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Good towns outside of Chicago

Northumberland...
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Good towns outside of Chicago

I'm going to Chicago next month and would love to experience some suburban towns outside of Chicago. I've heard Galena (?) and Springfield are good, can anyone recommend their favourite? I like places with history, nice shops and restaurant and quaint places (eg 2 years ago I went to Plymouth, MA, mystic CT, Newport RI & Celebration. FL and loved them!)

Also is there public transport routes to these types of towns?

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Chicago
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1. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

Galena and Springfield aren't Chicago suburbs. The distance is comparable to Edinburgh to York! Both are interesting towns in their own right, but Galena is much more difficult to reach on public transportation. The nearest city is Dubuque, Iowa, but its a long cab ride to Galena.

Springfield, our state capital, has direct trains from Union Station in Chicago's Loop. ( Five trains per day, tickets are $18). See http://www.amtrak.com/illinois-services-train

Edited: 15 August 2012, 20:35
Brookfield, Illinois
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2. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

Quaint Chicago Suburbs that coudl be done in a day trip would be Geneva, IL or St. Charles, IL.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

Peoria. The best attraction in town is a grain elevator. Vintage small town, nice quilting and sewing shops, and one antique store. Upscale Peoria Heights is gorgeous.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

Sorry, forgot to say, it's about 2 hours from Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

Experience some of the very individual Chicago neighborhhoods: Wicker Park/Bucktown, Wrigleyville, Pilsen, Chinatown, Hyde Park...

Close in Suburbs on the regional transit lines might be Evanston, Brookfield, Aurora... Amtrak has commuter trains (Hiawatha Service) to Milwaukee. You can base yourself in Chicago and visit these cities and still get back for an evening in the City and your hotel room.

Pjk
New Jersey
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6. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

If you go out to Oak Park you can do the tour of the house where Ernest Hemingway was born then tour Frank Lloyd Wright's house. Take the EL.

Pjk

Edited: 15 August 2012, 21:19
Illinois
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7. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

Lake Forest is easily accessible from downtown via Metra train - www.cityoflakeforest.com/4/visitors/4v.htm

Chicago
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8. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

Oak Park borders Chicago to the west and is served by the Green and Blue line branches of the El. For architecture buffs they have several Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings and his former studio with a walking tour.

Illinois
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9. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

The blue line does not serve the area of Oak Park for the FLW historic district. You'll want to take the CTA green line or Metra.

Naperville, Illinois
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10. Re: Good towns outside of Chicago

Oak Park is a nice choice and close to downtown Chicago. I (also a Brit), live in Naperville and can recommend it. You can get the Metra train (double decker commuter train from Union Station - 35 minutes express, hour slow) straight to Naperville, walk through the Historic District and North Central College (150 years) to downtown Naperville (nice boutiques, shops, restaurants), stroll our beautiful riverwalk past a very unique carillon (and go up it if you fancy) to Naper Settlement (historical and reconstructed village from the time of the founding of Naperville in the 1830's with mansion, school house, blacksmith, chapel, fort, museum, nice grounds etc etc). Depending on the day and time that you are there, we may have open air events on in downtown Naperville, along the riverwalk or at the Settlement. We also have an open air art walk through downtown Naperville with different pieces commemorating individuals and events in Naperville history.