Relaxed suburban village with large parks and open space
Downers Grove is a comfortable suburban village of nearly 50,000 residents approximately 25 miles to Chicago’s southwest. The village has been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Friendlies Towns and one of the Top 10 Livable Cities for kids by Livability.com. Downers Grove attracts young professionals who commute into Chicago or work at local companies. The community is sustainability-focused with a green business recognition program, projects to restore native areas, and rain barrels distributed throughout the village.
Close to many areas of work and play, Downers Grove is a popular destination for people of all lifestyles. For commuters, there are three stations in town with 25 minutes express trains to the Chicago Loop. Locally, the village is also home to Dover Corporation and regional offices of corporations such as MetLife and Microsoft. Yorktown and Oakbrook shopping malls are minutes away as are major expressways I-355 and I-88. There is a lively downtown area and several large parks with many community events organized throughout the year.
Popular restaurants along the Downers Grove stretch of Ogden Avenue include counter-serve Mexican eatery Los Burritos Tapatios, classic diners The Baked Apple Breakfast Co. and Omega Pancake House and my personal favorite Oberweis Dairy which serves premium, delicious ice cream treats! Ogden Avenue is also known as a major hub for automobile dealerships.
More restaurants can be found clustered along Main Street in Downers Grove. Local favorites include Southeast Asian cuisine at Thai Café, tacos and burritos at Alfredo’s Taqueria, or Italian dishes at Gatto’s Italian Restaurant & Bar. Nightlife options include live music and trivia nights at Ballydoyle Irish Pub, house beers at upscale microbrewery Emmett’s Brewing Company, and drinks, pub grub, and live sports at Another Round Bar & Grill.
The North end of town near Yorktown Mall includes delicious upscale fare for wine enthusiasts at Parker’s Restaurant, known for its happy hours and globally inspired dishes derived from fresh American sources and Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant which has a dedicated wine tasting room and members only wine club. Family friendly dining options Honey Jam Café and Juicy O are just down the street near stores like Buy Buy Baby, Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohls and Best Buy.
For a unique dining experience sure to entertain little ones, check out the All Aboard Diner where trains deliver your meal tableside on the South end of town!
The Tivoli Theater on Highland Avenue is a classic 1920s movie house built In French Renaissance style. While most cinemas of this type have been remodeled to add additional screens, the Tivoli Theater has retained its original layout with one large screen and over 1,000 seats. It also serves as a performance venue with concerts from touring bands and the Midwest Ballet Theatre Company. Downers Grove Public Library in the downtown area is a wonderful public resource with book clubs and other social activities, 3D printing facilities, and a media lab.
The expansive Hidden Lake Forest Preserve covers almost 400 acres and features more than two miles of trails for hiking and jogging. The preserve surrounds the 10-acre Eagle Lake and 15-acre Round Meadow Lake, both of which are popular fishing spots. Round Meadow Lake is also open for water-based activities such as kayaking and canoeing. Barth Pond in Patriots Park is another picturesque water feature in Downers Grove that is available for non-motorized boating. The 25+ acre park features walking trails, wetlands, picnic tables, and a playground. Also, Doerhoefer Park covers almost 15 acres and has a playground, basketball and tennis courts, and fields for baseball and football.
The community’s annual events include the highly popular GroveFest which draws thousands of people each Summer and the long standing Downtown Downers Grove Fine Arts Festival each September featuring live entertainment, a kids' art booth and over 50 artist exhibits. There is also the Downers Grove 5 Miler and 8 Miler races each Fall.
Downers Grove has 11 elementary and 2 middle schools belonging to District 58. Downers Grove North and Downers Grove South high schools are a part of District 99, ranked the #16 school district in Illinois. There are several private school options in Downers Grove for preschool, elementary and middle school children. The vast majority are parochial; however, Avery Coonley is an independent school serving preschool through 8th grade that has been in existence since 1906. Marquette Manor Baptist Academy is the only private high school in Downers Grove.
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