12 Best Cities in Illinois to Live and Visit


The summer season and fall could also be fantastic instances to go to Illinois, however for the residents of the Prairie State, residing right here gives full-time entry to the state’s wealthy historical past, structure and nature. Home to the third greatest metropolis in the United States, Chicago, plus the immortal shadow of Abraham Lincoln there are lots of causes to journey right here or name it residence.

From large cities and sprawling suburbs to historic cities and small communities there may be certain to be one thing that fits your agenda. Recent graduates can select between established or rising economies and households may have an amazing selection of college districts in the most effective cities in Illinois. As for vacationers there aren’t any scarcity of reminiscences to create, as you discover the historic capital metropolis of Springfield or wander down Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

12. Buffalo Grove

Buffalo Grove

In the northern suburbs of Chicago, Buffalo Grove comes with a low crime charge and among the finest faculty districts in the state. Being simply 40 minutes north of Chicago, residents and vacationers in Buffalo Grove can get pleasure from the most effective of each worlds. But newcomers ought to count on the next than common price of housing.

After faculty and work, all residents get pleasure from exploring Buffalo Grove. The peaceable neighborhood boasts stunning structure, leafy streets and lush parks. The 40,000 locals additionally take advantage of the summer season festivals that come into city. Compared to the remainder of the state, native unemployment is low and the median wage is robust.

11. Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake

With a inhabitants of round 40,000 individuals, Crystal Lake straddles the road between a small metropolis and large city. It has the traits of each providing a captivating, family-friendly neighborhood with nice out of doors alternatives, alongside job alternatives in a rising market and enjoyable for the entire city.

Crystal Lake will attraction to households and retirees searching for an amazing place to increase youngsters or get pleasure from a tranquil, tight-knit group. There are a mess of smaller neighborhoods that can place you shut to faculties, an abundance of parks or The Village. The latter options the downtown district with nice purchasing leisure and household enjoyable. While the Crystal Lake Park District boasts 40 parks for out of doors enjoyable, sport and group occasions.

10. Bloomington-Normal


Around an hour northeast of the state capital of Springfield, Bloomington-National gives locals with a wealthy city atmosphere at a low price. Bloomington is a historic metropolis and is usually often called the Evergreen City thanks to its proximity to Evergreen Lake.

Along with neighboring Normal, it provides good public transport and connections to Chicago. This has additionally made it a horny vacation spot for latest graduates. Schools in Bloomington-Normal are extremely rated. The cities boast two universities, together with Illinois State University. Both assist to develop town’s burgeoning leisure scene.

They share an abundance of eating places, museums, together with the Children’s Discovery Museum. While native parks and zoos assist to spherical out the expertise.

9. Schaumburg


With a inhabitants of round 75,000, Schaumburg makes its manner onto our record thanks to its distinctive schooling and extremely low crime charge. Schaumburg is a suburb northwest of downtown Chicago and has a powerful center class vibe, but the median housing price belies this assumption.

Schaumburg presents itself as an amazing place for younger households. The price of housing might help get your foot in the door and the neighborhood ranks in the highest ten in Illinois for baby care spots.

For leisure, Schaumburg is residence to Legoland Discovery Centre and Water Works Indoor Water Park. The tight-knit group is famend for its friendliness, with nice native eating places and some charming public parks.

8. Champaign-Urbana


Two hours south of Chicago, Champaign-Urbana is the mixture of two distinct cities that mix collectively to create a diverse expertise for locals and vacationers. Life right here revolves round agriculture and Champaign-Urbana can also be the bottom of the University of Illinois. The “odd couple” mixture of faculty city and farmlands means you’ll get to get pleasure from a sturdy financial system with all of the leisure, arts and tradition that comes with the college.

The price of residing in Champaign-Urbana is round 20% decrease than the nationwide common. As for housing, the median price to purchase a house is lower than half that of the nationwide common. Residents are then in a position to get pleasure from a thriving arts scene and group life with Champaign-Urbana. It’s a mini city oasis surrounded by countless fields, with the Spurlock Museum and Market on the Square being prime sights.

7. Springfield


As the state capital of Illinois, Springfield usually pops up on the radar of these on the transfer. After Rockford, Springfield, with a inhabitants of round 115,000 individuals, is the largest metropolis exterior of the Chicago metro space.

