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Old Posted Sep 16, 2019, 6:43 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
The City
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago region
Posts: 17,635
Originally Posted by Handro View Post
Chicago: Evanston and Oak Park are obvious choices considering the sensibilities on this forum, but some other honorable mentions: Park Ridge, Geneva, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Wheaton... I'll even throw in Naperville, even though it is second only to Schaumburg as a lightening rod for Chicagoans' disdain for the burbs.

Park Ridge:!8i6656
Highland Park:!8i8192
Lake Forest:!8i8192

Any place that has some downtown density+METRA station is usually a sure bet for at least a couple good restaurants and some interesting pre-war architecture.

And actually as I was editing to add google maps, I remembered a dark horse: Elgin, IL. This was a pretty big outpost in the 19th/early 20th century (some of you may know Elgin Watch Company). It's a little rundown these days but it has the bones of a good town:!8i8192
This is a great snapshot. The more time I spend touring these Metra burbs the more impressed I am with what this region has.

I'm especially kind of interested in these old Fox River towns like Elgin, Aurora, St Charles, etc. I have yet to see them in person but they seem to have a lot of "urban bones" worth exploring.

My only beef with Aurora and Naperville's commercial cores is that they are a bit of a hike from their respective Metra Stations. If only their stations could've been just adjacent to their downtowns, as is the case with most of the other commuter burbs, the synergy would be that much better.
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