Vibrant city with tight-knit community feel in a convenient location
Elmhurst is a vibrant and conveniently located city with over 40,000 residents located 15 miles west of Chicago. As an Elmhurst resident, I love its family-friendly atmosphere and warm, welcoming community. The city’s tagline is “Close to Everything, Unlike Anything.” Elmhurst is within minutes of all major expressways and very close to O’Hare Airport. The town has a wide choice of restaurants and retailers and is also centrally located to multiple shopping malls in neighboring communities (Oakbrook Mall, Yorktown Mall, Woodfield Mall). Elmhurst’s many housing options range from mid-century ranch-style properties and elegant contemporary townhouses to luxurious custom-built homes in a range of styles.
Elmhurst has a lot to offer in a convenient location for commuters. Shopping and dining options are extensive, and there are also many parks in the area. Local events throughout the year help foster a strong sense of community, and young families have a large number of quality public schools to choose from.
Elmhurst offers a fantastic variety of shops and restaurants. Elmhurst City Centre is at the heart of the city’s downtown district where you will find many boutiques and a wide range of dining choices. Favorite local boutiques include organic children’s clothing store Good Kids, philanthropy focused Enzee, posh Red-E and The Uptown Shop known for its seasonal home accents and gifts. Enjoy one of many newer restaurants in town including authentic Italian cuisine and wine at industrial-chic Livia, baked clams and Neapolitan pizzas at Pazzi Di Pizza, craft beer flights and pub grub at Elmhurst Brewing Company, creative New American cuisine and handcrafted cocktails at One Fifty One, or prime meats and jumbo Nantucket-style seafood platters at Victory Meat & Seafood. Don’t forget to stop at an Elmhurst mainstay – Hamburger Heaven, a classic window serve stand for double decker hamburgers and draft root beer that’s been around since 1948.
Less than two miles southwest of downtown, the Spring Road Business District has more boutiques and eateries. Highlights include stylish womenswear store Kie & Kate Couture, Italian dining at Roberto’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, classic steakhouse fare at The Silverado Grill, and lively Irish pub Doc’s Victory. Lezza Spumoni & Desserts is a traditional Italian bakery nearby with delicious gelato, tiramisu, and spumoni, perfect for a quick treat after a ride or run on the Prairie Path.
A few blocks east of Spring Road, the Vallette Business District features popular build-your-own burger spot HB Jones and laid back tavern, Riley’s Gathering Place where locals come out for trivia and karaoke over tasty bar bites. Alongside U.S. Route 83 at Elmhurst’s western edge, Elmhurst Crossing includes retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Kohl’s and At Home…and of course, don’t miss Portillo’s!
Elmhurst’s Wilder Park was voted the best suburban park by Chicago Magazine. The park surrounds the beautiful 1868 Wilder Mansion, which is available for weddings and other private events. Wilder Park’s amenities include play equipment, picnic areas, tennis courts, and a soccer field. There’s also a butterfly garden, herb gardens, and pretty perennial flowerbeds. Wilder Park Conservatory raises around 12,000 plants each year.
The park is also home to the Elmhurst Public Library and modern visual arts displays and regular studio art classes at the Elmhurst Art Museum. Over the first weekend in May, Art in Wilder Park features more than 100 artists from across the Midwest. Over 10,000 attendees visit Wilder Park during this event. Other events taking place at Wilder Park include outdoor movie nights, music concerts, Easter egg hunts, BBQs, and a festive holiday tree lighting ceremony, most of which are facilitated by the Elmhurst Park District.
Another huge annual event in Elmhurst is the Spring Road St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This is the third-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Chicago area, and many consider it the best. The parade features more than 80 floats plus Irish dancers and marching bands.
The Illinois Prairie Path opened in the 1960s as the first rail-to-trail conversion in the United States. The Prairie Path runs for a total of 62 miles and takes its name from the segments of thousand-year-old prairies along it, one of which is located in Elmhurst. Feel free to ride your bike, jog or take a long strong stroll where this cuts through central Elmhurst.
Beren’s Park in northwest Elmhurst appeals to all ages. In the Summer, residents enjoy the splash pad, playground, batting cages and mini-golf course while making use of the large sledding hill in the Winter. Year-round attractions include multiple athletic fields, running paths and general pavilion areas.
Elmhurst is served exclusively by District 205 and all schools are located within the city limits. The local public school district is ranked #12 in Illinois with eight elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school, York Community High School. As part of my community involvement, I serve as a member of the District 205 Foundation Board.
In addition to the fantastic public schools, there are many highly rated private schools to consider, including Immaculate Conception and Timothy Christian that offer programs starting in pre-K through high school as well as Visitation Catholic School and Immanuel Lutheran School up to eighth grade. Elmhurst is also the home of Elmhurst University, a private liberal arts college in the heart of downtown.
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