In the middle of the state, Springfield was as soon as the house of Abraham Lincoln for over twenty years earlier than departing for his new function in the White House. With this slice of historical past, Springfield provides residents and vacationers a spread of nice museums from the Presidential Library to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

But town’s huge historical past stretches past Lincoln and with a botanical backyard and public parks, there’s no scarcity of issues to do. Locals can get pleasure from a energetic tradition and leisure scene with three universities and a powerful financial system.

6. Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills

Ticking all of the bins for households, Clarendon Hills is a typical selection amongst these on the transfer. Just 20 miles east of the downtown Chicago waterfront, Clarendon Hills has its personal execs whereas nonetheless providing residents the life-style of the large metropolis, plus reside sports activities and the lake.

Families will likely be glad to know that the Clarendon Hills faculty district is among the finest in the world and the suburbs’s general crime is nicely under state averafe. The center class neighborhood has a powerful family revenue and the decrease inhabitants gives a chance to rapidly weave into the group material.

For enjoyable, Clarendon Hills has a big park district, a golf membership and family-friendly sights.

5. Galena


In the northwest nook of Illinois, Galena harbors some fascinating nineteenth century structure. Set on the Galena River, which rolls down to the close by Mississippi, Galena is an lovely small city with just a few thousand residents.

The wealthy predominant streets are lined with untouched buildings that supply a glimpse into life in the 1800s when Galena was residence to Ulysses S. Grant and eight Civil War generals.

For these wanting to retire in Illinois, Galena is a well-liked choice. The city boasts a powerful tourism trade however stays tranquil year-round, with loads of issues to do, corresponding to discover the Ulysses S. Grant Home whereas having fun with a low price of residing.

For households, Galena has a extremely rated faculty district and all residents can get pleasure from nice cafes, eating places and some energetic native bars.

4. Rockford


Based on the tributary of the mighty Mississippi River, Rockford has grown to be the very best populated metropolis past the nice Chicago space. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Rockford’s place on the Rock River drew main corporations to the world, and it turned a hotspot for manufacturing and equipment. Today, it’s a vibrant, trendy metropolis.

Rockford combines a wide range of main industries, offering nice employment alternatives for newcomers, whether or not you’re established in your profession or wanting to make the subsequent bounce.

Owing to its storied nineteenth century previous, there are additionally loads of historical past and architectural gems in Rockford such because the Lake-Peterson House together with an enchanting pure historical past museum,

3. Naperville


Part of the nice Chicago area and one of many greatest cities in the state, Naperville is a best choice for individuals who need to be shut to the Windy City. Naperville has humble beginnings and was as soon as a easy mill city on the banks of the DuPage River. But now it’s residence to 30 Fortune 500 corporations and an amazing work/life stability.

Residents love having such a powerful native financial system with the native workforce in a position to maintain a rising family-friendly metropolis. There are parks, kids’s museums and group occasions that develop the city spirit. All the whereas, you’re simply over 30 miles west of downtown Chicago for all that the large metropolis has to provide.

2. Peoria


In Central Illinois, Peoria, is a scenic small metropolis on the banks of the Peoria Lake and the Illinois River. It might at first seem a captivating and sleepy small metropolis, nevertheless it’s one of many oldest settlements in the state. The superb historical past of Peoria is on show in quite a few places all through city from the Peoria Riverfront Museum to the Historical Society.

Peoria has a mix of old-time historical past that, alongside a number of main enterprise headquarters, has created a vibrant modern-day metropolis that’s nice for latest graduates, households and {couples}.

Away from work, there’s a robust faculty district, an abundance of native parks and the waterfront gives a pleasant vary of outside enjoyable and stunning surroundings.

1. Chicago


With a inhabitants of over 2.5 million individuals, Chicago is by far the most important metropolis in Illinois. But for such an enormous metropolis, the price of residing, particularly associated to housing, is under what you would possibly count on.

There are over 200 neighborhoods in Chicago, and with respectable public transportation it’s not a necessity to reside downtown. Newcomers can select between such locations as Bucktown, Logan Square and Lincoln Park, which have their very own mixture of historical past, tradition and scenic views.

For these residing and touring by means of the thrilling downtown space, you’ll be steps from the colourful waterfront lined with parks, museums and stadiums plus nice purchasing alongside Michigan Avenue. As such an enormous metropolis, you possibly can count on an amazing vary of meals and O’Hare International Airport gives fast connection to the remainder of the nation.

Map of Cities in Illinois to Live and Visit

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