and vibrant atmosphere for residents.

4. Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills is a small and charming village located in DuPage County, about 20 miles west of downtown Chicago. With its tree-lined streets, top-rated schools, and a strong sense of community, Clarendon Hills is an inviting destination for those seeking a peaceful suburban life.

Clarendon Hills has a population of approximately 8,500 residents, offering a close-knit and friendly environment. The median home value in Clarendon Hills is around $405,000, reflecting the desirability of this suburban haven.

Fun fact

The village historic downtown area, with its brick paved streets and vintage charm, is a popular spot for local gatherings and shopping.

Things to do

The village’s beautiful parks and green spaces, such as Prospect Park, offer excellent opportunities for outdoor activities and family picnics. Residents can enjoy local restaurants and boutique shops in the downtown area. Clarendon Hills also hosts events like the Daisy Days Festival and the Summer Concert Series.

Why move here

One standout neighborhood is Prospect Park, where tree-lined streets and charming homes create a picturesque setting perfect for families seeking a close-knit community feel and easy access to local parks and schools. Another is the charming downtown area, exuding a classic small-town vibe with boutique shops and cozy cafes, fostering a sense of community and warmth.

5. Western Springs

Western Springs, located just 20 miles west of Chicago, is a quaint village with a rich history and a strong community spirit. This suburb is known for its top-rated schools, friendly neighborhoods, and a charming downtown area.

With a population of around 12,983, Western Springs offers a tight-knit community that values tradition and neighborly relationships. The median home value in Western Springs is approximately $730,000, reflecting the desirability of this suburban oasis.

Fun fact

Western Springs is home to the historic water tower, a beloved landmark and symbol of the village. It was built in 1886 and still stands tall as a testament to the area’s heritage.

Things to do

The village’s enchanting downtown area offers shopping, dining, and cultural events. Visit Spring Rock Park for outdoor activities and picnics or attend the annual Tower Tunes Live Concert Series during the summer. Western Springs is also known for its historic Prairie Avenue, lined with architecturally significant homes.

Why move here

. One of its standout neighborhoods, Springdale, is a picturesque area with tree-lined streets and beautiful parks, perfect for families seeking a peaceful yet connected lifestyle. Additionally, Field Park embodies a charming blend of historic architecture and modern amenities, making it an ideal spot for those who appreciate classic charm with contemporary convenience. The town itself is known for its top-rated schools, making it an attractive choice for families seeking excellent education for their children. Moreover, its proximity to the bustling city of Chicago offers the perfect balance between a quiet suburban life and easy access to urban opportunities.

6. Oak Park

Oak Park, situated just west of Chicago, is a diverse and culturally rich suburb that has long attracted writers, artists, and thinkers. It’s famous for its historical architecture, lively arts scene, and a community that values inclusivity and creativity.

With a population of around 51,102, Oak Park offers a diverse and open-minded community. The median home value in Oak Park is approximately $387,000, reflecting the historical and cultural significance of the area.

Fun fact

Oak Park is home to the world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The suburb boasts the highest concentration of Wright-designed buildings in the world, including his own home and studio, which can be visited.

Things to do

Explore the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, visit the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum, and take a stroll along Oak Park’s tree-lined streets to admire the historic architecture. The suburb also hosts numerous art fairs, theater performances, and a lively dining scene with a variety of cuisines.

Why move here

Oak Park’s rich cultural heritage, diverse community, and emphasis on creativity and inclusivity make it an ideal place for individuals who appreciate history, arts, and a vibrant community spirit.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District is an architectural gem, showcasing the genius of the renowned architect and making it a haven for architectural enthusiasts.

The Oak Park Arts District is another gem, a bohemian enclave pulsating with creativity, featuring galleries, boutiques, and artistic endeavors. One cannot help but be captivated by its spirited atmosphere and artistic fervor.

Beyond these attractions, the town’s commitment to diversity, top-rated schools, and excellent public services make it an exceptional choice for those seeking a welcoming community with a rich tapestry of experiences.


These six suburbs in Illinois offer a wide array of experiences, from family-friendly environments and top-rated schools to cultural richness and historical significance. Whether you seek a tranquil haven, a vibrant cultural scene, or a tight-knit community, these suburbs cater to diverse preferences.

From Naperville’s blend of urban convenience and suburban tranquility to Oak Park’s rich cultural heritage, these suburbs present compelling reasons to make them your next home. So, pack your bags and head to these Illinois havens, where comfort meets culture in the most delightful ways.

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